All kids are cute. It’s a fact of life.
But some kids have the ability to steal your heart. Meet Jasem, the captor of my heart. I had the pleasure of getting to spend time with him as he waited for his catheterization.
Now, pre-op can be a rather boring place. It usually entails an hour or more of just waiting around for the doctors to finish their current case so they can move on to the next child. But in Jasem’s case, we kept things interesting.
When I first came to hang out with Jasem, he had his shirt on and was coloring a picture quietly on his bed. He was a little hard to engage, but adorable nevertheless. I would talk to him, he would look at me, and then he would go back to his coloring. Apparently I’m not as funny as I think I am.
The second time I hung out with him, he had his shirt off and had managed to procure a marker from one of the nurses. And, doing what all 6 year-old boys seem to do well, he colored on himself, which only upped the adorableness factor. We bonded some more over his artistic endeavors, bubbles, and the pictures of him on my camera’s display screen.
Before we knew it, Jasem’s turn for catheterization came. So into the operating room he want, and an hour and a half later he came out with his heart completely healed!
As he lay sleeping in recovery, I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmingly happy. Here was a little boy who had spent his life restricted by his heart defect, and although he didn’t know it yet, he was healed. He can now run, jump, and play with the best of them, and I got to be there to see him through it all!
Remember the cutest cheeks—I mean boy—ever?
Yousef is headed to the cath lab, waiting for the doctors to look at his heart for possible defects. I fell in love with this little boy when I first met him, and we’re eager to find out the results of his test.
The most incredible thing about Yousef’s situation—and the situation of many children in Fallujah—is that this is just a diagnostic cath. In other words, this won’t fix Yousef’s heart problem, it’s just a common procedure for discovering what is wrong with him.
Without your giving and the skill of our team, Yousef wouldn’t even have the ability to find out what is wrong with him—much less get it fixed! Our dream of establishing a fully functional lifesaving heart center in Fallujah is in its infancy stages, but it all starts with teaching basic things like diagnostic caths. Thank you for going down this road with us and with the people of Fallujah!
We’ll be back with more about adorable Yousef tomorrow, so stay tuned…
Our 85 suture kits are FULLY funded — Thank you for helping fund $765 worth of medical supplies!
August 29, 2010 by Jeremy · Comments Off
Photos by Heber Vega
This week we were able to help three children without subjecting them to the trauma of an open-heart surgery. A procedure in which a catheter is inserted through the femoral artery, all the way into the heart, and ultimately used to correct a number of different heart defects.
Recovery times from these types of procedures are considerably shorter and the procedure itself is considerably less risky for the patient. These patients don’t stay “parked” in an already crowded Intensive Care Unit and typically end up going home in a much shorter period of time than even the fastest surgery patients.
The International Children’s Heart Foundation team prefers to use this method whenever possible, but finds it particularly helpful with older females who might otherwise be considered less desirable for marriage with a huge scar down the sternum.
All three kids who received cardiac cath intervention this week are discharged and playing safely at home; even while we have two in ICU and a handful still in the ward.
Thanks for making our training and surgery mission happen this week. This Remedy Mission and the various diagnostic, interventional, surgical, and administrative techniques learned locally this week will continue to save lives long after all these kids go home!
Have you enjoyed this week? We have! Please consider making a donation for our next mission if you believe in what we’re doing by clicking the DONATE link in the header above.
Remedy Missions are international pediatric heart surgery teams that we bring to Iraq to to perform lifesaving heart surgeries and develop the infrastructure for the future. If you’re on Twitter this week be sure to use the #Remedy or #RemedyMission hashtag to describe all the good news coming out of Iraq this week via @preemptivelove and @babyheart_org. If you’re on Facebook, “Share” this story with the button below.
August 18, 2008 by Jeremy · Comments Off
12 year old Hevi underwent a heart catherterization on August 14th that revealed one hole in her heart and an obstruction of the left pulmonary valve. Both of these problems the doctors have confirmed can be fixed, however, she is also missing a left pulmonary
artery, which poses a big challange to these surgeons. Hevi and her mom will find out soon what her prognosis will be and how much
these surgeons will be able to correct on her heart.
Hevi, and other children like her, arrive at this hospital with huge hopes hanging in the balance. We’re honored to be able to share in brokering some hope for these kids and their families. The funding we provide is able to secure the utmost care and medical expertise available for these children to bring their hopes to reality. So keep spreading the word and partnering with us so that we can see many more Hevi’s and Shkar’s from Iraq live with healed hearts.
December 5, 2007 by Jeremy · Comments Off
Aras was prepped for his catheterization today, waiting for his turn, playing with a small brass dreidel (or top) in his bed. All week the patients have been receiving gifts and candy from visiting school children and other volunteer groups, and this was one of his treats from a Hanukkah gift. It was quiet entertainment while he waited. However, because the catheterization lasted much longer than usual for the first child this morning, and he was to be the third one of the day, Aras’s cath had to be delayed. Since Aras could not have his catheterization today, he was dismissed back to the Save A Child’s Heart house. It is likely he will be rescheduled for next Wednesday, the day the caths are performed.
December 4, 2007 by Jeremy · Comments Off
Aras has been admitted to the hospital today for his catheterization tomorrow. He and his mother were relaxing and visiting with the other families between preliminary tests for Aras. He does not seem very anxious, and his mother was only a little anxious this evening.