A nervous little Hani got into the van this morning
to depart for the hospital. This perceptive little girl has put 2 and 2
together. Getting into the van means we are probably going to the hospital.
Going to the hospital is scary. Therefore, the van is to be avoided at all
costs. But she still remained calm throughout the whole ride and even had a
smile on her face when we entered the play room at the hospital. Toys are
always exciting and we had a fun time climbing in and out of the little
playhouse while we waited her turn. Mohammed on the other hand could not be
pleased today. He does not like car seats. Or hospitals. Or echoes. Or doctors.
We did everything possible to get him to smile. This was achieved frequently,
but only for brief periods. Once he again realized the horrible situation he
was in, the wails of protest resumed.
Both children's worst fears were
confirmed when the doctors called them in and placed themon the echo table.
Their protests could be heard echoing down the hallway, despite the closed
door. For Hani, her mother and Shevet staff member, Ruth, were at her side to
calm and sooth her through the echo. Thankfully it did not last too long and
the result is excellent news! The doctors announced Hani has "trace"
amounts of fluid around her heart which they consider to be
"trivial"! Since she is doing exceptionally well they are reducing
her medication significantly and plan on taking her off it all together in
three days. They expect that next week will be her final echo and she will be able
to return home! Mohammed was also accompanied by his mother and Shevet staff
member, Kristina. They were able to console him after the echo. He also did
well, but we learned we would have to take him downstairs for some blood work.
Na xhosh bo Mohammed. Not good for Mohammed. Little guy doesn't like giving up
his blood to the evil needles.
However, we had some time to kill so we took a
little jaunt to the sea! One again cries emerged from little Hani, but
this time they were cries of joy. Her laughter and enthusiasm were contagious
as we all got soaked by the splashing waves. It took our best efforts to keep
her from jumping into the water and swimming away forever. This child has an
enthusiasm for water that cannot be matched. Mohammed on the other hand was
terrified of the water. The poor little guy probably thought the sea was going
to come up and swallow him whole. We tried to put his feet in the water, but he
strongly opposed, so that ended quickly. Maybe when he gets a little older
he'll be able to appreciate the sea. We headed back to the hospital so that
Mohammed could have his last terrible experience of the day. While he had blood
drawn, Hani, her mom, another Shevet volunteer, and I waited in the "Fish
Room". This room decorated with drawings of fish, Ariel, and dolphins is
where we hang out while we wait. Hani, still joyful, charmed everyone who
walked by. She quickly made a new friend in the girl who runs the toys and
coloring supplies. Within a minute of introduction they were blowing kisses and
waving. She also waved at anyone that walked by and uttered more than one
It was a long day, but a ton of fun. It is good to see both of them
doing so well. On the drive home, Hani dozed off while Mohammed stayed happy
and played games with his mother. Between the fun and sad parts of today, I
think they will both sleep well tonight.