Sama's Heart Surgery


The Grand Sum of Humanity

Posted on Wed, 03/30/2016 - 21:09 by Brenda Hofer

This morning in our community time of worship we were told that our sweet and precious little Sama had passed away in the night. Suhail, Berith, and I started our journey shortly afterward to bring Sama and her grandma home to Gaza. In these agonizing moments of life, I take comfort in God's embrace.  Psalm 34:18 says, "The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."

We do not understand why God chooses to give life to some children, and to take others away to heaven. But, the one thing we know is that God is good. He had a plan for Sama's life, and with that He is accomplishing His purposes for her right now. We have a limited perspective here on earth, whereas God - not limited to time or anything else - sees the grand sum of humanity. So, we praise God that Sama is with her Heavenly Father in a fully restored body and spirit running and playing with Yeshua.

The actual event was a smooth transition from picking up the necessary paperwork, consoling Sama's grieving grandma, picking up Sama herself, and transporting the two to Gaza. The grandma was dressed in all black, and I tried to comfort her as best as I could. All that I could offer her were hugs and tissues. I told her I was so sorry for her loss, and that I would continue to pray for the family. I told her Sama was a beautiful baby girl. I hope these things were a comfort to her. Would you please pray with me for Sama's family that God would give them His peace and that He would reveal Himself to them to meet their needs in this time.

Holding on to Hope

Posted on Thu, 03/24/2016 - 23:46 by Brenda Hofer

Lewis and I arrived at Sheba hospital this afternoon to see how baby Sama is doing. Lewis said he would stay in the waiting room, so to not overwhelm the ICU staff with our presence. I met two nurses (whom I hadn't seen before) who eventually allowed me in to see her.  I was shocked to see Sama's condition so deteriorated from the last time I saw her. I was able to speak with the doctor who is the head of the ICU and he was really kind. I tried to keep in the tears, but they came bursting forth as I was trying to find out what was happening inside her little body. He told me this is a very hard thing to see a baby in this condition (which is why we've chosen to leave this blog without pictures for the time being).

He said her liver and kidneys are not working, and in addition she has a bacterial infection, and even worse a fungal infection that is very stubborn to treat. I asked him what are the chances of her making it through, and he said confidently that she can survive this. Honestly, it was really hard to look at her, and all I could think of was to pray "Yeshua, please help her." After I left her room, Lewis and I were able to visit with Sama's grandma, too, who looked very tired. We sat with her a while, and prayed for healing and strength. Even though Sama's condition does not look good, we still have hope in God because He is the giver of life. We trust that He has Sama's best interests in hand, and He has a perfect purpose and plan for her life. Psalm147: 11 says "the LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love." We commit Sama's life into the loving Father's hands.

Critical Condition

Posted on Sun, 03/20/2016 - 17:44 by Sue Ingersoll

Miriam, Brenda, and I visited Sheba Medical Center today. We first saw Sama’s grandmother who gave us all hugs. The grandmother is very tired since she has been at the hospital for many days now. We later heard Sama has several infections and her liver continues to have complications.

The doctors are working with Shevet for Sama’s mom and dad to come visit her. Please join us in praying for this sweet baby who is in critical condition. 

God's Perfect Timing

Posted on Wed, 03/16/2016 - 20:48 by Sue Ingersoll
Rebekah, Lewis, and I (accompanied by David and David, visitors from China) journeyed to Sheba hospital today. After we arrived, Rebekah went into the ICU to check on Sama while I spent some time praying with Sama's grandmother. We also shared a tray of Arabic sweets with her grandmother.
Sama has a liver problem so she has a tube to drain fluid, and her skin is jaundiced.  The nurse said he needed agreement from Shevet to pay for a financial increase as change of medication needed.  While I was giving him contact information so he could call Shevet, the pharmacy called back and agreed to pay for the increase.  We praise God for that!  We do need to continue in prayer for Sama as her condition wasn't as good as we expected it to be. 
We were ready to leave the waiting room and go back to Jerusalem, when Rebekah turned and asked a couple sitting there if their child was also a patient here.  They said yes, their son was in surgery at that moment, and they lived in Ramallah.  All 7 of us held hands and prayed aloud in our own language.  As we were leaving the building 15 minutes later, that same dad walked by with a big smile on his face.  His son was coming out of surgery in 5 minutes.  We thank God for how he orchestrated His perfect timing today, and we pray for His mercy  on Sama's physical body--that He would heal her and restore her. 

