Gaza Children's Heart Surgery

Gaza Children
Paid in full

Long-Termer Rafif Going Home!

Posted on Wed, 05/23/2018 - 20:32 by Jesse Tilman

Little Rafif is finally going home to Gaza! After more than 2 months in special care at the ICU, she is now being discharged. She's gained weight, held on through multiple infections, and slept through most of it. Guardians that have come have stayed short amounts of time and put in every effort to care for her. The hospital staff provided round the clock care and special attention to fatten her up and get her free from infections.

We were hoping to send her to her house where there is less chance of her getting or receiving infections. But she is going to a hospital in Gaza.  She does need the care. So thank you for joining us in praying she can grow. Her young body can make it, but she has a long road ahead. 

The staff gathered around as Rafif was prepared to go. A few took pictures as we chatted excitedly. A little extra attention and some last smiles and we said goodbye to her. A Palestinian ambulance had come down from Jerusalem to take her to the border.

A Song of Ascents
 When Yahweh brought back those who returned to Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing. Then they said among the nations, “Yahweh has done great things for them.”  Yahweh has done great things for us, and we are glad.  Restore our fortunes again, Yahweh, like the streams in the Negev.  Those who sow in tears will reap in joy.  He who goes out weeping, carrying seed for sowing, will certainly come again with joy, carrying his sheaves.

Psalms 126:1-6

Five plus One at the Gaza Clinic

Posted on Tue, 05/22/2018 - 23:46 by Jesse Tilman

Five families came up for echocardiograms this morning. 

Raav is an almost five year old who received surgery at 7 months. She smiled occasionally and enjoyed a bouncy ball. She will return to Gaza today. 

Anas is a year and a half now and over 8 kilos. He's already had surgery and is back for a checkup. He's being admitted for a further  Glenn surgery. 

Mohammed  Z. comes in at  5 and a half kilos and is doing well. He's being admitted for a catheterization. 

Maria is being admitted for surgery soon. 

Sham is a one year old little girl that came for an echocardiogram. She will return home today. She'll be back soon for a catheterization in preparation for surgery. She cried at the sight of me at first. 

So we had three admissions and two returnees.

Naim came after 3 o'clock for a follow-up  echo. He good naturedly posed for photos.

Our other children from Gaza that are in the hospital are coming along step by step.

Rafif has had many infections. She's been in and out of intubation, but has been on her longest stretch now of about a week staying out of anesthesia.  Visitors came by today, a fundraiser from California being shown around by SACH staff and doctors. Rafif's had many near death experiences. Isolation has been her place, they are making sure no one else gets the infection. We were talking about sending her home today, but settled on tomorrow so that we have time for the paperwork and logistics. The infection has been a concern of the staff for the rest of the patients for a while and they are looking forward to moving Rafif out.

Mahmoud is still in ICU as well. He had his magnesium and calcium ranges brought to balance. They are planning to perform an ECG and start some oral feeding soon if he can handle it. He's still under isolation with an infection as well. 

Sali is recovering in the secondary ICU. 

Ismail is still in the ward, he's looking at having surgery this week.

Doctors Basher, Faez, and Yasmin  came as well to meet with a delegation from the UN that visited in the morning. It was good to see them again. 

Three Discharges Today

Posted on Thu, 05/17/2018 - 22:53 by Jesse Tilman

Three of the Gaza kids went home today.

Lian, Ahmed, and Mahmoud all were able to make the trip. Mohammed also we thought was going to go but at the last moment the doctor saw another test result and decided to keep him for another day.
Ahmed doesn't want pictures, but the other guys smiled for some. We spent some quality time with them and were glad to be part of their lives.

Gaza Clinic on Nakba Day

Posted on Wed, 05/16/2018 - 04:44 by Co-authored

Seven families came today and a few were already here. Others came later and we had another child come by way of Ramalla first. It was a little strange doing the healing clinic on Nakba Day as people in Gaza were protesting and getting hurt and dying. But there is faith and trust in the works of God. He is in control.

