Today's two hospital visits so perfectly displayed this verse. The difference between the two was like night and day. There are two main hospitals that do the heart surgeries for our Iraqi kids. Right now we have 3 kids between the two. The first hospital was so sad...
Night: Poor Hewa has been in the hospital at least 90% of the time that he has been in Israel due to various complications. This is exhausting to his mother who is tending to his every need. It is also very scary and wearing. Each time we rush him to the hospital it's not like he just needs a check-up. There is something seriously, life-threateningly wrong that has to be looked at immediately. Right now he is in because there was a large amount of fluid built up around his lungs. This is a common side effect after surgery as the body is in shock. However, Hewa has an abnormally large amount. Today they drained over a liter from his body! When we walked into his room in the ICU the heaviness in the room was as thick as a storm cloud. Both Hewa and his mother's faces remained serious and pained throughout our entire visit. Hewa's furrowed eyebrows made his little man face look even older. The best we could do was stroke his hair, speak softly with his mother, and bring words of encouragement to lift their heavy spirits.
Day: The second hospital was a completely different story. Joy was abounding in ICU! Normally, that room is very high pressure and tense. However, the light radiating from Achmed and his mother's faces had everyone around them smiling. After a leaving a tense mother post-surgery yesterday, we were unsure what we would walk into this afternoon. Would she be fretting over her son? Joyed that he was out of surgery? Thankfully it was the latter. We opened the door and immediately were acknowledged with big smiles. We made our way over to Achmed's bedside and were quickly welcomed and seated by his beaming mother. We quickly engaged Achmed in making funny faces and blowing bubbles. Achmed was extubated this morning at 11 and his oxygen level was also really high. Before surgery it was in the low 70s, but today, only a day after surgery, he was breathing without assistance and his oxygen level was at 99%! It was wonderful to see him doing so well so quickly. All of the nurses in the ICU have also been charmed by his darling little smile. They all love to stop by his bed to check on him. We also were able to visit baby Mohammed, who had his surgery last week, and his mother. He was looking great! All of the tubes and monitors have been removed and we hope to bring him back to Jerusalem tomorrow! We had a wonderful time playing with him and the other Gaza kids in the children's ward.
It was so encouraging to end our day with these families and celebrate with them. But we continue to pray that Hewa and his mother experience the same joy and hope. Interestingly enough, Hewa means hope in Kurdish. So we are constantly reminding them to have hewa for Hewa!