Ruba's Heart Surgery


Visiting Ruba at Home

Posted on Fri, 11/09/2007 - 00:00 by Autumn_Ridley

What a joy it was to see my little friend again and her aunt. As I walked into the sitting room I was greeted by all of the aunts, sisters, nieces and grandmother. They all expressed their appreciation to Shevet and that we were a part of saving Ruba's life. I told them that the all the praise belongs to the Lord not to man.

Once they brought Ruba into the room and I called her name, she began to look for me and came to me right away. This reminded me of the times I was at the hospital with her how she would come to me when I called her name. (Every time I enter the children's ward, I look for Ruba, but then I remember that she isn't there--she's at home and she's healthy.)

A friend of Shevet donated a wonderful toy for Ruba and she as well as her sister played with it the whole visit.

I asked to take pictures of Ruba and of course all of the family was so excited. I asked if I could have one with Rubas mother and Rubas aunt and they were both eager to have their pictures made.

Over and over they expressed to me their thankfulness to Shevet and how wonderful the Israeli team at Wolfson was.

I'm happy to know that Ruba is home now and well, even though I miss her. I do miss that beautiful smile but I'm so thankful that God provided the way and used us to help this baby and family. It's such a joy and pleasure to have the families in our care and when they are released to go home it's also a joy but at the same time there is sadness. While the families are with us, they become part of our family. We are there with them during the ups and downs. We are relieved to see that the child has had a successful surgery and will have a normal life, but it's sad when they are dismissed, because every day we aren't physically with them. We might not physically be with the children as they head back to Gaza or Iraq, but we have definitely left His fingerprints on their lives. We have peace in knowing that each day they breathe and walk it's from Him and He allowed us to be a part of this life-changing miracle. We have these families only for a short time and I'm thankful for every minute that I was able to share with Ruba and her aunt.

This experience has changed not only Ruba's life, but many more. Thank you for supporting Ruba over the past few months. Continue to pray that Ruba will grow and become healthy and strong. Her family sends their greetings and thanks.

Speechless Father

Posted on Thu, 10/25/2007 - 00:00 by Autumn_Ridley
Ruba is set and homeward bound. When I walked into her room today I was so happy to see her dressed up and waiting for the release papers to go home. Her aunt was very excited to be finally going home after the past few weeks being in the hospital. She is happy that Ruba is well and could go home but she has missed her own children a great deal. Her aunt had her dressed up today and her hair pulled back with hair bows and of course she had her wonderful smile on. When I went into the room and called her name she immediately looked up at me, smiled and motioned for me to come towards her. Once I was in front of her bed she held her arms out for me to pick her up. All of the staff at Wolfson commented on how much they are going to miss her. When we arrived at Erez we had to wait for a while because Israels security wasnt going to allow me and other patients inside because they said that we didnt have the correct documents and permission (which we did--it is just part of crossing in and out of Erez). So after making some phone calls we were finally allowed to enter. As we walked through Erez and finally met up with her father and uncle they were so overwhelmed. Her father just kissed her and I believe was speechless. They expressed their appreciation and were truly appreciative of what has happened to Ruba. I cant wait to see how she will grow up into a beautiful young lady and hopefully she will know that God savedher life and He has a purpose for her being here.


Playing, Laughing, Crawling

Posted on Wed, 10/24/2007 - 00:00 by Autumn_Ridley
Today I decided to purchase a flower for each mother, grandmother or aunt whom we are helping. When I walked into Ruba's room, her eyes sort of lit up when she saw the flowers. Ruba just loved playing with her flower. It was great getting to watch her play, laugh, crawl and just be a normal infant. It's hard to believe just a few days ago she was in ICU and now she is up moving around and now getting ready to go home. When her aunt heard the news that they would be going home tomorrow she was very excited. She told me that she is going to dress Ruba up for her parents to see. As I was holding her today I was so overwhelmed with how much she has changed in the past few weeks.

It's been great watching her play, laugh and having the energy to do things. I will truly miss this beautiful child. I am so thankful that God provided the way for us to be able to help save this life.

Back to Normal

Posted on Tue, 10/23/2007 - 00:00 by Autumn_Ridley
Ruba is doing very well today. When I dropped off our other Gaza patients at the clinic, to my surprise I saw Ruba and her aunt. Ruba had just had an echo and everything seemed to be great. Her aunt told me that she has been coughing a bit the past few days but she is doing well. Later on this afternoon I went by to visit with them for a bit. I was happy to find her in the children's ward instead of the intermediate ICU and she looked great. Her aunt wanted to eat her lunch with some of the others so I told her to go on and I would stay with Ruba. At first Ruba was crying and wanting her aunt but within a minute or so she was eager to laugh and play with me. We started playing with her stuffed animals and blocks. She had a wonderful time. I noticed today that her cry had a bit of a punch to it. Before, I could hardly tell if she was crying, but today I could tell that she was crying. I am so thankful to see her progress. She is back to normal with her beautiful smile and waving good-bye to everyone she meets. If she continues to do well and the coughing gets under control, her aunt told me that she will be able to return to Gaza within the week. Please keep her in your prayers.

