Preparing for the long-awaited catheterization

Israa and her father have been waiting more than 80 days for this moment. Israa’s father dressed specially for this day.

He was nervous as he approached the heart unit. The plan was for Israa to be admitted to the hospital and to have a diagnostic catheterization tomorrow, in order to better plan for the anticipated surgery after this procedure. There was rarely a moment when Israa was not climbing on the multi-colored playground or walking around the halls of the cardiac unit.

During the time of her echocardiogram, before she even reached the examination bed, she started crying. After exhausting all the comforting words in my vocabulary in Kurdish, I realized that all she wanted was to be held. I asked if I could hold her during the echocardiogram, and the technician agreed to give this suggestion a try. As she laid in my arms on this examination bed, she was content. She even marveled at the different colors emerging on the echocardiogram screen, and I tried to simply explain that this was her beautiful heart.

Sometimes it is difficult to face difficult or scary circumstances, but when we walk through these circumstances together, often fears are relieved. Holding her reminded me of how God has us in his arms, and how we can gain comfort in knowing and trusting his nature of peace, faithfulness, and kindness.

After the echocardiogram, Israa had a chest x-ray. The doctor then discussed the procedure and information for the father to know prior to the catheterization. We then waited for the hospital bed to be ready for Israa. During this waiting time, she fell in love with the colorful cat sculpture in the hospital unit and the multitude of colorful butterflies on the wall. She brought so much joy to the nurses and those around her, as everyone exclaimed how cute Israa is.

When the hospital bed was ready, she fell asleep quickly after we laid her in her bed. Please pray for her catheterization procedure tomorrow, and for peace for her father. This is her very first catheterization and major procedure in her two years of life