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.
A shy Tarza and her mother began the admissions process today for her heart surgery. Even though she is beginning to warm up to those of us on staff, she is still very quiet and shy. Because of this, I rather expected her to be fearful of the tests which had to be done today prior to her admission. What a surprise that she was such a trooper when it came her turn for the dreaded blood test! She only made a small whimper when the needle was inserted, and was very brave the rest of the time for every test.
The doctor found in the echo that Tarza has an ASD, which can be repaired by a simple and short heart surgery (relatively speaking of course!) It is hoped that her surgery can be scheduled soon, and after the surgical team meets on Sunday we should have a better idea about just how soon. Naturally all of us hope they do not have to endure a long wait to get the treatment they came for.
On Sunday Tarza and her mother will return to the hospital to be checked after the standard test for tuberculosis. One father was a great help to them and us at the hospital by translating and explaining what to expect, and another father has been a great help here at the house.