Abubakr 's Heart Surgery


A Tearful Goodbye

Posted on Fri, 04/16/2010 - 07:40 by Jonathan Miles

Abubakr and mother set off from Jerusalem Thursday afternoon for the long trip back home to Iraq. We all gathered in the courtyard, and I was surprised by the tears from both my coworkers and the traveling moms when it came time to say goodbye. 


We reached Amman about midnight Thursday, where my wife Michelle and I were blessed to host Abubakr, Parwa, Deeman, and their moms for the night before turning them over to Dirk and Manuela for more hospitality before the families flew out Saturday.

Thank you all for your support and your prayers, which have been so richly answered in the lives of these beautiful children.

Abubakr Brave, Kind on Last Day at Hospital

Posted on Mon, 04/12/2010 - 07:40 by Donna_West
Blue skies and good news on every side today for Abubakr and his two friends, Deeman and Parwa. Three echos completed and stiches removed with all but the traveling orders signed before noon seemed like record time to get so much accomplished. But with a limited staff today, Dr.Alona was busy in many different directions and we were left with four full hours to entertain three healthy children in the waiting room at Wolfson Hospital. These three children (along with four more in Jerusalem) have been living like siblings for months now. There doesn't seem to be a way to separate these stories today because every life, although it has its own story effects someone else's story.

Bakr, who is the youngest of two boys in his family, loves to help. He is one of the bravest five year olds I've ever met. From time to time at the hospital, I have seen children hesitating to willingly walk into a procedure that you are pretty sure, "This is really going to hurt!" But today when it came time to take out the last stitch, Bakr bravely watched them take out the stitch so he could help Deeman be brave.

Bakr and his gentle-spirited mother will be greatly missed when they leave us to return to their family this weekend. But we have yet a few more days to celebrate them and the goodness of God in their lives. Thank You Father!

Abubakr's New Heart

Posted on Tue, 04/06/2010 - 01:00 by Donna_West
Abubakr and his friend Deeman were back at Wolfson for his three week follow up echo today. The smiling, brave and outgoing little boy who started out just taking whatever he wanted by force, now teaches each of his friends and playmates how to hold out their hands to receive and take turns. His level of patience and desire to please make him a delight to spend time with.

Bakr is improving so rapidly that after today's echo two of his medications have been discontinued, and he and his mother are celebrating plans for next week's echo to be the last. Bakr has a desire to see more of Israel before he returns to Iraq. We pray the God who watches over Israel will be his guide over the next week or two that he is with us.

A Delightful Report

Posted on Mon, 03/29/2010 - 01:00 by Donna_West
About 10 days after surgery now, it was time for the doctors today to check the healing progress with another echo. This periodic checking can reveal impending issues with fluid build up before they become major issues. Since Bakr had some steroid medication added at his last visit, the puffiness of his face was beginning to cause his mother some concern. Dr. Tamir was delighted to report that Bakr was much better and we could gradually begin to reduce his medication.

These times of waiting together have been nice bonding and teaching times. Some of the great lessons that Bakr has mastered during these times are: taking turns, sharing, making friends from all nationalities and learning to put your hand out to ask for something instead of grabbing it. He has become such a fine student during these waiting times that he is teaching his friends back at the Shevet House. That spunky little boy that I first met has become one of my biggest delights. Please continue to pray for his healing and that he will continue to grow in grace and knowledge.

Abubakr's Big Discharge Day

Posted on Sun, 03/21/2010 - 00:00 by Donna_West

When Mary and I arrived at Wolfson Medical Center today to bring Abubakr and his mother back to Jerusalem, Bakr was already back to his smiling, playful self. Only five days after surgery, he was ready to play with his old friend Barzan (who was discharged himself today from Schneider Hospital). As the afternoon progressed at a snail's pace, the two friends had time to play, show each other their scars, toys and artwork.

As I turned around I noticed a group of Israeli Defense Forces soldiers (in their uniforms) leading both boys down the hall. I had no idea where they were taking them and I became quite interested. As I quickly followed them toward the playroom I realized they had gone outside. What a beautiful picture of love and compassion for sick children these young people modeled.

The uniformed youth were playing with the children that were well enough to run and offering paints and pictures to the ones not yet ready to move about very well. I was so pleased to see how gently the little "rough and tuff" Barzan played with his buddy.

