Ahmed's Heart Surgery


A Picnic Before Surgery

Posted on Sun, 04/25/2010 - 01:00 by Jonathan Miles

Ahmed (pictured here in traditional Kurdish clothing at our Independence Day picnic in Jerusalem last week) is scheduled to go in this morning for his long-awaited second surgery. Doctors will be attempting to repair a valve in his heart and hoping against hope that they won't have to go to an artificial valve, which will complicate Ahmed's future and require constant monitoring and treatment. Please pray with us accordingly.

The Path to Hope

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

How, what, where??? Her son is only a child. She has done all she knows. It is not supposed to be this way! Ahmed's mother received the heartbreaking news last night: "Your son could die at any moment. If we operate to fix or replace the two leaking heart valves, he may die on the operating table. If he lives through the surgery, he will have to be on medication for the rest of his life with constant monitoring, to be sure the artificial valves don't clog because his blood is too thick." Dr. Tamir added, "If this child lived in Israel I would recommend the surgery, but living in Iraq the follow-up care is very uncertain."

How do you knowingly live at death's door with your child without a Savior? What can a mother do without hope? Where can she go to find help when it sounds like a death sentence? The refrain from an old gospel song keeps coming to my mind as I am broken with compassion for this strong woman in her tears: "Where could I go but to the Lord, Oh where could I go, Oh, where could I go, Oh Where could I go but to the Lord?"

God knows why this mother stands at this crossroad alone. We pray and sincerely ask your prayers for the Great Physician to give Ahmed a miraculous healing as only He can do. Quite possibly this could be for the glory of God to be revealed. We just are not willing to give up hope for this family.

UPDATE: Ahmed's parents have decided to go forward with surgery which is now scheduled within the next two weeks.

Ahmed Standing By for Surgery

Posted on Sun, 01/31/2010 - 00:00 by Donna_West
On Sunday all available Shevet family gathered around Ahmed and his mother as we prepared to leave for the Wolfson Medical Center. The plan was to admit Ahmed and take him to surgery the following morning to repair a leaky heart valve. Upon our arrival we learned the surgery schedule had to be altered due to the surgeon's unexpected illness. Dr. Tamir sent for Ahmed to do another echo and determined we should keep him on the same medication until the surgeon Dr. Sasson recovers and the schedule recovers as well.

At this time we are on "stand by" just waiting for the next phone call that may say, "Come NOW." Please continue to pray for Ahmed's complete recovery and God's grace for the surgeon's expert hands.

Doctors Decide to Go for Second Surgery

Posted on Tue, 01/26/2010 - 00:00 by Michelle_Bradburn
Yesterday and today the doctors and surgeons have been examining Ahmed, discussing the possibilities and deciding what would be the best thing for this little boy's heart. Today they us that he was able to come home to Jerusalem tonight, but that Sunday morning he would be admitted again, and Monday morning he would have his second surgery.

It's been a long few days in the hospital for Ahmed and his mother, not knowing exactly what was in store and anxiously waiting for a decision to be made. Ahmed's mother has been especially fearful, putting on strength for her son but really just trembling inside. When the doctor came in to tell us they had decided on surgery, one of the others just held Ahmed's mother as she wept and wept, realizing the seriousness once again of her son's condition.

Ahmed himself has been such a brave little boy. Not only is he smiling after all this, but his eyes are just shining with love and he's fighting to keep everyone else smiling as well. Let's pray for this precious boy and his mother, that God would reveal his love to them in amazing ways these next few days- that they would be drawn closer to one another in love, and that together they would see and know the goodness of the Lord in their lives and in their hearts. Pray also that God's wisdom and grace would rest on the doctors and surgeons this coming week, and that Ahmed's weak heart would be completely restored with the strength and life that only God can give.


Next Step in Ahmed's Treatment Uncertain

Posted on Sun, 01/24/2010 - 00:00 by Donna_West
As we arrived at the nurses' station in the ward today, I heard a playful little voice call my name.  Although Ahmed was still rather swollen, his bright eyes and mischievous smile just beamed from the hospital bed.  Ahmed and his best friend Mohammed were playing together and struggling over the same toy.  

But all in all they shared the events of the day much better than we expected.  Both mothers waited their turn with Dr. Tamir and his face looked saddened as he told Ahmed's mother that her son's surgery had not produced the results they had hoped for.  One of the valves is not operating properly, and until Dr. Tamir has an opportunity to meet with the surgeon he could not say whether or not it is repairable at this point.  An artificial valve that small is an issue, and even if they had one the right size it would require a lot of medication over a very long period of time.  It will take some thought to determine if an artificial valve is even an option and what the next course of action will be.  For tonight, Ahmed remains in the hospital under close supervision wondering why his mommy keeps crying.  This is one of those moments that you become so keenly aware that only God holds the power of life and death in His hand and the doctors are only His instruments.  Please pray for Ahmed, that the Great Physcian and Healer will make a personal bedside call for Ahmed to reveal His healing power and love for them.

Ahmed Rushed Back to Hospital

Posted on Thu, 01/21/2010 - 00:00 by Jonathan Miles
Ahmed developed a rapid heartbeat and swelling of his face over the last 24 hours, and tonight we rushed him back to the hospital for evaluation. Please pray for him, his mother, and the completion of God's good work in their lives.

