Ibrahim's Heart Surgery


The God of All Comfort

Posted on Sun, 03/13/2016 - 11:36 by MadelynMiles
"Your hands made me and formed me; give me understanding to learn your commands. May those who fear you rejoice when they see me, for I have put my hope in your word. I know, LORD, that your laws are righteous, and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me. May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant."
Psalm 119:73-76
It is with sadness, yet also trust in our Heavenly Father that we share with you the passing of Ibrahim. He had not been doing well following his transfer to a hospital in Gaza, and it was the Lord's will to take Ibrahim into his loving arms. 
Ruth wrote in a recent prayer update: "[Ibrahim's] father expressed his gratitude for all the help the family had received. He felt loved and well-cared for, even though his son did pass away eventually. Several of our co-workers had worked hard to help Ibrahim receiving the best care possible, and it has not been easy for them to see that the end result was not as they had hoped and prayed for. Yet, it is an honor and special calling to be an advocate for the voiceless and helpless. We ask you to pray for God's comfort and peace not only for the families that are mourning over the loss of ther beloved children, but also for our team. He cares and is near the broken-hearted."
God bless Ibrahim's family. May they draw close to the God of all comfort during this time of mourning. 

An Unexpected Journey

Posted on Wed, 02/24/2016 - 16:29 by Agnes Bruna

Yesterday, we were unexpectedly asked to organize an ambulance to take little Ibrahim back to Gaza. Ibrahim is now nearly 2 months old. He has undergone surgery and it looks like his cardiac problems have been repaired with his heart beating steadily with the help of an internal pacemaker. After failed extubation, a tracheostomy was done and his breathing is still done mechanically.

The doctors in Sheba feel they have done everything they can to help Ibrahim with their specialized skills. His further recovery is a combination of time and God's healing power. They are still not sure whether he has suffered any brain damage, but he seems to be fairly stable.
In view of all this, the decision was made that Ibrahim could be transferred back to a hospital in Gaza for further treatment and observation. This way he will be much closer to his family.This does not mean anyone has given up on Ibrahim. We are still praying for God's healing in this little life. We are also praying for the doctors and family in Gaza that they will have peace and will experience God's presence, wisdom, and protection while caring for Ibrahim.We appreciate your prayers for his life, too. 

Eyes Wide Open

Posted on Wed, 02/17/2016 - 22:15 by Jonathan Miles

Now 40 days in the hospital in Israel, tiny baby Ibrahim still lies in the ICU at the Sheba Medical Center, weighing just 2.5 kg (5.5 lbs) and still dependent on mechanical ventilation.

Doctors told us today they don't believe he'll be able to breathe naturally in the near future, and they are planning a tracheotomy tomorrow to at least get him off the ventilator.

They are also concerned about possible brain damage which may have occurred even before Ibrahim reached the hospital.

We're thankful Ibrahim is getting the best possible medical care in Israel. But we also told the father tonight that the solution won't come from the doctors; Ibrahim's healing will come from God, we pray, either now or in the resurrection.

Ibrahim's father proudly showed us a recent photo he took of his son alert and with eyes open. 

Let's take courage to believe in the great potential that still lies in the life of this little one, who cannot fall to the ground without the Father's knowledge.

"You Are My Brother"

Posted on Sun, 02/14/2016 - 16:01 by Laila
Thank the Lord, Ibrahim's health is improving and his blood pressure is stable. The doctors were trying for three days to raise the oxygen levels in his blood to see if afterwards Ibrahim could breathe on his own--with no medical intervention. However, after the three days, they tried to let him breathe on his own and he couldn't.  So for now, Ibrahim is still receiving medical help to breathe, but the doctors are hopeful, and will try again in another three days.
When I visited them in the hospital, Ibrahim's father started talking about coming to Sheba hospital and how meeting the staff has been a liberating experience. He knew before he came that the doctors in Israel are Jewish, and he was very afraid that they would not want to help him and his son because they are Palestinian. Now that he has been staying in the hospital for several weeks, he has learned so much about his Jewish neighbors. He said he was amazed how the medical staff all worked so hard to care for his son from the moment they arrived.
He recounted a story about a Jewish woman in the hospital. She and her husband stayed with him for 8 hours during Ibrahim's surgery. He continued the story saying that he doesn't speak Hebrew, and they don’t speak Arabic. The only words he could understand was when the Jewish man said "you are my brother" in Hebrew. This touched his heart deeply. And now they have really become brothers, because this Jewish couple has continued to visit Ibrahim and his father, spend time with them, and see if they need anything. This is such a beautiful picture of what "Shevet Achim" means and what we believe is God's vision for all people. We give God all the thanks and praise for this beautiful journey unfolding in the life of Ibrahim and his father! Please pray for Ibrahim, that he would grow stronger and would be able to breathe on his own very soon. 

