Back to Kurdistan with Joy
Yesterday we had a farewell party for Lana and her mother. We had three families leaving today so we had a very fun party for all of them. We enjoyed the party together with all of the Shevet families. Lana’s mother received a lot of phone calls from the families at the hospital, who wanted to say goodbye to them. Lana and her mother were so excited throughout the entire party.
Today was the day for Lana and her mother to go back to Kurdistan. We could see happiness in their faces but also that they were nervous. On our way to the airport, Lana’s mother told me, “I miss everyone already.”
We had a very nice farewell at the airport. It worked out nicely that Lana and her mother were able to travel together with Nyaz and her mother.
These families are going to stay in our hearts. We were so blessed to have them here with us. We wish them a lot of joy, good health, and happiness back in Kurdistan. God bless them!
I’m really happy to see Lana with a beautiful color in her lips and in her skin. It’s really amazing to see this girl active, happy, and more interactive with us and the others kids in our home. I’m sure that she is going to miss us and also we are going to miss her.
In the morning we went for a blood test and afterward we went for her second echo after her discharge for the hospital. Mom had a lot of questions for the doctor, and she seemed anxious. But finally the doctor saw her, checked her, and he was really happy with the echo’s result – the surgery was successful. Lana’s heart is really complex, as she only has one ventricle, and praise the Lord her blood test also was good. She can go home!
She will still need frequent follow-ups with a doctor in Kurdistan along with blood tests and she is going to need her medication for some months. But the doctor said that the surgery was done at the right moment, because if this had been later maybe the result would not have been as good. Mom and Lana were a little sad because they said that they are going to miss us a lot.
Please pray for them for a good flight back home and also for God to continue unfolding his perfect plan for Lana’s life. May she can continue seeing miracles in her life and in her family.
Another blood test for Lana today, it is a long wait and today an early start to make the transport work. Yesterday the skin surrounding her surgery site had been bleeding and we were woken in the night by her worried mother as Lana was complaining of pain. Some paracetamol helped and they went back to sleep but we pray for quick healing and a good report on her blood test.
Ever since lovely Lana was discharged from her short admission last week, she’s been going to the hospital every few days for a blood test to check her INR. And thank God today her levels were good! In fact they were just where the doctor wanted them, so they resumed the medicine to stabilize them there. We should all give to glory to for her doctor who has been so attentive to her and all her needs, and that her INR is at a good level! God willing it will stay as it is. Thank God for his care for precious Lana.
Both Lana and her mum have grown a lot since the beginning, now they know the hospital, know the doctors. It was really special to see Lana’s level of comfort today with us in the hospital. We love this girl and her mum so much!
Yesterday Lana had an appointment for a blood test, but they saw she had high INR levels, and so they wanted to monitor how fast or slow her blood clots. Poor Lana was distraught to have to be readmitted to the hospital, but thank God Tara (pictured left), who speaks Kurdish, was there to console her while Julio brought her mum back to Shevet to pack a bag for the hospital.
It turned out that their stay was a short one, because she was discharged this evening! She can resume her normal medication schedule tomorrow, as one of the medicines she was on was stopped for the test because of its impact on the results. Pleas pray for her peace and for her INR level because she has another blood test in two days!
Our sweet Teenager-Girl had a long day at hospital but she kept smiling and endured the long appointments and the waiting time in between with great patience and without complaining. I could see that this wasn’t easy for her. All the way from Shevet to the hospital she had been coughing and she also has a bad pain coming from her neck going down through her back.
First we went to get some blood tests done. In the part of the hospital we were was a little booth with hot coffee and tea and biscuits which made it more pleasant to wait.
Soon the nurse was calling Lana and we went to get the echo done. It’s not a comfortable procedure so I cheered her up and was praying at the same time. Looking over her results the doctor encourages her to be more active and to start with walking outside. Please pray for her mum as she is worrying a lot to be more confident and to enjoy with Lana the time with our other families at Shevet Achim.
