Nadeem's Heart Surgery

The Gaza Strip

Seeking God in our Suffering

Posted on Wed, 12/06/2017 - 01:00 by Elwira Kromer
"Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep." Romans 12:15
Yesterday, when I looked at the schedule for the next day, I wasn't happy to read that I should go with my co-worker to Sheba hospital to visit Nadeem. I wasn't pleased to do this because we had heard the news that Nadeem was not doing well, and may not live much longer. I have some experience with dying people but never with a child - that was unknown to me. I know that this is a part of my service, to support the families through both joy and sorrows, even if I can't talk to the families in their language. So I prepared myself mentally and emotionally for the task. But I admit that today was my most difficult day at Shevet since I arrived. Today we got the news that Nadeem passed away.
It was a big challenge for me. I can not imagine how the family is feeling right now. The parents were not able to come to Israel. They sent their son to Israel with his grandma, and with hope that heart surgery could save his life. But we know that even with the incredible medical care offered in Israel, sometimes the Lord, in His wisdom, takes some home to Heaven. This morning I was crying and praying for Nadeem's family in Gaza but also for all the other families here, for the hospital staff, and all the volunteers at Shevet Achim. We are all affected in some way. 
We departed to the hospital, and the Shevet staff who remained continued to pray. After a while I began to feel peace. I understood that this innocent child is now in eternity with God, and through this knowledge, I was able to have trust and peace.
When we arrived at the hospital, I was surprised how the grandma was reacting. I didn't see any feelings and I didn't know what was going on in her mind. She seemed to be very strong. In the ICU everything was prepared. It was not easy to see and carry the blue bag with the blanket on top. Our job was to escort Nadeem and Grandma back to the Gaza border. On the way, Grandma talked about their family, and told me about Nadeem's older brother who was born with a cleft lip that they hope to have surgically repaired. Nadeem's mother lost a baby girl in her womb previously. Their family has suffered so much. Let us pray especially for this family, that it wasn't without reason that they came to Israel. Let us pray that the family will seek God in their suffering to find His perfect hope and redemption. 
"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, since you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."
1 Corinthians 15:58

Trusting in the Lord

Posted on Mon, 12/04/2017 - 23:21 by Alexa Bigl

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make our paths straight."

These words from Proverbs are the words we need to choose to live by in all circumstances. Beautiful and blessed circumstances as well as difficult and depressing circumstances. For baby Nadeem, the situation is not good. His little body is shutting down and the glimpses of hope previously seen are dwindling. The team at Sheba has spoken with Nadeem's grandmother and his parents about some big decisions and while current interventions to save his life will continue for now, additional steps (increased intervention) will not be taken at this time. So Nadeem's family has chosen not to withdraw care, but they want to conservatively continue fighting for their baby's life through medical interventions. The doctor I spoke to today for an update said it will be truly a miracle for the situation to turn around. But we submit to the Lord and lean on Him as we understand He is indeed a God of miracles. 

I could see Nadeem is retaining fluid and is on a more intense type of ventilation now. His vital signs were stable during my visit and his quiet room seemed to be filled with a peace, despite the sadness. As I prayed over him, I felt very strongly the importance of having many voices calling out to the Lord for Nadeem. So, please join us in praying. May his family find comfort in the midst of their pain and may Nadeem be free from physical discomfort. We also step out in faith and pray healing over little Nadeem; may God's name be lifted high through a restoration of this baby boy, amen.  

Pray for Nadeem

Posted on Thu, 11/30/2017 - 12:09 by Alexa Bigl
When our team arrived at Sheba to support Nadeem's grandmother on his surgery day, we were surprised to learn the surgery was cancelled. Nadeem had become unstable last night and remained unstable this morning and early afternoon. It seems his entire little body is struggling. The medical team is working very hard to help Nadeem. They cannot proceed with the plan for his heart surgery until he stabilizes some. Please join us in praying for him. It's difficult for his grandmother also. She was encouraged by the good news from yesterday but very worried and upset today due to her grandson's turn for the worse. 
With this news we find hope in the words of Scripture, "For in You, O Lord, I hope; You will hear, O Lord my God" (Psalm 38:15). Lord, may Nadeem and his grandma find hope in being heard by You, amen. 

The Grace of God

Posted on Tue, 11/28/2017 - 23:29 by Alexa Bigl

Today I had the opportunity to visit Nadeem and his grandmother for some time. When I first headed in to see precious Nadeem the nurse was there and updated me on his situation. While still intubated, he is starting to respond to the therapeutic treatment of his liver and lungs. While the progress is small, the team is encouraged and have scheduled Nadeem for his heart surgery tomorrow! His grandma was very excited for this news and praised God for restored hope. 

Nadeem's grandmother was so sweet explaining to me how she is praying for all of us helping children receive heart surgeries. She was also repeating many times how wonderful the hospital staff is. I am honored how the Lord chooses to use us and the opportunities given to know people like Nadeem and his grandma. 

I got to learn some about the grandmother's family today also. She has 3 daughters and 4 sons and all of her kids have given her grandsons. Nadeem has an older brother, Waseem, and his mom is struggling being away from her newborn son. Please join us in praying for Nadeem's mother as she continually cries over her son who is far away from her. Nadeem's grandmother also needs prayer. Since a surgery she had some time ago, she is dependent on a special vitamin and has a very limited diet she can eat from. We are working to help get more of her vitamin, as she has run out, and we are praying she is able to find appropriate food choices at the hospital. She will certainly need to keep up her strength during this vital period for her beloved grandson. 
Thank you for joining us in praying for tomorrow's successful heart surgery and the continued positive response of Nadeem's liver and lungs to treatment. 

Saving Nadeem's Life

Posted on Sun, 11/26/2017 - 21:58 by Alexa Bigl

Now 7-day-old Nadeem is safely at Sheba Medical Center. We learned about his case on Thursday from our partner doctors in Gaza and knew this was a very urgent case. On Friday, all the paperwork was sorted and Nadeem was rushed to Israel in an ICU ambulance. He is intubated and on special medications for his heart that are keeping him alive. The valve and blood vessel leading from his heart to his lungs is unnaturally closed and only due to a small hole can his lungs receive blood for oxygenation. 

Our team went to visit Nadeem today at Sheba's cardiac ICU. Upon getting an update from doctors there, we learned little Nadeem is indeed in great need of prayer. At this point, his heart is not operable due to other issues going on; his lungs and liver are not functioning properly. The doctors plan to see if they can treat Nadeem's lungs and liver before moving onto a plan for open-heart surgery. 
The full workup of what is going on is still underway so we are waiting to hear all the details for tiny Nadeem. But we know God, our creator, knows all that is going on with this baby boy. We pray for His healing and we call upon the name of Yeshua for Nadeem's life to be saved. Thank you for joining us in praying over this difficult situation; for Nadeem and for his family.