A Heavenly Father’s Care Demonstrated in an Earthly Father

Posted on Thu, 01/28/2016 - 00:09 by Philip Rasmussen

One of the coldest mornings in Israel so far this year turned into a warm experience as we were welcomed by Ibrahim’s father at Sheba hospital today. We immediately sat down to get an update on Ibrahim and life at the hospital. I wanted to hear Ibrahim’s story in full length which was quite a task since his father would stand up again and again to go bring some hot drinks for Suhail and I. He finally got his will and brought the most delicious tea I’ve had in the Middle East so far. Ibrahim’s father is not just behaving according to cultural codex but has a genuine interest and care for people. It was obvious that he is loved by all the other patients in the pediatric unit and within a short time we were surrounded by a rather large group of people chatting and spending good time together.

After a while Ibrahim’s father took me into the ICU to get a glance of Ibrahim. A nurse was carefully making sure everything was alright with him and the medical equipment attached to him. Ibrahim’s situation is stable but he is still intubated and slowly recovering. Right now he is having an external pacemaker keeping his heart beat regular, but hopefully by tomorrow he will go through a small surgery providing him with an internal pacemaker. Small steps day-by-day are taken towards healing. The medical team are considering another operation in the near future, but it is not decided yet. 

Though Ibrahim’s father seems to consistently keep up a good mood he is struggling with being far away from his wife and seven children in Gaza for now almost three weeks and not having a foreseeable departure date. Still he is able to switch from talking about his struggles to suddenly helping a newly arrived grandmother from Gaza, escorting her grandson for heart surgery in Israel and carefully making her settle well in her new surroundings. He has a wonderful and grateful heart, and I’m thankful to the Lord for the nature of our heavenly Father reflected in him. 

A Child of the King

Posted on Tue, 01/19/2016 - 16:56 by jonathan

The intense fight for Ibrahim's life continues at the Sheba Medical Center. His chest was finally closed Sunday, and on Monday Suhail and our Gaza coordinator Laila spent four hours encouraging the father with our love and prayers.

It appears that Ibrahim will need further surgical procedures, including the placing of a pacemaker. No effort is being spared, and this little one is getting the same treatment that the son of a king or president would receive. So it is in the kingdom of God, where each life is precious because it is made in the image of God. 

Post-Surgical Visit

Posted on Thu, 01/14/2016 - 22:05 by Jesse Tilman

We returned to visit Ibrahim and his father today and saw his chest was still open from yesterday. During the visit we could see he was lying in bed with the chest cavity showing. It was surreal to be able to see into his beating chest.

His father is in good spirits and appreciated the time with us.

While we were there medical staff came and reevaluated Ibrahim and prepared to move him to another room where they will close his chest.

All his meds are lined up on the sides of his bed and it looks like a small arsenal of dispensers. We praise God for His good hand on this child.

Ibrahim's Immediate Surgery

Posted on Tue, 01/12/2016 - 20:40 by Jesse Tilman

Yesterday we went to visit Ibrahim and his father at Sheba Hospital. His father was chatting with other Arab patients and guardians in the children's cardiac center. He's an amiable man, and we soon had a good relationship going. He was very determined in serving us tea. After a while, we went to see Ibrahim in the ICU, and an Arab nurse came along, explaining everything to the father. They said Ibrahim was doing fine and there were no worries, and they had good hopes for a smooth surgery soon. He was intubated with loud breathing sounds for his small size.

It wasn't until we were headed out for lunch that we heard Ibrahim would be going into surgery that evening! We decided to stay and support the father during the time. Hours stretched on, though, and we got to know an Israeli friend the father had made, whose child is also in for care. They were happy to share a little bit of their burden with each other as they faced similar challenges. We had a family who needed a ride home through Jerusalem, and they were hoping to go soon. As it began to get dark, we decided to head home. Ibrahim's father thanked us for the time, and we headed out. We found out since then that the surgery was a difficult one, although they were already planning for that since it was a three-part surgery. They also had to deal with Ibrahim's blood pressure going high, and a defibrillator was called for at one point. The good news is that he is stable now. We hope and pray for the best!

Ibrahim rushed to Israel from Gaza

Posted on Sun, 01/10/2016 - 23:27 by jonathan

Ibrahim was born in Gaza this week with severe coarcation (narrowing) of his aorta. Without surgery to widen this blood vessel, he could not survive. 

By the time word reached us Thursday afternoon, government offices that could help arrange his transfer were closed for the weekend, and the hospital that accepts most emergency referrals from Gaza also informed us they had no space for Ibrahim.

Thank God, the Sheba Medical Center agreed to accept him at a discounted price. And our Laila and Agnes spent hours on the phone nailing down all the logistics to get Ibrahim to Israel. By Friday night at 6:45 he reached the hospital, where he is now being prepared for surgery.