After waiting over 13 years, Khonav’s time for surgery was finally here. Thank you God for opening the way for her. She has really been quite disabled with what she has been physically capable of, needing a wheelchair or a car to transport her around. Even an excited conversation could leave her short of breath, and her already blue skin tone turning darker.
So today the medical team were able to make a central shunt for her heart which should improve the amount of oxygen in her blood flow around the body. The surgeon afterwards commented how sad it was for her to have lived all these years with a heart in poor condition, and how it must have affected her quality of life. As I’m writing this now, I can’t help but think how beautiful Khonav’s life already is, despite what seems to have been a massive limitation. She has a fun-filled spirit and is quick to enjoy everything she can. She is extremely friendly, and she and her mother are very loving to everyone they meet. One of the words I think of which describes them is “content.” Always they are grateful, patient and happy with whatever they have. Sometimes just to sit together on the beach for an hour in almost silence together, they are content with it. It is really special and I love them both very much.
The day together with the mother was lovely also, as there were so many other Kurdish families and Shevet volunteers around the hospital. It makes it so much nicer to be all together. And Khonav’s mother kept asking after the other children whom she knew. She also comforted a Palestinian mother whose baby was having a catheterisation at the same time. Khonav’s mother has a big and generous heart.
After many hours, we received the news that Khonav’s surgery had finished and was successful. Our mother was extremely happy and relieved, finally able to relax and call her family and friends with the good news. We saw Khonav after she was stabilised in the ICU. What a beautiful transformation, already it was possible to see the brighter colour of her face. I said to her “Khonav my sister, you aren’t blue!” and she opened her eyes and moved her face and mouth in response. It was very special and peaceful to share the moment together, and through the sedation haze, she reached her fingers to hold our hands.
Thank God for bringing her safely through the surgery!