Ahmed's Heart Surgery

Kurdistan, northern Iraq

A Successful Catheterization

Posted on Wed, 05/04/2016 - 21:53 by Rebekah Yang

Early this morning, Suhail and I headed off to Wolfson hospital for Ahmed’s second catheterization.

I was a bit anxious as we arrived there late, and I was worried that we would not be there to support his mum for the most important moment - seeing him wheeled into the catheterization laboratory room. Thank God that his schedule was changed to a later time and we were able to spend some time with both Ahmed and his mum. While we were waiting, an interesting clown was there to keep Ahmed occupied. He even went with us and blew bubbles all the way until we were outside the laboratory room. It was a good distraction for his worried mind. 

The whole procedure started around 11am. Soon after the catheterization began Suhail,  Ahmed's mother, Baran’s mum and I went to the shopping mall area for a short break and chatted there. After a while, we went to the cafeteria for a quick lunch.  At 12 :30pm, I went to the laboratory to check if it had finished and - praise God - he had just came out and was in the post recovery room for close monitoring of his general condition. So Ahmed’s mum and I spent another half hour with him until he could be wheeled down to the children's ward.

Praise God!! His catheterization was successful. The doctor mentioned that this time they were able to check his heart thoroughly through the cath, and they got the result that they were not able to get the first time. Thank you God for your protection over Ahmed and thank you to everyone who has prayed. The Shevet family is looking forward to welcoming them come back tomorrow.   

"And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Messiah Jesus," (Philippians 4:7).

A New Adventure

Posted on Tue, 05/03/2016 - 22:17 by Rebekah Yang

Late this morning, we were told to bring Ahmed to Wolfson hospital for his catheterization that will take place tomorrow. Due to the lack of a driver, we decided to take Ahmed and his mother to the hospital via public transportation.

Right after we got on the bus to Tel-Aviv, Ahmed and his mother’s adventure began. Both of them enjoyed the bus ride; they were looking at all the scenery as we drove through the country. It was so amazing to watch Ahmed’s face fascinated by all that he saw, and I tried to imagine what he was thinking in his little head.

After we arrived at the hospital, the nursing station were so busy with all the Gaza kids there, we had to be patient and wait for Ahmed’s turn. After Ahmed settled down, I went to the ICU for a short visit to see Baran.

Please lift Ahmed in your prayers. May God provide wisdom and strength to all the medical team for his catheterization tomorrow.

Sho Shad

Posted on Wed, 04/20/2016 - 21:16 by Juanita Florez Parra

Very early this morning, along with Suhail and Miriam, I had the chance to join Ahmed and his mother to go to Wolfson hospital for his computed tomography exam. During the journey, we saw the sunrise and made Ahmed laugh.

After arriving at the hospital the medical staff began preparing him for the examination, and every time the doctor approached he cried strongly and said, "bye bye" and, "Sho shad" (meaning "goodnight" in Kurdish). He was very scared, but sometimes we managed to calm him by playing cartoons on my mobile.

He didn't stop crying when he entered the examination room, but eventually the anaesthesia made him fall asleep. His mother cried when she saw her son so emotioal, but when we took her into the waiting room she calmed down. After the examination, we waited for him to wake up and were given some presents people were giving away in the hospital thanks to Pesach (Passover).

We then had to wait a while because Ahmed had developed a fever, and the nurses had to get his temperature to lower before we left. We came back home when he was better, and during the journey he could eat and rest.

Ahmed, Chocolates and Jerusalem

Posted on Thu, 04/14/2016 - 19:31 by Rebekah Yang

Today, when I first glanced at Ahmed, I saw that he was sitting on his bed and enjoying lots of chocolates! It seemed that he had been having a good time in the hospital - praise God. After greeting his mum with kisses, I helped to get her stuff together and we were so happy thinking of our impending journey - to go back to Jerusalem together.

Due to our late arrival at the hospital, we did not see any doctors and were unable to get further information regarding the result of Ahmed’s catheterization or his future surgical plan.

Please join us with prayers for this little, precious boy and his mum. May God provide them with His peace in anticipation of Ahmed’s upcoming heart surgery.   

Catheterization for Ahmed

Posted on Wed, 04/13/2016 - 23:06 by Doug Wiley

Today was the day for Ahmed to have his catheterization procedure! I was honored to be a part of the team at the hospital with him and his mother. 

Ahmed is such a joyful child and was happily playing in his bed as the team arrived this morning.  Despite the busy activity in the room, he patiently waited his turn to play with stickers and balloons. Playing catch with the balloons was his favorite thing to do, even though he was attached to an IV line. Ahmed's mother was quiet and sober in anticipation of what the day held. 

As the time for the procedure grew closer, Ahmed was happy to continue playing with the balloon until it was his turn in the catheterization lab. Tears began to flow and prayers were offered for peace and comfort. After approximately 1.5 hours, he was brought to recovery. As soon as he awakened, he was very upset and crying, making it necessary for his mother to hold him with a strong but comforting hand. Precious Ahmed has a large scar on his chest, evidence of a previous major surgery which has left him understandably afraid of medical personnel. Eventually he did calm, and as we prepared to leave was resting quietly.  Please pray for him as he continues to receive treatment. 

