Ishi Xwa chen khosha — “How beautiful is the work of God.”
These were the words of Shadi’s mother on the day of his surgery, referring to his unique combination of heart defects; not only are his arteries are reversed but also the lower chambers of his heart. Because of his double-backwards anatomy, the heart in the end is actually directing blood to the right areas of the body. For this reason this type of transposition is also known as congenitally-corrected transposition of the great arteries.
Since Shadi’s first appointment seven weeks ago, doctors at the Sheba Medical Center have been studying his heart to help plan for surgery. In this time Shadi and his mother have become very dear to pretty much everyone who has met them. If you see his big toothless grin, you’ll see why everyone finds him so endearing.
Things finally look like they are moving forward to bring the adult Kurdish patient Mohammed to Israel, thank God. He is still suffering from a congenital heart defect despite two prior surgeries, and cannot live much longer without intervention. Three times in the past six weeks his visa to enter Israel was denied due to his age.
The interior ministry is also close to approving entry for our coworkers in Kurdistan, Nate and Colin, to come and escort Asmeen back to her family in Kurdistan. She remains on mechanical ventilation at Sheba now more than half a year after her surgery.
In the words of Shadi’s mother, how beautiful is the work of God.
Alena for Shevet Achim