Hamam: Headed for Surgery!

Hamam waits outside of the operating room, ready for his heart surgery.

It’s like a whirlwind here! And we have little internet access. As soon as we could, we uploaded a video of Hamam’s story. Over the next day and a half, I’m going to share my thoughts as I walked through the surgery with Hamam and his mom.


Hamam is being carried down to the operating room for his surgery and flashes me a smile and a peace sign when they stop in the corridor, just outside the doors. Already a busy boy, his nervous energy comes out in his limbs—he squirms, plays shy, and his hands and legs move right until the very moment the sedative takes full effect.

sisterhood soap

Over the next few hours, I watch surgeons mend Hamam’s heart. It takes a team to pull this off—in gowns and face masks—each focused on their own role while paying close attention to the whole operation. For the actual repair to the heart, it comes down to finely honed human skill—they save a life with needles and thread, judicious cuts and stitches.

It is as simple, and as profoundly complicated, as that.

Hamam lays on the operating table, waiting for the medicine that will put him to sleep for his surgery.

I step out of the operating room to check on kids in the intensive care unit and meet Hamam’s mom in the hallway. She is desperate for news of her boy.

“They’re all working very hard,” I say. 

She asks to see him, so I open my laptop to show her a photo of what he looked like just before going off to sleep. She kisses the screen, says a little prayer, and lets large tears fall from her face.

My keyboard is wet with the tears of a worried mom.