Yesterday I spent a lot of time driving and at the hospital. On Tuesdays we pick up new patients from Gaza and transport them to the hospital. Due to the political situation here, the kids and their parents from Gaza are not allowed to move about the country freely. Instead, we bring them directly from the border to the hospital and back after their procedure is completed. Yesterday we picked up a little girl, Halla, and her mother, and a little boy, Salah, and his father. I also had the opportunity to check on some of the other kids who are at the hospital long term, recovering from surgery.
Our first priority was to take the new kids upstairs so they could have "Echos". Best I can understand, this gives them an idea of how the heart is doing and a general idea of what they will need to do in the surgery. All of our mom's only speak Arabic so sometimes it is an adventure to find a translator for the Hebrew speaking doctors. At one point, a nurse, looking for a translator, motioned to me. "English?" she asked. "Yes." "You also speak Arabic?" "No." "Oh, never mind. You're worthless." Gee, thanks. I had to laugh. Her bluntness couldn't even be taken offensively because in that case she was right! I was of no help to her!
I also got a chance to check on some of our other kids who were down in ICU. Arina (one of our Kurdish girls) had surgery the day before and was in recovery. Another Gaza baby, Rahaf was in the ICU unit hooked up to a million machines and baby Besan was in the intermediate ICU recovering well after her surgery on Sunday.
But I made sure to spend a little extra time with Monsour and his every faithful Grandmother. His eyes were wide open and he was very observant of everything around him. The nurse was just finishing bathing him and redressing his wounds when I walked up. After she had gone, his grandmother and I stood by a while longer. At one point she pulled out a kids book. "Oh cute!" I thought. "She is going to read him an Arabic book." As she opened the page I almost died laughing. "Monsour," she said, "Fish." She had opened an English "Under the Sea" book that had illustrations on one page and a largely printed English word on the other side. This woman doesn't speak any English... or so I thought. Apparently she does know the word "fish"! She propped the book up by his bedside and walked away for a bit. Monsour's big eyes focused on the page. He seemed to be intently studying this word and picture! Not only is this baby brave, but he is also smart.
- Monsour went home to Gaza today! This is a praise because it means he is well enough to be taken care of at a hospital near his home. However, his grandma is worried he will not get the same quality of care there. We continue to keep him in our prayers.
- Arina had surgery Monday. She is recovering and in a lot of pain.
- Kosar had a catherization yesterday. He may come home in the next couple days or be kept at the hospital for surgery.
-Hezhan had an 11 hour surgery today! At 22 years old, many of his heart defects were much more serious than they would have been for a small child. The next couple days will be critical as we wait to see how his heart responds.
- Chera is waiting and waiting and waiting. Both the girl and her mother have been through a roller coaster of emotions as we wait for the doctors to call her in.