Abdalla's Heart Surgery

Kurdistan, northern Iraq

God knows the Heart

Posted on Sun, 04/17/2016 - 21:09 by Miriam Svensson
Today it was time for Abdalla to be admitted to Wolfson hospital for his upcoming surgery. Berith and I had the privilege to escort him and his father to the hospital. Before we started our journey, all of the Shevet staff gathered to pray for Abdalla. We lifted him and his father up before the great Healer and Comforter. Then we set off along the road in the warm sunshine.
At the hospital everything went smoothly. Abdalla had some cream rubbed on his arms to make the needle sting less, and was shown a bed where he could wait for it to take effect. After a while, he was called into the nurses' room to have his IV canula. He was very brave and only grimaced a little when the doctor put it in.
After it was done we all had a picnic lunch in the outside playground together, with the other hospital team of the day. 
Abdalla seemed playful as usual, but I couldn't help wondering what he felt inside. He is old enough to understand a little bit more of what is going to happen. Although he didn't show any fear, it might be there under the surface - only God knows. Please help us in continuing to pray for Abdalla! We ask for God's peace on him and his father, and wisdom for the surgery team. May the good Lord hold them all in His mighty hand.

A Special and Rare Day

Posted on Sun, 04/10/2016 - 21:38 by Mateo Patiño Trujillo

This morning we came to the hospital with expectations for Abdalla's surgery to be tomorrow. At the beginning, the nurses told us to wait for the doctor to arrive at the nurses’ station to prepare him.

The time continued to tick by as we were having a great time all together.

We ate pizza, played some games, walked around, and communicated with signs and a few words in Kurdish that I know, and little words in English that Abdalla knows. After a funny and a long wait, Miriam told us he is not having surgery tomorrow.

The nurses and the doctor didn't say why, but it is still possible it could be this week.  The time was not a loss because we shared, laughed, ate all the time, and we had an interesting time communicating as we shared about our countries and families. It was a great day. We are still waiting for the Will of God through the surgery of Abdalla, God knows the day and the hour!


Time Is Opportunity

Posted on Tue, 04/05/2016 - 17:41 by Christelle Fonjallaz
Abdalla has been with us for two weeks now, and we are really happy to know him better. He's a really nice and funny young man! 

I had the opportunity to spend time with him today. He's doing really well. We played cards and hide-and-seek. After lunch, I tried to teach him some English. It seems to be hard for him to focus. However, his English has improved since he has been here! He knows the alphabet, the numbers, and some basics like "how are you? or "what's your name?" quite well. Today he learned some adjectives related to feelings. 
Then we went with a little crew to the Garden Tomb. We walked through the garden, and Abdalla's father had a audio guide so he could understand better what the Garden Tomb is. We also went briefly into the tomb with them. We had a really good time, sharing and laughing together. 
Thank you for your prayers about Abdalla's time here with us and his upcoming surgery.

All In God's Hands

Posted on Mon, 03/21/2016 - 20:23 by Alexa Bigl

We headed to Wolfson for Abdalla’s initial assessments early today, and once we arrived the exams, tests, and waiting began. Abdalla handled everything with much patience and grace. We even managed to convince him to play card games (and he beat us almost every time) during the waiting periods.

Seeing Abdalla already starting to open up was exciting, this young man is going to be so much fun to get to know! Abdalla’s father also seems like a very special person. He is kind, understanding, and a wonderful father.

We managed to get all of the necessary tests finished today thanks to the dedication and hard work of the doctors at Wolfson.

The result of Abdalla’s initial echo showed his cardiac issue to be a very difficult situation. Abdalla has hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. This is a genetic disorder that causes his heart muscle to overgrow. The overgrowth of muscle in Abdalla’s left ventricle has caused a cascade of other issues including a malfunctioning valve and dilated atria. We will be sending many prayers to our Heavenly Father for the surgical team at Wolfson while they review Abdalla’s case and decide what interventions will be best for him. We will also be praying for Abdalla. His heart disease can also cause the beating rhythm of his heart to suddenly change, which is very dangerous. We are so thankful to know God’s heart for Abdalla and feel secure entrusting this boy to Him.

We learned today that Abdalla hopes to attend school in London after his time here in Israel. We hope he is ready to learn English because we are already making plans for his fluency before leaving Shevet!

Abdalla is back with us in Jerusalem now and we will wait to hear from the surgical team once interventional decisions are made. Thank you for joining us in Abdalla’s journey and in praying with us for him.  

The Adventure Begins

Posted on Sun, 03/20/2016 - 21:36 by Ruth Zellweger

Early this morning, Agnes and I had the privilege of welcoming Abdalla and his father at Ben Gurion Airport. It was great seeing them again after our short visit in their home a few weeks ago. Abdalla's shy smile captures your heart immediately. 

They had the day to rest and settle in. Tomorrow, Abdalla will have his first assessments at Wolfson hospital. This evening his father told me that Abdalla is homesick and misses his family back in Kurdistan. May he soon feel very comfortable in our Shevet family. We are thankful that he is with us.

A Privilege

Posted on Tue, 02/16/2016 - 11:17 by Ruth Zellweger

I met Abdalla before he even traveled to Israel. Seeing a child in his natural environment is such a privilege. Abdalla is growing up in a family where there is a lot of love and affection. This was communicated in many different ways, and it was a joy to observe. 

Our Shevet community is looking forward to soon welcoming father and son into our family. May their time in Israel be a blessed one.


To Come

Posted on Wed, 11/11/2015 - 13:19 by Sarah Powell

Abdalla is a nine-year-old boy from Kurdistan, northern Iraq. He was born with a malfunctioning mitral valve, which greatly reduces his heart's ability to provide his body with the oxygen it needs. We hope to have Abdalla with us in the near future so that he can get the help he needs.