Ahmed Kind to Everybody

Posted on Tue, 01/12/2010 - 00:00 by Michelle_Bradburn

Ahmed was such a good sport today! Though there was lots of waiting around the hospital, and he was no doubt weary of it all, he proved to have exceptional patience throughout the length of the day. He showed a sweet kindness to the doctors during the echo this morning, and while waiting throughout the rest of the day he often would smile at another little child, share a toy, a snack, or simply enjoy their company. He's really quite a social little boy, and as you can see in this video he's got great rhythm, too!

The doctors who were in the echo room with him this morning are such an encouragement to this boy and his mom, obviously so full of love for their patients. Please pray God will really bless them for their kindess and devotion; they do so much for these little Iraqi children.

The results from the echo today showed that Ahmed does indeed have a leaking valve in his heart, which is something they will want to keep an eye on. However, the doctors are still very hopeful, and say that after two more echos he should be on his way home.

Ahmed and his mom are now back in Jerusalem with us and rather weary from their stay at the hospital. Please pray God will bless them with good rest and and good health, and that any complications having to do with the fluid in his heart would be resolved quickly and simply. I thank God so much for bringing this precious boy to us. Let's continue to pray that he and his mother would truly come to know the love God has for them and the peace found in Him.

Ahmed Hospitalized With Water on Heart

Posted on Mon, 01/11/2010 - 00:00 by Michelle_Bradburn
Since being released from the hospital several days ago, Ahmed's been doing so well! Every time he smiles at me my heart melts all over again, he's got such a loving spirit. Whether we're dancing together, reading a book, singing, or even just saying goodnight, his joy and enthusiasm for life is so beautiful to watch.

Today during his echo the doctor found he has some fluid around his heart, so they've admitted him into the hospital for the night to put him on a new medicine and to observe him for a little while. He didn't mind the thought of the hospital so much, but once he saw them pulling out the needles for bloodwork he began to get a bit nervous! Before the nurse even began drawing blood Ahmed was screaming, and it broke my heart (and I'm sure his mother's as well) to see him so afraid. As I sat beside him, stroking his head, I felt his hair was simply drenched with the hot tears that just kept coming and coming. Yet even though he was so afraid, Ahmed didn't hold it against the nurse (who had been so kind and gentle) and even gave her a high-five and a weak smile before she left. He may be fearful, but his little heart is so full of compassion.

Pray with me that God would truly bless Ahmed with peace as his heart continues to get well, and that He would continue to reveal his goodness to this precious boy.

Silly Ahmed is Back

Posted on Mon, 01/04/2010 - 00:00 by Michelle_Bradburn
Ahmed is recovering beautifully since his surgery on Thursday. He's alert and smiling, and as you can see our little friend hasn't lost any of his fun sense of humor! It's hard to get a "normal" smile for the camera, but his mischievous faces make everyone around smile enough to make up for it. His mother is tired but extremely grateful to see her son doing so well.

Some days waiting in the hospital can be a bit dull, but Ahmed is quite creative, and even when things were slow this morning our short-term coworker Madelyn found he was keeping himself amused:
But best of all in this video is the glimpse you get of those precious eyes- a bit shy at first, but deep inside so loving and happy!

Let's give thanks for how God has blessed this little boy, and pray that God would continue to give him new strength and health each morning. And that through the love of all those caring and praying for him, he would truly understand how much he is loved by God...and that he would never forget. Pray that he will always be able to laugh and smile, knowing with full confidence and joy that Jesus is holding him closely, holding him with hands that never let go.

Into Surgery with Ahmed

Posted on Thu, 12/31/2009 - 00:00 by
Mary and I arrived at Wolfson Hospital just after Ahmed and his mother had been escorted down to surgery at about 7:35 AM. When we caught up with them the nurse told us they didn't quite know how they were going to get the child away from his mother because he was struggling to cling to her. I told them I wanted to go into surgery with him and the nurse directed me to the surgical clothing and dressing room. When I returned I took Ahmed's hand as he was rolled into surgery and moved from the cart to the operating table, and then as he fell softly asleep as the medication began to take effect. ( We often wonder as we are waiting with the mothers what is taking so long!) The first 50 minutes I was in the operating room I saw a team of at least four nurses, an anesthetist, and four other men in surgical attire preparing the heart lung machine, lining up filled syringes of different medications on different sides of the room and making preparations of sterile instruments before the surgical team arrived. I was very impressed by the number of people it takes to accomplish the "purpose" in the surgical end of the "greater plan."

It was close to 1 PM when we got our first post-surgical glimpse of Ahmed in the ICU all connected to many monitors and tubes.

As Mary and I stood quietly by his bedside praying for him and watching the monitors and recording it for you to see, his little eyes opened briefly and what the camera did not catch was he moved his fingers on the hand I was holding as he went to sleep as if to wave at me. Mary said it is unusual for the children to begin to wake up that soon. As I touched his hand he went back to sleep.

Mary and I checked on him several more times throughout our day at Wolfson. A couple hours later we saw that Ahmed had been put into a tent to cool him down as his temperature began to elevate. Ahmed's mother had a wonderful support system of the mothers (and a grandmother) of four other children from Shevet Achim. Although Mary and I floated from child to child and department to department until nearly 6 PM that evening we were thankful Ahmed's mother had the companionship of strong women who spoke her language and knew first hand the concerns of her own heart for her child. Please continue to pray for Ahmed as he continues through this healing process. Through much prayer and the skilled hands and willingness of the surgeons affiliated with "Save A Child's Heart" another child can grow up to know the grace of God through everyone whom has touched his life. I am reminded as I write this of the last three verses of Psalm 2. When we "kiss the son" it touches the parent's heart in a way that nothing else can.