Ali from Gaza in Critical Condition

Yesterday, a little boy from Gaza named Ali had open heart surgery...times two. He was the first case of the morning, indicating that his repair required a greater window of time to complete. After being admitted to ICU, several hours went by before an all-out emergency arose. Donna (fellow Sheveteer) and I were waiting to enter ICU around 6pm to visit another child, whose surgery had just finished. Two attempts to speak with an ICU nurse brought the same response: a resounding "NO!" and a door slammed shut. There was no way of determining what was taking place or who was involved. But this we knew: something was terribly wrong. Moments later, we discovered Ali was at the center of all the commotion. His mother, distraught and weeping, was surrounded by women of many backgrounds and faiths, each pleading to God for her son's life. She is the young woman on the far left in the photo below. 

One machine after another was ushered into ICU with a thoroughfare of medical staff. Ultimately, Ali's condition deteriorated to the point of needing CPR. After being resuscitated, the heart and lung machine was reconnected to his small body. Two hours later, the second surgery concluded. The only glimpse I caught of Ali last night was in a brief passing by his bed. Doctors and nurses continued to hover close by. Judging by his size, he looks to be around eight or nine months old. All I knew was that he was alive, though both the doctors and his mother wore grave expressions. 
 
Donna and I left the hospital thankful to God that Ali's life was spared and deeply affected by the trauma we witnessed. This morning, Dr. Iyal relayed to me Ali's current status. He survived a very difficult night and continues to require the support of a heart and lung machine to pump blood through his body. Dr. Iyal also stated, "We are optimistic, of course, but being on this machine is not good." The contrast of Ali's small frame surrounded by a brigade of machinery is an overwhelming site. It is a battle of David vs. Goliath proportion, but he is not giving up. 
I spoke with His mother in the limited Arabic I know, expressing our love and trust in God's care for Ali. As we continue to intercede for this baby and his frightened mother, I believe there is hope. This hope stems from a word spoken by Isaiah, long before the coming of Christ, our source of hope. It is said of Jesus in Isaiah 42:3, "A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out." And so, we wait, and pray, and trust that Ali's life is in capable and strong hands. 
 
Update from Monday August 1:

This morning I arrived to find Ali's mother sitting in the pediatric unit at Wolfson. Suhail (Shevet member) and I asked how Ali was doing today. She responded that her son is no longer in need of the heart and lung machine. This is excellent news, considering that two of his life-sustaining organs are now functioning on their own. His chest cavity still remains open, giving doctors quicker access for intervention if a problem arises. When I tried going into ICU to see Ali, I was told another child was undergoing surgery and no one could enter ICU. We hope to see Ali soon and give you more details on his current status. In the meantime, please keep praying for baby Ali, that he will grow stronger by the day and that God's mercy will rest on him. 

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