By the time we arrived back at the Shevet House, all of Bakr's energy had been spent. As his mother tucked him in under a soft blanket it was all he could do to blow a kiss toward me. Please keep Bakr in your prayers. We pray his healing will continue without complications and he will soon be able to return to his family. It is our hope that the love modeled here in Israel will leave an everlasting impression on them.

Third Day Is the Hardest

Posted on Thu, 03/18/2010 - 00:00 by Mary_Dailey

When we first got to Wolfson early this morning Abubakr was still in intermediate ICU and was sleeping soundly; when we came to see him later they were already moving him down to the regular children's ward. His mother seemed very happy but he wasn't. It seems that the third day is the hardest for most of our children. They're coughing more and that hurts and they seem to be feeling the pain more.

Abubakr seemed to be afraid to move. His mother and the nurse had to lift him from the chair to the bed. I gave up on getting him to smile, but Abubaker's mother sure was smiling. He is doing great and I'm sure he'll be happier tomorrow. Psalms 30:5 says "Weeping may endure for the night but joy comes in the morning." I believe much of his problem is fear; please pray that the Lord will give him peace and restore his joy. Thanks for all your prayers and support.

Bakr's Remarkable Recovery

Posted on Wed, 03/17/2010 - 00:00 by Donna_West

As I started toward ICU to see Bakr this afternoon I was told, Bakr, no ICU! To my great surprise this brave boy was in the intermediate ICU less than 24 hours after the completion of his surgery. Bakr was napping and looked so peaceful that had I not known better, I would have thought someone just put a giant bandage on his chest as a joke. It was no joke that God has done a miraculous work in a very short time. We give God all praise for His loving kindness and the wonderful work He is doing here. Please continue in prayer for Bakr. As I left they were considering moving him into the ward very soon.

Easing the Tension As Surgery Day Comes At Last

Posted on Tue, 03/16/2010 - 06:40 by Donna_West

A volunteer from Jerusalem University College, Ryan, joined me early this morning to be a happy distraction to a day of much tension and waiting on Abubakr's big day for his heart repair. Brave little "Bakr" had just began to weaken when he saw Ryan and me enter the room and all of a sudden the tear or two disappeared as he gave me a big hug and began playing with Ryan.

It was not quite 8 AM and we let his mother know it was going to be a long wait. We went to the hospital shopping mall for a sweet roll, some tea and some unimportant conversation to pass the time, but the language barrier made communication next to impossible. Then Ryan had the great idea of getting out his computer and using Google translation. He typed in English, "This is going to be a fun game we can play." As he typed in English she read it in Arabic and was so delighted she could not keep from laughing.

It made it so easy to become as non-sensible and playful as the children and it lifted the tension for a while. It also enabled us to tell Bakr's mother what she could expect before she experienced it, which seemed to be reassuring for her. Hugs, hand holding, a few tears, a couple meals and some bubble blowing during the five and a half hours we waited to hear the good news helped the time pass a little easier. As the doctors quickly passed by us wheeling Bakr to ICU to be closely monitored during the first day or so following surgery, his mother was reassured and reminded to breath deeply as we both lifted our hands to the heavens and sincerely thanked God for His goodness and mercy.

The player will show in this paragraph

Please continue to pray for Abubakr's complete healing and for our heavenly Father to fill this happy little boy with the joy that comes from knowing the Lord.

A Most Cooperative Patient

Posted on Mon, 02/22/2010 - 00:00 by Donna_West

As this energetic five-year-old with the big smile and strong voice entered the echo room, Dr. Alona met one of her quietest and most cooperative echo patients. The news was good for Abubakr and his mother. Surgery will be required, but it looks to be an uncomplicated issue.

Although nothing is too hard for God, everyone feels relief when situations appear to have simple solutions. May God bless the healing process and give this little boy a speedy return to his family.

First Steps On the Road to Healing

Posted on Wed, 02/17/2010 - 06:40 by Donna_West

My first impression as we took Abubakr to the hospital today was that he was a spunky little boy with lots of energy and a contagious smile. He seemed bigger than most five-year-old heart patients, but healthy size does not necessarily reflect a healthy boy. Abubakr enjoyed some Coke while waiting his turn for the temperature, blood pressure, ECG, blood work and chest x-rays done today. He was very brave and never made a sound during the several attempts to get enough blood drawn for all the pre-surgical tests.

Please pray for Abubakr and his mother. His heart defect is called Tetralogy of Fallot. We believe God has a good plan for this little boy's life and wants him healthy for His Glory. Abubakr needs a special touch from His Maker's Hand.