Mohammad Fwad’s Surgery Post-Poned until Monday; We Plan Future Remedy Missions to Eradicate the Backlog
August 22, 2010 by Cody · Comments Off
On my taxi ride home tonight I thought through what needed to end up on our blog before we ended our day. Some days that’s an easy question to answer because of what happened, whether it was multiple surgeries to celebrate, or the full recovery of yet another child. Today, both of those things happened and we’re thrilled about it! But what made today hard was when we heard that Mohammed’s surgery was pushed back yet another day.
Mohammed, his family, and all of us expected his surgery to take place last Friday. Unfortunately, we couldn’t know how long each surgery would last and we couldn’t anticipate the local shortage of blood products; the limited supply of certain medical instruments; or an influx of emergency cases that have come seeking Remedy. In any case, Mohammed’s surgery was pushed to Saturday. Then it was pushed to Sunday. It’s 10:30 PM on Sunday night and Mohammed must wait yet another day to be admitted to surgery.
Mohammed is not being overlooked. In fact, it’s because our team from the International Children’s Heart Foundation refuses to overlook any child or settle for anything less than the best that certain children have required more time and attention than originally planned. It’s because of this team that each child has received a near perfect correction and followthrough each day, no matter what the expense and no matter how long it takes.
But that doesn’t make it any easier for Mohammed’s mother and father as they grow weary of waiting. It’s certainly not easy for two year old Mohammed who wasn’t allowed to eat or drink for 12 hours today as his surgery was delayed and then post-poned.
“When will you save my son?” I heard it repeatedly today. It wasn’t out of anger or bitterness, it was simply a mother who cares so deeply and longs for the healing of her son. If I was in her position, I doubt I would respond with such grace; especially if the person across from me couldn’t give an answer.
Mohammed is scheduled to receive surgery tomorrow (Monday), but even when he receives his surgery there are still so many more that are waiting and hoping for another Remedy Mission. Even if we were able to operate on 50 children this week, we would still have to turn people away at the door. If we operated on 1,000 kids, more would still have to wait.
It breaks our hearts a thousand times over, but at the same time it makes our hearts stronger. It strengthens our resolve and lights a fire within us to continue to do what we’re doing. We refuse to be content in a country that has a backlog of thousands of children who are in desperate need of heart surgery. We refuse to sit by and let them die. We can not accept the fact that there isn’t enough training among Iraqi doctors to save these children.
We believe that these Remedy Missions are the missing link we’ve been reaching for these last three years. And we believe we can work together with the people of Iraq and with the rest of the world to train Iraqi surgeons to care for their own so that we do not just address the backlog of Iraqi children waiting for surgery as we know it today, but rather work toward serving every child from this point forward who is born with a heart defect. We can help empower and strengthen local doctors and nurses and this first Remedy Mission makes it clear that YOU can continue to make this a reality.
Kids like Mohammed are the reason why we are already dreaming and beginning to plan future Remedy Missions across Iraq. And they are the reason we are raising money for not just one more Remedy Mission, but for dozens in the coming years.
So we are fighting for Mohammed and his parents today and we will fight for another child and his family the next day and we plan to keep on fighting until every Iraqi family has access to the lifesaving heart surgeries that their children need to live.
Will you donate below to make these parents’ beautiful dreams a reality?
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 6, 2010 by Timothy · Comments Off
Have you ever observed something that made you feel just a little more alive than you did the second before? The senses sharpen, everything else around you stops, and it seems as if the state of your very existence could hinge upon your understanding of that precise moment. Life all of a sudden becomes more valuable and hope of something unintelligible, unexplainable and far off fills your being from deep within.
That is how I felt when I dodged a father running to see his daughter’s doctor following the completion of her open heart surgery. His wait to see his daughter was not quite over, yet as I dodged out of his way it was obvious that any news was the most important thing in the world to a helpless father who could do nothing to rescue his daughter from an unseen foe.