Gaining Strength

Posted on Sun, 10/21/2007 - 00:00 by Donna_Petrel
Little Ruba was in the intermediate ICU today when I visited there, and she was happily eating a cup of chocolate pudding. Her aunt, who has cared so dearly for Ruba, was beaming with joy over Ruba's progress. Ruba seemed to be very peaceful, and is clearly regaining her strength as she was able to sit up in the bed with the help of her aunt. When she finished her pudding, she turned over and began to rest sweetly and quietly as if she knew that it was only a matter of time until she'd be back to her home ready for a new life. Thanks be to God! Let's pray that Ruba's healing is complete in record time so that we can soon show you pictures of her return to her parents at home.

Doing Well After Surgery

Posted on Thu, 10/18/2007 - 00:00 by Autumn_Ridley

As I walked into ICU after Rubas surgery on Tuesday my heart was broken for her aunt. The first time I saw Rubas aunt I thought for sure that she had to be the mother because of the love she had for this baby. As I visited with her yesterday and today, she stayed beside Ruba for hours and wouldnt leave. On Wednesday when I visited her in ICU she had not yet been extubated and she was very antsy and wanted to be moving around and playing. Today when I visited her they extubated her but she was under an oxygen dome. All in all she is doing really well after her surgery and the doctors are pleased with her progress. She might be moved into intermediate ICU tomorrow if everything continues to move smoothly. Donna and I prayed for Ruba and her aunt today before we left. Please keep them both in your prayers.

Waiting for Surgery

Posted on Fri, 10/12/2007 - 06:51 by Autumn_Ridley
This beautiful girl has stolen my heart. Her sound might be like the sound of a mouse but the joy flowing out of her sounds like a trumpet. She was supposed to have her surgery earlier this week but she was sick and they postponed it until Sunday. Her aunt is very tired and missing her family during the Ramadan holiday as well. As I was speaking with Ruba's aunt, I noticed a balloon beside the bed, so I began to play with Ruba. She would mimic my laugh and then I would mimic hers. She was just laughing and smiling. I leaned down to kiss her and then she was trying to reach me to return the kiss. She would lay down on her back and play with the balloon, and if she wanted to turn over, it would take a minute or so to do it and then she would be exhausted and wait a few seconds before she would start playing with the balloon again. She wanted to move around more quickly but she just can't do it yet. Please keep her and her aunt in your prayers. 

Soothed by Chocolate

Posted on Fri, 10/05/2007 - 00:00 by David_Hartman

It was a beautiful Israeli Friday morning, as we began our journey from Jerusalem headed in a south - westerly direction to the Gaza border crossing named Erez. We (Autumn and myself) had been called upon to transport Ruba Abed Abu Holy, a 10-month-old baby girl from Gaza. She was coming to Wolfson Medical Center for her open heart surgery. It is tentatively scheduled for Sunday or Monday of this next week.

After arriving at Wolfson Medical Center, which was unusually un-bustling, primarily because of the Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) Holy Day observance and many patients being sent home, if at all possible. We were kept busy with the details of getting little Ruba admitted. She was accompanied by her aunt (her father's sister). They had come to Wolfson about five months ago for Ruba's initial echocardiogram. The results had shown that her little heart had double outlets in the right ventricle, which created other problems within her heart. The doctors had determined that she needed some time to stabilize and gain some strength before she had surgery. She had now arrived to have these problems dealt with.

This seemingly long-coming appointment is with those Israeli doctors who, through the knowledge and wisdom God has given them, will attempt to transform a little Arabic child who has no hope of a normal life, into one that has every possibility to thrive and become the person God created her to be, fulfilling his purposes and plans for her life.

Although she did not like the initial restrictions placed upon her as the attending nurse tried to get her stats, she calmed down considerably when presented with some chocolate! Soothes me too in many situations!... Any of you readers relate!?!

By the time we departed, her admission was complete and she was headed for the x-ray lab and then, into a quiet night of rest. May it be so.

To you who are reading this, we beseech you to begin praying for Ruba, her family and the Wolfson medical staff as each prepares for the soon approaching surgery.