Ahmad Zimo's guardian didn't want his picture taken. He's an active young guy and really put up a fuss during an EKG. It's a check up that doesn't hurt at all, but I think the wires on his bare chest were disconcerting and/or brought back some rough memories. He was admitted after the echo for a catheterization.
Zeyad tried out some hand signs as we took pictures. He's a cool young guy and enjoyed the time today. 
Little Lama was born only last December, so is now about 5 months old. She was actually scheduled to get admitted forg her heart surgery today according to her files, but this sweet girl is too young still.
She will come back in a couple of months when she is old enough for the surgery. Besides that, she is an adorable little baby. Laughing and smiling all the time, she had a lot of fun today and finally fell asleep in my arms. It was a long day for her, that made her so tired. 
Maha is a lovely little girl with a stern face. She just had an echo today and went back to Gaza. 
We got to see Marwa again. She was a special child we got to spend time with for a few weeks before. She's doing well now and it was great to be able to reconnect with her and her grandmother.
It took a while to coax a smile from her but after her grandmother showed us a coloring page she had filled in we found that she enjoyed signing her name on it in Arabic first and then even English with a little help. 
Sali is a girl, that catches your eye at the first sight. She is about 1.5 years old, but has a very self-confident, mature and joyful charisma.
She was admitted today for her first heart surgery, even though she has been at the hospital before for some other heart treatments. Let's pray for that cute girl, that God may bless her and save her life and her soul. 
Lian also had an echo and then was admitted and went with me for an x-ray. Her quiet guardian very humbly asked for help here and there.
She had on a funny Mini-Mouse shirt. 
Ismail from Gaza came to the clinic later, a bigger boy.
He had gone to Ramallah first and then was directed to Wolfson hospital in Tel Aviv when the seriousness of his case was better known. He's on the list for a surgery soon. 
We found Rafif peering around in a tan beenie hat from the isolation room of the children's ICU.
It was good to see her (!). My apologies for previous blogs that spoke of her as a male. She was awake and very actively taking in her surroundings. 
Baby Mahmoud was also still in ICU. He was also under isolation and overcoming some infections. Hopefully we'll see him heal up and move out soon. 
No one from Gaza is in the secondary ICU right now, but we found a few in the ward. 
An old friend Ahmad was there from well. It was good to see him.
Pre-teen Mahmoud was there as well, though we didn't see him on our first time through; I think he was in the children's room out in the play area. He was doing better than when I saw him in the secondary ICU. We played some mini-racketball before saying goodbye. I didn't get any photos today, but her's some from a few days ago. 
Sophia and her sister Anastasia were a big help at the clinic. With so many kids, it's a lot to be a part of. Yousef of course was running the show and keeping up on the opportunities also. Praise the Lord for His Abundant Grace for everyone there, Gazan, local, American, German, from the West Bank and more!
Written by: Jesse Tilman and Sophia Vogt

Our Gaza Kids

Posted on Mon, 05/14/2018 - 19:20 by Rodney Stuart
We found Mohammed in the ward totally absorbed in his video game on his mum's phone. "He's doing well," the nurse said, "And he may be discharged tomorrow if his echo results are good." However, his mother is worried about the current crisis at the Gaza border and the general lack of medical care there. She really wants Mohammed to stay in Israel until next week.
Mahmoud's dad found us in the aisle and escorted us to his son. Mahmoud had taken leave of the ward and was down in the activity room engaged in a colouring-in activity. He was happily engaged with the red and blue felt-tipped markers bringing his action-man cartoon figure to life.
Little Rafif was still in the ICU isolation room. He had been extubated and according to the doctor had been stable through the night. His SATs were good, he was alert and moving and the doctors said, "We hope his overnight progress will continue."

Update and 3 Returnees

Posted on Sun, 05/13/2018 - 19:11 by Jesse Tilman

Seba is going home! After an extended time at the hospital and a last echo today, Seba has been cleared according to her health to return home. She had a long report history to go over and prepare before they could discharge her, but it was methodically worked through and updated. It was good to see them returning. 

Jana was a maybe to return and is now for sure. She had an echocardiogram and was approved. We drove them to the border this evening. 
Nagha as well had an echo after the others and received a clean bill of health to exit the hospital. She was the third in our van going to the Erez crossing point. 
Mahmoud is in secondary ICU and recovering. His cheerful guardian helps out around the hospital as he walks around.
Mohammed is in the secondary ICU and doing well. His guardian was asking the doctors about if he is mentally challenged. They didn't think so , but they will do some tests, they were considering genetics. 
Rafif is to be extubated once more. Please pray with us for it to stick and him to stay in a good condition of consciousness.  
Little Mahmoud has been there a few days in the ICU after surgery. His guardian is worried about him and asked a lot of questions, saying he's been there 4 days, but he's doing fine. Hopefully soon he'll be out to the ward.
It's good to see the patients progress and well-being. Some going home healed right before Nakba, might soften some radicalists' hearts as well and help along the peace process.

Precious Kids

Posted on Tue, 05/08/2018 - 18:24 by Jesse Tilman

Five kids made it through the border this morning. Most are young, babies. One is over a year old. Others came later.

