Sohaib is nearly asleep in the ward. His mother naps stretched out on the bed, with a pillow across her feet. She is pregnant with her second son and needs all the rest she can get.
Sohaib lays on his mother’s legs, tucked under her swollen belly, with his head propped up on the pillow. Each time Sohaib stirs, his mom begins to rock her legs back and forth, back and forth—lulling her son to sleep. He sucks his soother furiously, then as he relaxes it falls to the bed beside them.
It’s a perfect moment that almost didn’t happen.
Your faithfulness made a 9-year dream come true!
You sent us back to Libya this month, so we could continue serving children who are dying for lack of access to heart surgeries. While here, we saw a familiar face—young Awad, who missed out on surgery in April. He finally got the surgical correction to saved his life!
Little Roudana’s parents try to get a smile out of her, but they aren’t worried by the fact that she isn’t up for it yet. Smile or not, they are content simply to be with her.
Some of the parents we meet in the ICU are afraid to touch their children after surgery, and keep a distance. Their hands tremble as they hold their newly-healed daughter or son. It’s like picking up a happy dream, but it’s so fragile.
We know things are difficult in Libya. But what about everyday life? What does it look like when you live in a divided nation at war... and your child needs heart surgery just to survive?
We saw one glimpse of daily life from the father of one of our heart surgery patients. He slept in his car outside the hospital for more than two weeks. Why? Because he’s from a different part of Libya.
He doesn’t know the people here, and he’s afraid.
"Moy-ah! Moy-ah! Moy-ah! Moy-ah!"
The first word from Ayoub’s mouth when he was well enough to speak after his heart surgery was, "Water!"
Anas has his father’s nose. Tucked into bed with a forest green cap keeping his head warm, and a bright yellow blanket, he looked like a tiny elf. Unfortunately, Anas wasn’t doing well, and his father wanted to see his little one.
There are a few kids you meet on these heart surgery missions, and it immediately gives you a glimpse into who they'll be as adults.
Emad is that kind of kid.