Blood Tests and Balloons

Posted on Tue, 04/12/2016 - 20:59 by Olivier Bareaud

This morning we drove Ahmed and his mother to Wolfson hospital in Tel Aviv. 

We sat in a waiting room with them, and I did my best to keep Ahmed happy and joyful. He is a very sensitive little boy, however, so as soon as we took him to get his blood test done Ahmed was in tears. We had to immobilize his body. The nurse had a very hard time trying to find a vein, so she had to try two different spots before finally being able to take his blood. Ahmed was scared more than hurt. He screamed a lot. Rebekah, his mother, and I tried to keep him calm but, sadly, with no success.

Once the blood test was over, we took him to the room where he will stay until his surgery. He could finally get some rest in his mother's arms after the distressing morning. I had the opportunity to talk a little bit more with his mother. We showed each other pictures of our homes and families, and later in the afternoon Rebekah found some balloons to bring back to the room for the children to have something to play with. Because the balloons were filled with helium they were sadly unreachable on the ceiling. We had to improvise and we managed to find a stick to reach them.

This admission day has been hard for Ahmed, but his mother gives him much, and she will be staying with him during his time at the hospital. All of our Shevet team is working to support them as best we can. The mother is very thankful for this attention. It is a difficult time for her because this is not Ahmed's first heart surgery experience.

We had to leave the hospital around 3:30pm to go back to Shevet Achim's base, but another team will visit them tomorrow and in the following days. In the mean time, we will be lifting mother and son in prayer! 

First Hospital Experience

Posted on Thu, 04/07/2016 - 20:48 by Ruth Zellweger

Early this morning our Shevet team of four set off to Wolfson hospital with our newly arrived children, Zina and Ahmed. After they had the day yesterday to get accustomed a little bit to Israel and to our large Shevet family, Ahmed was already not so shy anymore.

When we put him in the car seat Ahmed did not mind, and he was a happy little boy during our van ride to Tel Aviv. When I showed him some pictures from yesterday's blog entry he got really excited when he saw his beloved daddy on one of the pictures. It is obvious how much he loves him. He even started a conversation with the picture on my phone. 

Upon arrival at the hospital we had some waiting time before the assessments started, which Judith used to entertain him with bubbles. This little man LOVES bubbles! It was so fun to watch him trying to catch the bubbles.

When the assessments started he was not as happy anymore but tolerated most of them. Thankfully, the blood test was done quickly. Before Ahmed went into the echo room he received some sedation in order for Dr. Alona to clearly evaluate his heart. He fell asleep after a time of fighting to stay awake. However, as soon as his mother put him on the examination table Ahmed woke up and started crying. Dr. Alona performed the echo, but due to his non-cooperation she told us that it has to be redone under anesthesia.

She hopes to do this when Ahmed is undergoing a catheterization, which would be in order for the doctors to get a full understanding of the anatomy of Ahmed's heart. She told us the previous surgery Ahmed underwent in India was to prepare him for a univentricular heart repair. She hopes, however, Ahmed will be a candidate for a biventricular heart repair. I am so thankful we partner with doctors who do the best they can to find the best solution for each child. 

We then had the PPD test done for mother and son (a test for Tuberculosis) and finished the series of assessments with a chest x-ray. Afterwards we enjoyed some time with Adil and father, and we played in the waiting room until everyone was ready and dismissed to return home. 

We appreciate your prayers for Ahmed and his mother, as well for his father who is fighting in the Kurdish army close to the frontline with the Islamic State. May God's will be done in Ahmed's life, and may our community be a blessing to mother and son.

Ahmed Arrives in Israel

Posted on Wed, 04/06/2016 - 21:45 by Ruth Zellweger

Ahmed turned three only a few days ago, and yesterday morning left on a great adventure. He had to say goodbye to his father, who fights in the Kurdish army very close to the Islamic State frontlines.

His mother left her four month old son behind to give her firstborn the opportunity of a healed heart. Thankfully, they did not have to travel alone, but had the companionship of Zina and her mother, as well as our international coordinator, Jonathan.

They had a layover of five hours at Amman airport, and Ahmed used that time to get aquainted with Zina and to talk with his father. We pray father and son can soon be reunited.

Around ten thirty they eventually entered the arrival hall at Ben Gurion airport, where Ahmed became friends with Naomi right away.

After they had slept-in this morning, our new arrivals went on a park outing with our other families in Jerusalem this afternoon. It has been a good first day, with times of rest and making new friends. 

Tomorrow he will go to Wolfson hospital for his first assessments. We are looking forward to better getting to know Ahmed and his mother.

Coming to Israel

Posted on Sun, 03/13/2016 - 10:54 by MadelynMiles

Little Ahmed is from the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq, and he will have his third birthday in just a couple of weeks! We look forward to meeting toddler Ahmed, as we are now applying for him to come to Israel soon. 

Ahmed was born with a congenital heart defect known as Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF). As the prefix "tetra" indicates, this is actually one diagnosis made up of 4 different defects. You can read more about TOF by clicking this informational link

Many of the children who come to Shevet Achim with a TOF diagnosis tend to be cyanotic, which means crying or screaming too much can cause fainting or death, and they can be very weak. Ahmed has been deemed cyanotic, so we ask you to pray for him, that the Lord would sustain his life and give him strength.