Mohammed's Heart Surgery


Much Improved, Mohammed Returns to Gaza

Posted on Mon, 06/22/2009 - 01:00 by Donna_Petrel
The past few weeks have been filled with raised hopes and anticipation for Um (mother of) Mohammed as the day drew near for her to take Mohammed back home to Gaza. Yet each time a tentative date was set, the plans had to change based on Mohammed's need for certain medications which were unavailable in Gaza, or his adjustment to medication changes needed in preparation for his transfer. Thankfully Mohammed's condition has improved significantly, so today at last everything was in place as much as possible for his dismissal, and Justin (pictured above) and I sent him on his way by ambulance this afternoon.

Both the tension and the excitement was evident in the room each time we've visited in the past week, and today Um Mohammed was nearly beaming when I was able to say that this time we would be going forward. Mohammed's doctor in Gaza is himself sick in the hospital which complicated some communication over all the medications the hospital should have prepared for Mohammed's arrival, but everyone was in agreement that he'd have the essential medications, and should go ahead. Abu (father of) Mohammed and Mohammed's older brother were anxious to meet them at the border crossing at the point of the ambulance transfer, and were calling consistently during the last few hours as all the medication going with them was gathered and packed, as well as refreshed instruction given about which was which dose at which time of day / night. As you might imagine, Mohammed's mother has learned how to administer many of the medications and knows how to care for her son in his precarious state of health.

Between nurses and doctors coming in to say goodbye, Mohammed was helped into his traveling outfit, and other parents also filled the room to bid Mohammed and his mother farewell. The ambulance arrived on time, but couldn't leave immediately while the farewells and final details were taken care of, and the emotions began to surface.

The sincerity and depth of the relationships formed between parents and staff is clearly seen on days like this as those special nurses and doctors (ICU head Sion Houri pictured above earlier today) come to send another life back to their family, in God's hands. Um Mohammed had great gratitude for those who'd attended her son for so long, and helped her learn how to cope, and how to help her son during these nearly six months in the hospital.

As we loaded the bags, and the ambulance attendant loaded Mohammed on board, we said our final goodbyes. Um Mohammed and I talked about how much we'd miss seeing each other, and I assured her we'd be praying for Mohammed and her, and their family. We are sure to keep in touch to assist with the long list of medications Mohammed needs which we'll send in to her from time to time because they are not available in the hospital where Mohammed is.

The need for finding and sending in these meds is one of our main prayer requests; already upon checking with Um Mohammed after their arrival at the hospital we find we'll need to send certain medication in this week. We are hopeful that Um Mohammed can get rest and find peace as she cares for her precious son. Please join us before God to ask for His hand to help in the lives of Mohammed and his family. Though the doctors are still doubtful about his long-term prognosis, there is no denying that he has recovered far beyond what once seemed possible.

Doctor Says Mohammed's Future Is Not Hopeful

Posted on Wed, 05/20/2009 - 01:00 by Donna_Petrel

I visited Mohammed this afternoon to spend some time praying for him and keeping him company while his mother is at home getting some rest and seeing her husband and older son. I asked one of the ICU doctors how things look for Mohammed at this point, and he was transparent in his answer. He said medically there seemed to be no hope a month ago when Mohammed had a major setback, yet two weeks ago he made a turnaround for the good. The plan was to wean Mohammed off certain medications and let him go home, but he again had a setback, and his complicated case makes it hard to know what will be next. With a sincere apology for what he had to tell me, he said the outlook for Mohammed's future is not hopeful. While not surprising, this is still heartwrenching news. Please join us as we continue to pray for Mohammed and his family with trust in our loving heavenly Father, even when we do not understand.

Mother Taking A Break

Posted on Tue, 05/19/2009 - 01:00 by Justin_Strong

Mohammed's mother is getting a much needed break from the tremendous anxiety of being in the ICU with Mohammed for so long. Mohammed will be under sedation for the next several days, so we secured permission to send his mom home to Gaza for a few days to see her family and to rest. She will be back by Mohammeds side on Friday.

Taking A Downturn--Urgent Prayer Needed

Posted on Fri, 05/08/2009 - 01:00 by Donna_Petrel
We have an urgent prayer request for Mohammed, who has been in hospital for more than three months. He had been slightly improved as of last week, but today has taken a downturn. Please continue to intercede for the mercy of God to intervene in his life. Pray specifically for his mother who is quite exhausted and discouraged. The report I just got from the hospital is that he is beginning to swell again, and the doctors do not know why.

The Weary Bedside Vigil

Posted on Thu, 04/09/2009 - 01:00 by Donna_Petrel

Donna and I found Mohammed's mother by his bedside tonight at the end of the first day of Passover. Wearily she told us that she had stood there since the morning, since Mohammed keeps his eyes fixed on her and cries if she even sits down. She's now been over two months in the hospital, and says everyone else has come and gone except her and Mohammed.

Mohammed's condition is still up and down, and he has had seizures attributed to blood clotting. Please would you pray with us for him and for refreshment for his mother; we spoke with her tonight about a short visit home to see her only other child, a fourteen-year-old son, if the father can come out to relieve her. She says that when Mohammed hears his father's voice on the phone he cries out as if to say, "Papa, come and take me!"

