December 16, 2010 by Cody · Comments Off
Zahran decided she didn’t want to waste any time in the ICU after surgery!
A life-saving shunt was placed near her heart to increase the blood flow to her lungs. Before the surgery, she would struggle to breathe and the only thing her mother could do was to lift her legs up to ease the tension on her heart.
Today, her mother was able to carry her around the ICU before she was taken to the hospital ward to be with Fatima, Ritha, and Anwar!’
September 13, 2010 by Jeremy · Comments Off
Deeya is alive and doing well at home today because of the surgery you provided for her in Iraq!
Wow! What a phenomenal trip it has been these last few weeks as you have brought a new remedy to the children of Iraq through the surgical and nursing team of Dr. William Novick. It’s high time we update your impact to help Iraqis make a better future for themselves and their children.
The total expense for our first Remedy Mission was approximately $90,000. This amount was further subsidized by the Director of Health in our city and the Kurdish Regional Government in Washington D.C., and the International Children’s Heart Foundation. The balance was underwritten by you!
This family was not yet chosen for surgery… they are still waiting for our next Remedy Mission.
Locally, Remedy Mission was a great success. We ended the week at dinner with the governor and the health director where they invited us to start our next Remedy Mission as quickly as possible. When we suggested May 2010 as a next date, all the surgeons and the health director rallied together to urge us to begin again in February instead.
Our current proposal is a five year plan comprising four trips per year to make the Sulaymaniyah Cardiac Center a premier facility in the region that is able to perform 12-14 surgeries per week without foreign assistance. We estimate that this will cost $1.5m and we are currently talking with the local authorities in hopes that they will choose to shoulder the majority of that expense.
During Remedy Mission ICHF and local surgeons performed 25 corrective cardiac procedures. Put differently, we helped more kids in 12 days than we have in any 12 month period to date… at a massive savings compared to our work in Iraq… with hands-on training for Iraqi doctors and nurses! A typical all-inclusive surgery in Istanbul costs us $10,000 (after subsidies). That expense is usually shared among the family of the child, local and international donors. The typical PLC international donor portion of a surgery in Turkey is $3-5k.
Cody Fisher reviews the list of kids who received surgery and kids still in line for February 2011.
The numbers for Remedy Mission look much different. Not only are we able to work in partnership with others more during Remedy Missions, but every surgery represents a local development and training opportunity. The all-inclusive price for all partners was approximately $3,600 per child (compared to $10k in Istanbul and much more in the States or Europe).
Remedy Mission has taught us a lot about being fiscally and developmentally responsible. Therefore, in an effort to redouble our commitment to long-term local solutions, we will be increasing our Remedy Mission funding in hopes of facilitating four Remedy Missions in our current city in 2011.
The following families are still waiting in line for our help…. Will you be the remedy? Donate the amount of your choice below to get our next Remedy Mission off to a strong start!
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.
July 20, 2010 by Jeremy · Comments Off
On July 18th four Iraqi kids arriving in Istanbul, Turkey in need of lifesaving heart surgery. They have entered a country about which they have mostly heard negative stories.
This week will change their perspectives and change their lives forever…
June 14, 2010 by Esther · Comments Off
This rally cry has been heard in our office and seen on our website several times throughout the last month, but what exactly does it mean?
This August, the Preemptive Love Coalition is planning to partner with the International Children’s Heart Foundation to bring in both immediate and long-term life-saving opportunities to children in Iraq with congenital heart defects. We call these surgical training missions “Remedy Missions.”
These more localized forms of surgeries will make it easier for children to get to surgeries without having to travel to different countries, and will empower the local doctors to do more in their community.
In keeping the surgeries local, the excess time and money lost to applying for visas, buying plane tickets, packing, and other international travel plans are shaved off. In saving time and money, these localized missions will result in making heart surgeries more available to a wider range of people. In fact, PLC’s goal of seeing 30 children touched in 30 days, if realized, will mean that we help more children in the month of August than we did in the entire 2009 year.
Also, family members will be more accessible to provide love and support for these children who are going through the surgeries. Instead of outsourcing children and one of their family members, we are working to provide care in a familiar environment that will help entire families be part of working through the process together.
The Remedy Missions will not only focus on the immediate need for these dying children, but it will also enhance hope for the future of health care for congenital heart defects in Iraq. This summer world class doctors and nurses will be investing time into local doctors and nurses, giving them training that will make an impact on the people of this country for years to come. This training is so critical to the work being done in Iraq to help combat congenital heart defects because Iraqi cardiologists and surgeons often find it difficult to travel to other countries to learn from seminars and hands-on training. Still, this training is invaluable to them.
For us, the number 30 signifies more than just numbers to tack onto a list of successful heart surgeries or days spent trying to do something with the summer. These 30 are lives that are worth fighting for, worth giving for.
Treatment here is vastly different from that in America. In this country, families do not have the ability to go to the hospital and fix what is wrong with their dying son or daughter, even if they had the money. In the States, how would a father or mother react if, in the middle of the doctor’s visit, the doctor told them, “I’m sorry. Your child is dying. And there is a way to possibly save his life, but I do not know how to do that”?
Though there have been similar efforts, this is the first of its magnitude dealing with complex heart conditions in this area. As of today, we are still trying to raise over $50,000 to make these surgeries a reality. And with a June 19th deadline, we are looking at urgency. But if there are thousands of children dying of heart disease in this country, and there is a possibility of making a dent in that number, how can urgency not be part of the equation?
May 27, 2010 by Joshua · Comments Off
For those of you who have been following our blog this last year, you’ll remember this little guy! We went to visit him last summer in Chamchamal (the border city of Kirkuk) to talk through what was, at that point, his prospective surgery. Well, he had his surgery this past November and he’s doing great! We went to visit him the other day to check up on him and to visit with the family. Man, I love this little guy!