Lana was found strolling around the cardiac ward today, healing up quickly and a beautiful pink color.
Yesterday brought some disappointing news that Lana has a bacteria in her bloodstream, causing fever and weakness. Today, it’s obvious that the antibiotics have begun working, even as we know that this infection will require a course of strong intravenous antibiotics.
Lana and her mom are much less anxious and much more peaceful. Lana’s mom even tried to cheer up Musa today, as he desperately waited for a discharge delayed by more testing. A spirit of peace and hope now rests on Lana and mom, as they recognize the visible healing that is taking place.
Today I had the pleasure of visiting one of our two birthday girls: our beautiful and sweet Lana (the other is Wareen, who is at home). When I went into her room she was sleeping, but I really wanted to give her a big hug, so I woke her up. She was so sweet and woke up with a big smile, so I started to sing “Happy Birthday” in Arabic; unfortunately I don’t know to sing this song in Kurdish, but she smiled anyway and listened to me sing.
I was very thankful that today we can celebrate her birthday after her second heart surgery, and she was happy, too. Also I gave her a beautiful gift from Shevet Achim. She was really happy. She told me that she would like a birthday party when she is back at our home. I am really looking forward to it.
Also, it was very joyful to see her without chest drains or a nasal cannula. She looks so much better, with a beautiful color in her skin. Although she has some pain, she is walking and recovering well. Mom also is so happy to see her beautiful daughter.
Please join me in giving thanks to God for one year more of Lana’s life and also for completely healing her body.
To be honest, it wasn’t a nice experience to visit Lana today. I commiserate with her so much. After her second surgery, she had been extubated yesterday in the afternoon. The nurse said she is doing well but she needs time now to recover. I couldn’t tell who looked more exhausted: Lana or her mum.
As Milly and I were standing next to Lana’s bed we prayed for her. Meanwhile the line of a song came to my mind: “Oh, your mercy rushing through me. Oh, how beautiful, how beautiful…”. I sang it quietly, praying for healing over Lana’s body. I smiled at her but she didn’t have the strength to return the smile. She just gazed at me, having no emotion on her face. Suddenly Lana asked her mum with a weak voice if she could sit up a little bit and then she vomited (The mum had given her some water to drink too early on).
Lana’s mum was very worried asking us many questions. Such as “Why does my daughter has these three chest tubes?” (they are completely normal, every child needs them after surgery). She showed us some videos she made yesterday of Lana being in pain, moving her head back and forth, whining something incomprehensible. Thank you God, that Lana and her mum don’t have to go through this alone, because you are with them! Please pray for Lana to recover quickly and for her mum to have peace and be patiently.
Sophie wrote yesterday telling the story of Lana’s difficult and very long surgery, and the strain on her mother’s emotions. She also wrote about the critical 24-48 hour period which comes after each surgery, where its the most risky time for the children to experience complications. Praise God that so often our children are blessed with a smooth recovery and no complications, but today came as a reminder that we should never forget to surround these precious ones with prayer during their recovery time.
Julio received a phone call in the morning and informed us that Lana had been taken back into surgery this morning due to bleeding after yesterday’s operation. We were already on our way to the hospital to see her, and so we were able to wait together for the latter hours of the surgery. It took all morning, and the hours seemed blurry as we sat side by side; Lana’s mum tearfully clutching at her phone listening to Islamic chants in between taking some phonecalls from Kurdistan and me interceding for this fragile mum and her daughter.
Lana was stabilised after surgery relatively quickly, and we were able to go into the room to be with her. The surgical information from the doctor was that the bleeding issue had been resolved and she was stable again. She still had a lot of attention throughout the rest of the afternoon from the medical team (xray, echo, etc) and also from the sweet Kurdish families also in the hospital who came to see how she was, and help with translation. It is good to see how they care for each other during this difficult time.
Please keep Lana in your prayers, and for her mum as well who is emotionally drained. Please pray that they would know the love of God at this time holding them firmly, and that they will see his healing in Lana’s body.