Last week I made my first visit to one of ‘our kids’ – Aras, the start of what I hope to spend much time doing here as ‘Director of Rehabilitation & Family Relations’ for BSSL.
Aras was the first kid that was mostly funded for his surgery through BSSL . When we arrived in his neighborhood we first spotted him out playing on the street with his friends – running around, laughing, having fun! It was my first time to meet him and I definitely would not have suspected that he had been through so much in the past few months!
I had a wonderful time with Aras and his family. They thanked us over and over again for all that we had done to help Aras. His mom had put together an extensive photo album telling Aras’s story during his time in Jordan. It was fun having Aras talk me through all the photos from him lying on his bed immediately following surgery through all the various stages of recovery. He’s a real sweet kid!
Thank you for making it possible for kids like Aras to have the life saving operations that they need! Arya and Rebar just returned on Saturday so I’m also hoping to be able to visit them soon. This week I’ll also be visiting Baveel so check in again soon to see an update on how he’s doing.
We’ve got lots of news to catch you up on. Four of our kids have undergone their heart surgeries in the past week! On February 18th both Juliana and Rebar had their turns. Then Aria on the 21st and Hussein on the 24th. And all of them have come through with flying colors!
Juliana (pictured below- calling family back in Iraq) underwent a 7 hour surgery to repair multiple heart defects that were risking her life- narrowing of the vessels and a hole in the interior wall of the heart. In her second day after surgery she already looked better, with the blue tinge in her skin gone!
Aria has had a little more difficulty recovering than most of the other kids do. But he’s now looking better, beginning to eat more normally and being monitored closely for some blood pressure problems.
Rebar was transferred out of the intensive care unit only 2 days after his surgery and has been recovering at rapid speed. And Hussein as well has had a smooth recovery and is on his way back to normal health. These kids seem to bounce back so quickly that it’s hard to remember how severely their heart problems were affecting them before.
Four surgeries. One week. And lifelong impact that no one can count.
Aria, 2 years old from Northern Iraq
Doctors at the October screening in Jordan found that little Aria has the features of Down Syndrome and six fingers on his right hand, as well as a heart defect commonly found in Down children. He can overcome the heart defect with surgery which should allow him to grow into adulthood. Aria arrived safely in Jordan today and is awaiting surgery!
Rebar, 3 years old from Northern Iraq
Rebar was born with a large hole between the ventricles of his heart. The cardiologist who saw him in October in Jordan put him down for “intervention in near future” due to the risk that developing pulmonary hypertension could leave him inoperable. He has reached Jordan and is waiting for transfer across the river into Jordan.
Click here to see other kids we’ve helped in their journey.