There’s something really beautiful about being here for a longer period of time− longer than the two-month summer internship which first brought me here in 2009. Now, almost a year later, I feel much more like a father, or an older brother, to these kids. I’m with them when they’re sick. I’m in their homes. I see them off to surgery. I welcome them home when their hearts are no longer broken. But what’s really important to me is that I watch them grow up, watch them as they live out the lives their repaired hearts now afford them. Kids like Danar really hit me.
He’s one of the ones I’ve been able to track the entire time. I was there when his family first brought him to our office. And I was there when we first visited his home.
And now, I’m here as he grows up finally able to do the things his heart once prevented him from doing. And there are few things more satisfying than this! I am part of a coalition. The coalition is not just the people in Iraq; it’s all our supporters. We’re all doing it. I am here because of our shared vision for the future of Iraq and on behalf of the Danars of this country.
The ability to track these kids through the whole process pushes me on − to see them back in their homes running and jumping after their hearts have healed. This is why we work.
For more information on how we plan to create this sort of impact in the lives of 30 children this August, please click to learn more about our Remedy Mission – a team of surgeons, doctors, and nurses we’re bringing into Iraq to perform surgeries and training this August.
March 9, 2010 by Jeremy · Comments Off
It’s possible that you had to know Baroof before his life-saving heart surgery for his rare heart condition to appreciate the joy in his step these last few days. When we met him, he was scared and downcast – being old enough to understand what was at stake if he didn’t get the heart surgery he needed.
But now – thanks to you! – Baroof is joyful, full of hope, and full of hugs and kisses to boot!
January 27, 2010 by Cody · Comments Off
“Driven forward by the hope in a brighter tomorrow and the belief in human compassion, The Legacy Movement strives to encourage, motivate, and ultimately inspire the youth of this generation to build a world in which we all seek to live in.
It is the belief of Legacy that our efforts cannot end with our words but must translate into something greater- something that will live beyond us. This generation has been given the opportunity like none other before it to enact this powerful change. It’s time to do more than just talk.
It’s time we leave a Legacy.”
This month, our friends over at the Legacy Movement are donating a percentage of their sales from their “Love Never Fails” tee to help save save the life of Leah, who’s next in live for life-saving heart surgery. What we love about the Legacy Movement is that they live what they speak. They’re living a legacy that doesn’t just affect a generation here in America — now they’re investing in a generation of youth in Iraq, starting with Leah.
Be sure to leave your mark on Leah and her generation by picking up a shirt from the Legacy Movement HERE!
June 2, 2009 by Jeremy · Comments Off
Things happened so fast we never even introduced you to Shwan… but 10 year old Shwan also had life-saving heart surgery this week. Heran finished strong and left the hospital in a little flower hat… Thanks for all you’ve done!
February 11, 2009 by Jeremy · Comments Off
We’ve been getting ready to send a group of Iraqi kids to life-saving heart surgeries in Turkey next week. After crunching the numbers, we thought that we could stretch and send six kids this month. But we had eight who desperately needed urgent surgeries.
Enter our local partner, Kurdistan Save the Children.
Normally, KSC helps contribute to the funding of a couple of kids each month. But they really stepped up to the plate and quadrupled their commitment for February.
Instead of helping two kids this month, they’re helping eight, contributing $2,500 towards each of their surgeries!
That’s $20,000 (or doo defter, as we like to say here in Sulaymaniyah)!
That means that instead of sending just six kids, we can now send eight over the next week, probably saving two extra lives in the process.
It also means that we’re seeing our vision of local solutions to local problems become a reality.
We know that the only hope for sustainable development is when people are empowered and encouraged to tackle the challenges they face together. That’s why we ask for a child’s extended family to contribute something to the cost of their surgery: we don’t want our generosity to rob them of their dignity or their responsibility. Instead, we want to strengthen families as a constructive element of civil society here in Iraq.
And it’s why we’re increasingly looking to form partnerships with Iraqi NGOs and businesses to support their efforts to care for the lives of their own people.
This month, we’re seeing it happen. Local contributions will cover almost half the cost of these eight surgeries. We’ve still got a long way to go, but it’s great to see how far we’ve come.
Thanks for all of your collective efforts to cure Kadeeja! You’ve done it! Kadeeja received her surgery and has received a wonderful initial post-op prognosis. Liz Rivas and Blanca Garcia wrote the following after visiting Kadeeja in the hospital in Turkey after their recent photojournalistic sojourn through Iraq with the Preemptive Love Coalition.
I pressed my palm to my heart and said, “Basha?”
Meaning “good”, it was one of only three Kurdish words I had remembered from our short time in Kurdistan (northern Iraq).
Her beautiful smile stayed on her face as she nodded, “Basha.”
This wasn’t supposed to happen… Her family had first learned about her heart problem when she was about 5 years old. And now, at 16, her condition had grown pretty severe, and because of the years she had gone untreated, many feared it was too late to operate…
The first three doctors did in fact refuse to operate, convinced that the surgery would just be too much for her failing heart, and she wouldn’t be able to make it through… But a doctor based in Istanbul had an innovative procedure that he felt could work for Kadeeja.
So she was sent to Istanbul for surgery, and just a week later, when Liz and I visited, she was already out of ICU, smiling and talking and anxious to get back home to her brother and sisters. (There are 13 children total in her family!)
Even though we only visited Kadeeja for a short time, it was amazing to see this miracle sitting right in front of us. And to think of the team of people who have joined together to help and to heal…and God’s amazing power to make the impossible, possible…