June 29, 2011 by Alex · Comments Off
Today, I hesitated outside the entrance of the hospital ward in southern Iraq. Kids spend most of the day waiting for surgery in this room.
Mothers and their children filled the room, and I didn’t want to barge into a room that these families might have thought were off-limits to outsiders.
But as I stood there, recognizing that I was the outsider, looking confused and out-of-place, a 6-year-old boy named Mohammed walked up, smiled, and took my hand as if he knew exactly what I was going through.
He safely escorted me to the back of the room so I could meet the family I had come to see.
Mohammed never left my side, but just kept holding my hand and making me feel more at-ease until he felt that his duty had been completed.
We couldn’t speak to each other and even though we interacted for only a few minutes, I can’t help but to look forward to spending more time with Mohammed.
What makes me more excited is that Mohammed isn’t just here to help out this goofy foreigner; he’s here to have his failing heart restored.
He’s here for the Remedy.
The doctors are still unclear as to how complicated Mohammed’s heart condition is, but they’re beginning the tests that will help them know what needs to be done to reclaim his heart.
In the meantime, we’ll just keep waiting.
Stay tuned for more updates on Mohammed.
While you wait check out Rokya’s Mom documenting her daughter’s Remedy in Iraq on our Facebook page.
December 21, 2010 by Cody · Comments Off
It’s incredible to watch the journeys of these children and their families.
Most of the families come in individually carrying their children. The children usually stay in their beds with their mothers until they go in for their surgery.
Then the mother’s begin to grow closer as they wait for their children to come through the surgery and out of the ICU. When each child comes out, they celebrate and soon they’ll start walking their children or each other’s children down the hallway tightly gripping their hands.
Then one by one, each child gets stronger and soon the mothers stay in the room chatting while their children are running around on their own!
It’s a beautiful thing to be writing this post and be interrupted by the children we’ve grown to love so much.
Anwar and Fatima seem to grow stronger each day here in the hospital.
Today, Anwar and I colored. He drew pictures of palm trees and birds. I think we’re all counting down the days until we can leave the hospital!
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!’
December 9, 2010 by Cody · Comments Off
“I saw him, I saw him! I saw my son!”
Those were the words that Ahmed’s mother kept repeating over and over again, all the while carrying the biggest smile on her face. She had just been allowed to go into the ICU to see Ahmed, just a few hours after they finished his operation.
During the surgery, Ahmed’s mom let go of the anxiety that all the mothers in the hospital try so much to contain. She faced the corner of the room and wept while Ahmed was gone.
The tears only gave way to laughter and excitement after the nurses let her see for herself how strong Ahmed was becoming!
While all the mothers here relate to the anxiety of having a sick child, Ahmed’s mother is the fifth this week that can experience the joy of a successful operation.
But then again, watching all the other mothers in the room laugh and rejoice with her makes me think that her joy isn’t just being felt by her.
June 21, 2010 by Lydia · Comments Off
Beautiful baby Gesh and her mother came to visit our office last week.
We made our way to the hospital this morning for Tarza and Rezhin’s follow-up echos. After waiting nearly an hour, each girl was taken in for her echo. Afterwards, the report was that they are doing really well. Neither of the girls has any sign of water in her lungs, nor are they on any medications, only vitamins.
After they left the echo they met up with Ali and his father as they were walking outside. Both mothers and daughters sat outside with Ali and rejoiced with Ali’s father. Both Tarza and Rezhin will have another echo next Monday.
Aras’ surgery was postponed until tomorrow because of an emergency which required his slot. This time they did not look so disappointed, and in fact seemed accepting because of the reason things were happening this way. Aras’ mother was also attempting to encourage Mustafa’s mother when she approached and began to shed tears as she talked about Mustafa’s condition. This good natured boy must be getting anxious about all the times he’s had to go through the pre-op essentials, and fast from foods after midnight. We will update you tomorrow about the status of Aras after his surgery.
Hussein, his mother and I played with stickers, a puzzle and a boat during our visit, and I believe I heard him laugh more today than at any time since we met back in October. Even though it may seem an exaggeration to say this, it appears to me that Hussein’s eye-hand coordination has already made dramatic improvement compared to previous playtimes together. It is almost as though he is “blooming” before our eyes as he gets well.
His mother is also a different woman; she is very happy now that Hussein is healing, and she is continuously pausing to thank God for the life of her son.
When I arrived at the hospital I found out that Hussein had yet another surgery this morning! The doctors had hoped to do an arterial switch on Hussein’s heart yesterday, and worked for five hours trying to make it succeed, but in the words of Dr. Houri, his body rejected it. Because of this, a second surgery was needed very soon to perform an atrial switch instead. The surgery was done successfully this morning, and Hussein is now stable and still sedated and intubated in the ICU. If all goes well, they hope to remove the breathing tube tomorrow.
I shared with his concerned mom that Dr. Houri said he is doing well, and will not need more surgery at this time. She remarked about the oxygenation rate of 99-100% on the monitor above Hussein’s bed, and showed me the evidence of good oxygenation – pink fingernails! I had already noticed that Hussein’s coloring is different because of this oxygenated blood available to his body.
As you might imagine, Hussein’s mother has not had sleep for the last two nights. She is very tired, and I encouraged her to sleep tonight while Hussein is sleeping peacefully under sedation. After he awakes, it will be harder for her to be away from him so she can sleep.
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.