There were honestly a few moments that rivaled this one during my short three days spent at Anadolu Medical Center with the Preemptive Love Coalition. When the constant issue at hand is that of life and death, the meaning of both is unavoidable. Although I’ve followed and supported PLC for three years now, the personal interaction with the children heading to surgery and their parents was a gift I was not quite prepared for. As I sat outside at the hospital coffee shop with Nivar’s father, still waiting to see his daughter for the first time since surgery, I could feel the anxiety and helplessness surrounding him and was reminded of the gift of loved ones. Every healed heart at Anadolu Medical Center is a child saved, a future restored and also a family preserved.
One of the greatest blessings in working with, giving to and supporting an organization like PLC is the knowledge that what you are doing is truly meaningful. And let me tell you partners, supporters, donors and friends of PLC, your investments and partnerships are truly worthwhile! Your efforts and funds go directly into saving childrens lives, preserving families and renewing futures. From all over the world, you are affecting lives of real people for the better. I’ve seen it. And these people are thankful.
One particular issue that was brought to light during my week with my friends at PLC was that ethnic struggles do not have to result in war, racism or death. Addressing ethnic and religious tensions can also result in life, in reconciliation, in hope for the future. For every political struggle that takes place in order to get a Iraqi child to a successful surgery in Turkey, there is also a celebration of life, a reconciliation of enemies, and a hope of a child’s future reborn.
Finally, it seems the shared response from all parties involved is one of doxology, “thanks be to God.” That is truly amazing, and it is something I will always choose to be behind.
|This little boy, Yahya, still needs a few thousand dollars to cover the costs of surgery and travel from Iraq to Istanbul so he can experience the same life-change you’ve given Nivar. To take Yahya out of line and get him to Istanbul for surgery, please enter the amount of your choice below and click “Donate Now!”.
October 21, 2009 by Cody · Comments Off
5 WAYS TO SAVE A LIFE THIS OCTOBER!
1. Stuff home-made flyers about the Preemptive Love Coalition in your Halloween costume and drop them off at each house as you go trick-or-treatin’!
3. Instead of buying a candy bar for a dollar – tell each trick-or-treater that you’re donating a dollar to the Preemptive Love Coalition for each trick-or-treater that shows up to your door! (extra points for taking a picture of the reaction on their face when you tell them that)
4. Sell your candy to your little brother or sister and use that money to put Honya and Danar on a plane to receive life saving heart surgery!
|Little Honya is next child from Iraq in line for life-saving heart surgery. The chambers of her heart are enlarged and she has a huge hole in a very critical place. We want to fly her to Istanbul, Turkey on November 8, 2009. But before she can go, we need to cover the cost of airfare for her and her mother ($405).
|Danar is is your average three year old boy… except that he was recently hospitalized after turning blue while playing with his brother from a lack of oxygen in his blood. In other kids, we’ve seen this lead to brain damage. Danar has dodged that thus far. We still require roundtrip airfare ($822) for two before sending him in November. But this surgery is likely to do more than merely help Danar avoid brain damage… we can actually set Danar free to live!
Just in time for tax season, the IRS has certified the Preemptive Love Coalition as a tax-exempt public charity!
That means that anything you give to PLC (i.e., not merchandise purchases) is fully tax-deductible! (This even applies retroactively to anything you’ve given all the way back to February 15, 2008.)
It’s cool to be a 501(c)(3)!
November 12, 2008 by Jeremy · Comments Off
A good portion of our work in the Preemptive Love Coalition involves words. Talking, emailing, blogging, marketing, speaking – we do it all. We talk consistently about funding life-saving heart surgeries for over 3,000 Iraqi kids who are dying on a waiting list. We talk about the need for an urgent intervention of love just so that these kids can survive into adulthood.
Sometimes I wonder if language like that overdoes things a bit. I can’t help some days but feel like it is too hyperbolic, too dramatic.
Today, I don’t feel like that at all.
Two nights ago we got an email from our partnering organization, Brothers Together. When 10-month-old Mohammed got off the plane in Amman for a pre-op screening, his skin was a deep shade of blue from insufficient oxygenation of his blood. He was gasping for breath. They rushed him to the hospital.
But it was too late.
Ten-month-old Mohammed died yesterday.
We’ll probably know more in the next few days about the complications that might have brought this about, about why we lost him on the threshold of hope, about why his heart couldn’t make it just a few weeks more until he could have had surgery that would have probably saved his life. But we already know the three most important facts in the matter:
- Mohammed was born with a broken heart.