Two of the candidates to come are for surgeries soon and one was for a catheterization, though he wasn't able to come.
Omar we've gotten to know before. He's doing well and just getting a follow-up echo.
Huda came with her guardian taking careful watch over her. She was held closely like a fragile treasure. She's one of the patients scheduled for surgery after an echo today and was admitted to the ward.
Mahmoud also is on the list for surgery. He actually went to sleep during the echo on his own, no need for medicine. His guardian was gently bringing him though the echocardiogram process.
Faris is the one and a half year old in a red plaid shirt. With his echo looking good, he'll go home.
Seif is a lively kid, his guardian kept him occupied on his back with a plastic bag that rustled as she moved it. He'd chirp now and then as he batted it. His echo also looked good. I got to hold him for a while and enjoy his cheer. 
Our older current Mahmoud is in ICU. He's awake and recovering; he winces all the time, but he's getting healthier. His dad is watching over him. It's a struggle for him there, but he's doing the best he can for his son. 
Jana as well is in ICU and waving the one arm she has out of the bedsheets swaddling her, saying hi to each passerby.
And Rafif is in the isolation room there. He got a clean up while I was around. No big changes for him yet. 
Nagha is in the secondary ICU and guarding her stuffed animals closely. It reminded me of bringing some more of our stock of mini-bears to give to the kids. 
Seba is in the ward and sleepily drinking milk. She has a few more days here to make sure she's on track.
Rania arrived later after 2:40pm. She was diagnosed with d-TGA and Dr. Basher, in attendance today, questioned whether this was the correct diagnosis as she does not show the symptoms of low oxygenation such as a blue color on the extremities. Dr. Sagi said it could sometimes be like this. We'll find out. 
Mohammed, a young boy, is another referral case originally from Gaza but who went to Ramalla first and then was sent over here by a Bethlehem doctor. He's being admitted for surgery. The doctors here are getting known for their skill with hard cases. 

At Work On Our Gaza Children

Posted on Sun, 05/06/2018 - 23:17 by Jesse Tilman
We went to catch up on our Gaza children this morning. A few surgeries have taken place, one is ongoing, and another is scheduled for the afternoon.

Seba is in the ward. She's doing well gaining strength. She's at 2.6 kilos now, still on oxygen and stomach feeding. Her aunt feeds her a lot and is saying they might go home in a week.

Rafif is looking at a surgery this week. He's our regular in ICU.
Jana is online for surgery today! Her bed is in the hallway where her guardian is waiting patiently. As we were leaving, she went in to have some blood drawn.
Dalya went home on Friday after her CT scan was completed.
Mahmoud is in surgery this morning after a few days of waiting. We're glad for him!
Nagha went for surgery the day after the clinic last week. She's finishing up in ICU now, hopefully out soon to the ward. She's a smiling, rolling handful for her guardian!
A friend, Tim from Jerusalem, came along and brought some cheer to the ward. He's volunteering on some weekends and is a fresh face for the families.

Gaza Clinic Day

Posted on Tue, 05/01/2018 - 18:30 by Co-authored
Jesse Tilman writes:
We were back to the regular swing of the Gaza Clinic today. Six children were able to come out with two being admitted for procedures soon. It was a fun day and good getting to see many of the staff at the hospital.
Jana who came yesterday did not go for surgery today as planned but will hopefully go soon.
Nagha, a child from Gaza came by way of Ramalah. She wasn't able to get the treatment she needed there and has since come here.
Rafif, sadly, was reintubated after cardiac arrest and may need a tracheostomy for the throat issues.
Seba is healing in the ward. Her aunt who came yesterday said she has some stomach problems.
Abd, the young man, got his follow-up echo and afterward took some aerobic tests. He's full of hope and doing well.
Hozaifa, a brown-haired boy, took his time through the various checks and only cried a little during the echo.
Wasim was swaddled and quiet for the ride. His grandmother was kind and thankful.
Mahmoud was admitted for surgery tomorrow. 
Souzan is already a woman in her twenties who came with her relative almost like a holiday out of Gaza for the day to get her echocardiogram.
Beautiful Dalia came as well. She's a teen girl admitted for CT scan.
Georgia Willcocks continues:

Dahlia and her mum waited patiently for her appointment at clinic today. Google translate helped us to chat about our families together and shared some photos. We were told that she will be staying in the hospital tonight. 

We met with a lovely lady who donated many bags of clothes to the families. She was familiar with the families as she has met them before and helped out. 

Rafif in the ICU is being watched over by a friendly nurse. He required adrenaline following another arrest, and is reintubated following another unsuccessful attempt to extubate and so a tracheostomy is being considered. 

Thank You Lord for Your mercy on these dear people.

Three Gazans Finding Health

Posted on Mon, 04/30/2018 - 00:18 by Jesse Tilman

Three children from Gaza are finding health this week at the hospital. Rafif and Seba have been there some time and Jana was admitted this morning. We checked on some DNA work for a child's parents from Kurdistan who came a few years ago as well. We'll talk with a DNA doctor tomorrow about it.

Good news for Rafif! He is extubated since yesterday and actively looking around and moving his limbs.
He is off one medicine at least. It's great to see him doing well. The doctors were visibly happy. His respiratory infection is not showing although he will be a carrier of it for up to a year. We'll see if a guardian can come to be with him soon.
Seba also gave us some good news, she's out of ICU! Her guardian came this morning and is now by her side. 
Jana also came this morning and is admitted now for heart surgery soon, hopefully tomorrow.
The flow of business is ticking over like clockwork and the ICU is beginning to get back to normal after our long term kids Rafif and Seba are healing up a measure and moving out. Thank You God for Your faithful love!