Peace in the Middle of Libya’s Storm

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.

When a security guard heard his story, he offered to find the father a place to stay, or give him money for a hotel. But the kindness of the offer wasn’t enough for him to overcome his fear—the fear that ISIS is just too close, or that something bad will happen to his family. So he chose instead to sleep on the hospital grounds, near to his wife and baby.

That he came here at all—that he came in spite of his deep fear—shows how desperately he wants his baby to be well.

We saw another glimpse of daily life from the mother of a child waiting for surgery. She was sitting on a bed, clutching her baby, surrounded by other mothers from the ward. She tried her best to hold herself together, but tears kept slipping down her face.

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Minutes earlier, her husband had been in a car accident, right outside the hospital. He was going to be fine, his wife was told. But the possibility of losing the two people closest to her was just too much to bear.

Every day, the mothers on the ward help each other. They look after one another’s children so there is time enough to slip off to the bathroom, to pray, or just to get a little break. At this moment, the mothers made a net of emotional support to fall into.

We saw another glimpse when we passed by a darkened room on the ward, where one of the mothers was kneeling on a mat, saying her morning prayers. Her son had heart surgery yesterday. He looks so vulnerable in his bed, still connected to all those wires and tubes.

It’s impossible to miss the look of longing on her face as she prays.

It’s hard to imagine anything more potent than a mother praying in the cardiac ward.

When your child needs heart surgery to live, it looms large over your whole life. So it’s easy to forget that for these families, like all Libyans, life outside the hospital—outside their child’s heart defect—is complicated too.

You stand with parents who will bring their children home, in a country at war. You give them a place of peace in the middle of the storm that is raging through their country.

Give today, and support our next heart surgery mission to Libya!

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