Good News for Sama!

Posted on Sun, 03/13/2016 - 21:58 by Sue Ingersoll

When we arrived at Sheba hospital, the 2 year-old boy named Islam was in surgery for heart repair.  We prayed with his grandmother as well as with the grandmother of Sama. May the Good Shepherd watch over these young lambs.  

There is good news about Sama.  Nurses were waiting for the doctors to move her into the operation room to close her chest.  Therefore, we were not allowed into the I.C.U.  Nurses were trying to wean her off some medicines, but her blood pressure was dropping.  Her kidneys are now working. Praise the Lord for her chest being closed and for her functioning kidneys! Please join us in praying for her recovery. 

Stable Condition

Posted on Thu, 03/10/2016 - 20:38 by Christelle Fonjallaz

Today we went to meet Sama and her grandmother with a volunteer crew. We didn't spend lot of time with them but I think the grandmother was happy about our presence, being able to talk a little bit and just share some smiles.  
There is nothing really new about Sama's condition; she seems to be stable. It really moved me to see a little baby of eleven days in this condition. We are praying that her recovery will be fine and for her grandmother who is really courageous. We ask you to please join us in praying for them. 

Little Sparrow Not Forsaken

Posted on Wed, 03/09/2016 - 22:38 by Ruth Zellweger

Sama before surgery

Brenda and I headed early this morning to Tel Aviv to be on time for Sama's surgery. Sama was still in her room in the ICU when we arrived and we took some time to sit with her grandmother and entrust this little girl into God's hands. Yesterday we had been encouraged to see that her condition had improved, but today it seemed that it had taken a turn for the worse again. Due to Sama's severe heart problem, she had gone into multiple organ failure, which especially affected the liver and kidneys. Not a good prognosis at all. But we know a God who cares deeply for the helpless, and to that truth we wanted to hold on to. 

A little after eight o' clock Sama was wheeled into the operation room and our waiting time began. It was not easy for her grandmother. She would not eat or drink and seemed very tense. From time to time she would leave the room to pray. We all were very suprised when the surgeon Dr. Saraf appeared after only three hours informing us that the heart repair was successful. They had opened up the narrow part of the aorta and closed some holes in the heart. The doctors had decided to leave the chest open for a couple of days in order to intervene quickly if necessary. Due to the earlier mentioned organ failure, Sama's liver was bleeding and so she had to be monitored for some time in the OR before she was allowed to return to the ICU. This turned into two more hours of waiting, but then Sama was finally wheeled into her room in the ICU. When I saw her a little bit later, she looked so vulnerable and fragile in the big hospital bed, hooked up to so many machines. But I am so thankful to know that God is watching carefully over her. 

Precious Sama still has a long way ahead of her, but she is not walking it alone, because "she is not forgotten by God". (Luke 12:6)

Thank you for interceding with us for little Sama and her family. May God's peace be present in the hospital, and especially in Sama's room.


Scheduled for Surgery

Posted on Tue, 03/08/2016 - 22:00 by Brenda Hofer

Ruth and I were able to visit Sama and her grandma today. When I saw Sama, I was pleasantly surprised.  It looked like her swelling had gone down. Apparently enough so that she is scheduled for surgery tomorrow morning.  I thank God for His goodness in providing an amazing medical staff and technology to aide Sama in her first few days of life. It was incredible to watch the nurses and doctors gently and lovingly care for her. Please join me in prayer for a sucessful surgery tomorrow.

Meeting Sama

Posted on Sun, 03/06/2016 - 21:26 by Miriam Svensson

Last week we got information about a newborn girl in Gaza who needed help. Sama had been born only a few days earlier with a severe coarctation of the aorta. This means that the major blood vessel that is supposed to lead blood from the heart to the whole body is too narrow. Sama was in need of urgent care, and after contact with Sheba Hospital they accepted her as their patient. Our coworkers coordinated the transport there via ambulance and she was admitted on Thursday evening.

Today Brenda and I had the opportunity to visit little Sama. We first met her grandmother who was having lunch with some of the other guardians in the children's ward at Sheba. She then followed us to the pediatric ICU so we could see her granddaughter. Sama is still in serious condition. She has not had surgery yet since the doctors wanted her to stabilize first. Her whole body is swollen due to her failing heart, and the nurse also told us that her blood pressure is very high. 

Please pray with us for this precious baby! May the good Lord to sustain her life and help her make it through the upcoming surgery. We know that His hands are mighty to do wonderful things.