Mohammed – quite possibly one of the cutest kids in southern Iraq – is currently resting after his successful surgery!
On our last day at the hospital we found out that Mohammed has suffered through much more than a failing heart; just before he was born his father left their family, and his mother was left to raise him alone.
That’s a big deal in a region like southern Iraq. It’s not easy for a woman to take on that kind of responsibility alone, which is why I feel such respect for Mohammed’s mother.
Like so many single mothers, she worked hard to raise an amazing kid, and she helped get him to the place where his life could be saved.
So, as we near the end of Remedy Mission VI, we’re celebrating Mohammed’s successful surgery, but we can’t really celebrate his life without acknowledging the hero who has always stood behind him.
We’re excited that Mohammed’s heart is healing, and he can now grow into a man capable of caring for the woman who sacrificed so much for him.
So from Mohammed, his mother, and all of us – thanks for saving his life!
The wait is over! Being the last of the Iraqi children who came over the border on December 31, 2007, Arya has now been admitted to Wolfson Medical Center for surgery scheduled for tomorrow morning, February 21st. The complexity of his heart condition and the severity of the operation necessitated the delay.
For Arya’s mother, the months of heartache while watching other children go into the hospital and subsequently return and leave for home was quickly becoming unbearable for her to behold. We are pleased to tell you that today, we saw Mom jumping for joy and speaking as clearly as she could in English, “I love you, I love you” as she stood in the pediatric ward smiling from ear to ear as she told us how God answered our prayers.
January 3, 2008 by Jeremy · Comments Off
Today it was finally time for Aras’ surgery. Accompanying an older child for their surgery is very different than going with one of the toddlers or pre-school aged children. Patients here are not given any sedation before they go to the operating room, so Aras was fully alert, and knew exactly what was about to happen, and couldn’t hide his fear in those final moments. Seeing him cry made his mother cry too. Seeing Diyka Aras’ distress as we walked out into the hallway, one of the medical personnel asked us to wait while she went to check on how long it would be before he would come upstairs. The answer we were given was that it would be a long surgery of about five hours.
Five hours later. Dr. Sasson, the surgeon who performed the operation, came by and told us that everything went very well. Diyka Aras was very relieved, yet as is always the case, she wasn’t able to be sure all was well until she saw her son for herself. When we saw two men wheeling his bed down the hall to the ICU, she cried and thanked God as we walked with them until they were inside.
At that time the phone calls began in order to give the family in Iraq the good news. We were able to go in to see Aras after about 45 minutes, and were told again that his surgery went very well.
Diyka Aras was telling thanking everyone for everything they’d done for her son. Your prayers and donations have been used by God to bring us to the life-changing time in Aras and his family’s lives.
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.
November 8, 2007 by Jeremy · Comments Off
This is cross-posted from our partner Brothers Together’s site. We wanted you to hear this story so you could feel the gravity of the problem these famillies face.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Sister Died of Heart Disease
Filed by Donna Petrel
A sleepy Hussein arrived with his mother from the Save A Child’s Heart house this morning, along with Mustafa and his mother, for his echo and further tests. Yesterday Dr. Katz attempted to do an initial echo on Hussein, but none of us could settle him down enough for the echo to be done. Because it was late in a very long day, the doctor decided that waiting until today would be best for all of us, and dismissed Hussein to the SACH house. This morning Hussein was given a syrup to make him sleepy so he would not be distressed over the echo, and even though he arrived at the hospital already sleepy, this did not stop his fearful fretting for quite awhile. Yet when he finally fell asleep, he was peaceful during an hour-plus long echo by several doctors who were discussing his complicated case as they went through the examination. Hussein awoke before the end of the exam, and Dr. Tamir spoke to him gently about helping him grow up to be a big boy, which seemed to settle him back down so the exam could be finished to the doctor’s satisfaction.
During today’s exam when Dr. Tamir took some family information about Hussein, his mother told of the death of an older daughter who also apparently had heart problems. She told of how the doctors in Iraq could not help her after she was admitted to the hospital at the age of nineteen, and so after four months, the daughter died. She had shared with me in Amman that one of her children died, but she did not tell me the details. After hearing this today, it helped me realize why she is so anxious to know whether Hussein will be able to have surgery or not.
Later in the day as Hussein still waited at the hospital, this usually shy boy was content to go to the children’s playroom where they were making balloon animals. He also enjoyed playing with his friend Mustafa and visiting with Hedi in his room there. It was determined that both Hussein and Mustafa could return to the SACH house for the night, and come back for more testing later in the week. Tomorrow we hope to visit them there. Please keep praying for Hussein and his mother as they wait for the surgery which will give him a new heart, and give joy to the heart of his dear mother.