A Miraculous Turnaround

Posted on Mon, 04/06/2009 - 01:00 by Donna_Petrel

As soon as I saw Um (mother of) Mohammed today I knew that Mohammed was doing better. She has a smile on her face and light in her eyes again, and was with some of the other Palestinian mothers, helping with translation in the ward. She told me Mohammed was extubated and awake now in the ICU.

I last saw Mohammed at the end of last week and he was looking very bad at that time, unconscious, swollen, and on mechanical ventilation. Kirsten and I and two other women who were visiting prayed for Mohammed then, and for his mother too. She was very discouraged over the state of Mohammed's health, but very thankful to us for continuing to visit and to keep praying for her son. One of the things she said to me that day resonated with me and has been with me every time I think of them for prayer: "Part of my heart is here ..." as she pointed to her precious son lying there on the hospital bed in the ICU. I think every mother - every parent - knows this feeling about each of our children.

When I went into the ICU today, I could hear Mohammed crying before I reached the bed. "He is hungry, and wants to eat", Um Mohammed told me, "and the doctors say maybe this evening he can eat something." Until then she is allowed to give him sips of water from a syringe which are a temporary satisfaction for him.

I noticed immediately that his color is much better, and the swelling has lessened in his face particularly, and the rest of his body too. He was indeed awake, and both looked at me and reached for my hand and held onto my finger for a little while. He was trying to take off the oxygen mask which was on at that time, although he was wearing a nasal canula beneath it, and his oxygenation rate was 99-100%. He was telling his mother he was hungry, and was reaching out for her hand to hold.

It was very difficult for her not to be able to feed him, but she knew the doctors would tell her when Mohammed was ready to eat again. She was thanking God for his improvement.

One of my main concerns today was to spend time with Mohammed's mother to comfort and encourage her, and she was thankful for the visit, as was I. Please keep praying for Mohammed's total healing, a miraculous healing. Pray for Um Mohammed to know that this healing was from God alone, who sent His only Son to accomplish all that was required to bring forth this healing.

Sitting Up And Eating

Posted on Thu, 03/19/2009 - 00:00 by Dorothy_Finlay
My brief visit to Mohammed found him in the intermediate ICU and sitting up with his mother. I even caught a smile but not on camera. Please continue to pray for this little boy who is slowly recovering from the complications after surgery and whose toes of his left foot may need amputation due to the effect of clots.

Mohammed was talking with his mother in his own baby talk and she was more encouraged today with his progress.

Making Slow Improvement In ICU

Posted on Mon, 03/16/2009 - 00:00 by Dorothy_Finlay

My visit today to Mohammed from Gaza found him considerably improved. He was awake but restless. His mother sat beside him watching and attending to his every need. The blood clots from his superior vena cava are slowly disintergrating with treatment, and the skin in his lower legs is regenerating and healing.

Please continue to pray for a real breakthrough for this little boy. Pray he will soon be out of ICU and able to enjoy playing and eating normal food. Pray for the peace of God to rest on his gentle mother.

Urgent Need For Prayer

Posted on Tue, 03/10/2009 - 00:00 by Dorothy_Finlay
It has been some 14 days since I was able to visit Mohammed and I found him today still critically sick in the Wolfson ICU. He was connected to the ventilator
and deeply unconscious. His mother was very distressed and said she sat beside him all the time.
I was able to talk to Dr Khouri, head of the ICU, and he told me that Mohammed was not doing well but it was hoped he would pull through. He has clots in his venous system, mainly in his superior vena cava, the large vein which carries blood from his upper body. He said they were doing all they could and they were praying that he would be able to survive this severe complication.
Please undergird this little boy and his mother as they are alone here from Gaza and are very much dependent on the Shevet family to bring them before the Lord who is able to do more abundantly that we can ask or think. Please join our prayers.
There is no accompanying photo as I was instructed by staff not to photograph him at the time I was there.

Slowly Improving in ICU

Posted on Mon, 02/23/2009 - 00:00 by Donna_Petrel

Mohammed continues to slowly improve in the ICU as his mother continues her steadfast hope for his full recovery. I was thankful to discover today that he had eaten some soup by the time I arrived in the ICU, and a little later during another visit to the ICU, he was drinking some milk from a syringe. He seemed to be quite hungry and was not having any trouble swallowing or taking in this nourishment. This is a big praise to God as Mohammed has come a long way in the past couple weeks.

The nurse attending him updated me that today they reduced some of his meds, and that he is continuing to make improvement. His mother is concerned that he is not fully awake, but the nurse explained to me that as they've taken him off the sedation he was on before, they are slowly returning his body to full function, and the medication used for this also makes him sleepy. She also explained that the main concern now is for his leg which they're watching closely as it shows slow signs of improvement too.

Keep praying for little Mohammed Hamdan as he slowly recovers from his heart surgery. His mother needs prayer for continued strength as she attends her son all this time, as well as encourages the other mothers who are going through surgery with their children.