- Mohammed died from a broken heart.
- There are still over 3,000 Iraqi kids who are just like Mohammed.
Then, just yesterday, we got a second email: a second child had died during the screening procedures.
So maybe all this talk of “life-saving heart surgeries” and “dying on a waiting list” is just a language game — but it is one that is played for keeps. Dramatic words speak to dramatic realities.
idth=”270″ height=”484″ />There are plenty of you who are thinking these days about what you might give to family and friends to celebrate the upcoming holidays of Christmas, Eid al-Fitr and Hannukah. Many of you get frustrated with the triviality of the tokens we exchange in celebration of God’s faithful compassion represented by these holidays.
If that’s you, I would recommend clicking on the graphic to the left and giving a “Gift of the Heart” this Christmas. You can give a gift (of any amount you choose) in honor of someone you love that will help to save the life of an Iraqi child, whom God loves. (The good news is, he also loves you and the people you love, too!)
And once you give, there is a very nice certificate that you can download to present to your loved one to share with them about the gift of hope, life and a new heart that you are celebrating with them this season.
You could also become a monthly sponsor (again, of any amount you choose) that would allow you to regularly contribute throughout the coming year towards funding life-saving heart surgeries for Iraqi kids whose days are running out without urgent, sacrificial generosity from people like you.
But even dark days like these bring hope. One teenage child was turned away at the last screening because his body was too weak for surgery. The combined effects of his heart defect and raging tuberculosis caused one of the Jewish doctors examining him to compare him to a victim of the Auschwitz concentration camp. But after careful treatment for his TB and close attention to his nutrition, Akram is now ready for surgery that will help bring him to a level of health he has never known before.
Give today so that we don’t have to keep Akram waiting again until it is too late.
June 10, 2008 by Jeremy · Comments Off
We love rewarding excellence here at The Preemptive Love Coalition and one of the most excellent things we’ve seen in recent days is the $500 that poured into our bank account last week from the Chinese Baptist Church of Fort Worth as a show of their solidarity with the children of Iraq. We love to see grassroots action like this on behalf of others… Let us know if you are a children’s group or youth/teenage group of any kind that would like more information about giving direct and creative support to Iraqi children. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May 8, 2008 by Cody · Comments Off
If there’s one thing I’ve learned out here, it’s this: Always love. It doesn’t matter what it looks like or how it appears to those around you…just love. Maybe that’s because I’ve been exposed to so much hate here and I’ve grown to learn where that leads us as people. I say “us” because it’s in all of us. It’s not confined to Baghdad or terrorists or anybody else we label as a “bad guy.” We’re all affected by it. Another thing we have in common is the ability to love. Love isn’t contained in a building or in the “good guys” either. If you’re breathing…you can love.
Artists here in Northern Iraq recently pulled together to do exactly that. On top of all being able to breath, they are all extremely talented at creating art. Over thirty artists created and donated art to be displayed in Zamwa Gallery to show their support and advocacy on behalf of the children of Kurdistan. Instead of just being hung on a wall, their art is driving out complacency and hate and ushering in love.
When I first arrived here there were around 700 registered children with heart disease. Being registered isn’t a bad thing unless you’re lost in a list of 700 names waiting your turn to be send abroad for urgent surgery. Waiting in line isn’t a bad thing unless your heart needs to be treated immediately in order to survive. Just a few weeks ago we found out that the list of 700 kids has grown to a list of over 2,800.
If I’m completely honest then I’ll tell you that this is way too big for me. It’s way to big for you. It’s too big for an artist and even a doctor. But…if we’re still being honest, then I’ll tell you that all of us together CAN create change. We CAN help raise awareness. We CAN be a voice for these children. We CAN love. By “we” I mean painters, bloggers, doctors, writers, singers, students, business men, street sweepers, and anybody else that can breath.
So love. It may manifest itself in a piece of art, be shouted from a soap box or go completely unnoticed. It’s up to you. Just love.
All of the art from the gallery along with some of Buy Shoes. Save Lives.’ photography has been compiled into a book that can be purchased on our on-line store. Get one before they run out! All of the proceeds go to help fund heart surgeries. It’s simple.