Say hello to the Fantastic Five.
They formed two days ago when I was meandering down the hall meeting the families in the ward. Yousef, the little boy front-and-center stealing the spotlight, ran up and almost dislocated my shoulder by swinging from the bed to the ground on it. Saif, the boy over his left shoulder, let out a screech as he thought that was just the funniest thing he had ever seen. Ameer, the taller boy peaking over Yousef's head, made a grab for the camera and managed to squeeze off a few photos of himself until I could get ahold of him. Then Zainab, the shy girl against the wall, slapped her balloon my way and hit me in the head. Ali, the big brother of the group, stood off to the side smiling, but I'm pretty sure he's their ringleader!
Since this meeting in the hospital ward, I haven't been able to separate them - literally. Every chance I have of taking a photo of just one of them is always sabotaged by the other four. So this is my best attempt to get them all to hold still long enough for a photo.
All five of them have a different kind of heart defect, and all five of them are here for a chance at a lifesaving heart surgery.
Over the next few days we'll start doing the tests needed to know how we can best help each of them. In the meantime something tells me that they're going to keep the hospital staff and their mothers on their toes!