Baha’s Journey

Posted on Jun 03, 2018

Baha (center) with his family

When your child is sick—very sick—moments matter.

Miles matter.

Baha is more than 6,600 miles from home, spending a dream summer with his grandparents in Palestine. Everything is new and exciting. Foods, aromas, even the air they breathe.

Baha, 7, already has been diagnosed with allergies, but a persistent swelling in his nose sends the family to a doctor in Jerusalem. Something isn’t right. Bloodwork is done. Results are sent to Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida. Acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Baha must return immediately.

Unplanned travel is complicated in the Middle East. Passports are questioned. Delays happen. Part of the family is held back. The International Patient Services Team at Johns Hopkins All Children’s offers to get the American Consulate involved. They understand AML’s ferocious and aggressive nature.

Baha’s fever spikes on a stopover in Jordan. He is given the uric acid-reducing medication allopurinol to protect his kidneys. The family presses on for two days.

From the airport, they drive straight to the Emergency Center where the oncology team is waiting and Baha is immediately checked in. Knowing his son is in safe hands, Baha’s father collapses.

Relief. Exhaustion. Solace.

Then healing.


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