A busy week

Arwa had quite a busy week in the hospital. After she was admitted through the emergency room, she spent the next few days undergoing a series of tests to examine her heart in preparation for treatment.

In a normal heart, the large blood vessels that carry blood from the heart to the lungs and body are completely separate, so no oxygenated and deoxygenated blood are mixing together. However, Arwa’s aorta and pulmonary artery did not fully separate during development, and now share a common trunk. This condition causes pulmonary hypertension (high pressure in the pulmonary arteries) and is usually treated with surgery within two or three months of birth.

However, Arwa’s heart has gone untreated for three years now, and the doctors are concerned that three years of severe pulmonary hypertension may have done irreparable damage to her pulmonary arteries. They want to do a diagnostic catheterization to investigate the condition of the PAs before they can decide if they can take her to surgery.

Arwa was scheduled to have this procedure during hospitalization, but since she had a cough and some congestion, the cath doctor thought it best to wait. She came back to our community house in Ashdod on Sunday, and we’re glad to see that her cough is already clearing up with the help of some inhalation treatments.

Arwa will probably have her cath within the next week. Her mother is feeling pretty nervous about it, especially because of the risk that her pulmonary arteries are too damaged to be operable. Please pray for a full recovery for Arwa and good results from her upcoming cath.