Ahmed's Heart Surgery


Brave Ahmed Hospitalized for Surgery

Posted on Wed, 12/30/2009 - 00:00 by Donna_West
Last night we received word from Wolfson Hospital that our funny little Ahmed has finally been invited for surgery. We arrived about 11 AM today and the admission procedures began. While Ahmed's room was being prepared, he got to play with his best buddy Mohammed, who is recovering from his own surgery. Ahmed has been asking about him continually since his surgery, wanting to know when he was coming home.

Between the blood pressure, new echocardiogram, temperature and bloodwork that was done, seeing Mohammed was the highlight of his day. The surgery will either be done tomorrow or Sunday after many calculations are completed by the surgical team. Please keep this brave little boy in your prayers for a successful and complete repair of his heart.

Emergency Echo for Ahmed

Posted on Fri, 12/04/2009 - 00:00 by Donna_West

When I arrived at Wolfson today to check on the children, I saw Ahmed and his mother briskly walking into the emergency room with Hamza following close behind. Since Hamza had been re-admitted for a few more days before being released to return to his family, he has taken over the role of interpreter and ambassador for Shevet Achim whenever we are not there.

Ahmed was unsure of what was going to be done to his body during his visit to the emergency room. Once he understood it was going to be another echocardiogram, he appeared to be at peace.

Ahmed's main concern seems to be the sight of needles and blood, especially with his own body, as many adults can identify with that issue! The report from the echo was "very good" according to Dr. Alona, and Ahmed was dismissed to return to Jerusalem.

On the way out the photographer for Save A Child's Heart gave Ahmed a picture of Hamza. When we were riding back to Jerusalem, I saw Ahmed in his car seat lovingly looking at the picture of Hamza before he fell asleep. We continually pray that the precious new relationships formed here at Shevet Achim will reflect a breakthrough in the hearts of these families for a precious relationship with their Savior, for He is theirs as well as ours.

Little Ahmed Overcomes His Fears

Posted on Wed, 12/02/2009 - 06:41 by Donna_West

Today Robin and I left early for Wolfson Hospital with Ahmed and his mother for the heart catheterization that was postponed last week. Remembering the difficulty the staff had last week with Ahmed's small veins, Robin and I prayed that a good vein could be found on the first try. Ahmed was very fearful that it was going to be another painful experience. The fear and tension was written all over his face and actions. Even Robin's new game "let's count the ways a rubber glove can make you laugh" was not much distraction for Ahmed.

The doctors and staff worked with a bright light in a dark room to look for suitable veins in Ahmed's hand, but none were large enough.

Once the port was inserted into his arm, Ahmed was better able to be distracted by a one-armed bowling game on an iPod.

The cardiologist Dr. Tamir waited while we called one of our volunteers to translate for Ahmed's mother. He wanted her to fully understand the procedure and just how serious Ahmed's condition is. Once the translation was finished and the medication had Ahmed sleeping soundly, we had almost a three-hour wait while the doctors worked.

Once the procedure was completed and Ahmed was wheeled out, Dr. Tamir once again asked us to call our translator to give Mom the good news.

During the procedure they were able to expand the aortic value and reduce the pressure in the pulmonary artery to allow better use of oxygen for Ahmed. A little boy once almost given up as inoperable now has a better chance than ever for one surgery to make a world of difference in his life. God truly shows us His great concern and love for us and these children every day.

Ahmed will remain at Shevet Achim while his body gets used to the adjustments that have been made. Then it will be time for surgery. Right now, we will continue to pray, comfort and love each other. Jesus was a man of compassion, and as we reflect that compassion to our Iraqi guests, they are learning to have compassion on one another. Even twelve-year-old Hamza (another patient from Iraq) was there at Ahmed's bedside today to comfort him.

May we continue to set the example we hope to see in others. Please continue to pray for Ahmed and his mother, that total restoration will be accomplished by the grace and mercy of God.

After Many Tears Ahmed Found Peace

Posted on Tue, 11/24/2009 - 00:00 by Donna_West

Ahmed was admitted to the hospital for his catheterization this morning. The brave little boy of the 3 hour and 45 minute echo does not have the same tolerance for needles. The nurse attempted to insert a port four times into Ahmed's little vein unsuccessfully, so the staff allowed his mother to take him back to his room to calm down for a while. 

Later they sent for him, and after many tears the insertion of the port was successful. I was privileged to witness some very tender private times between a mother and a son as Ahmed began to relax in his mother's care.

Please continue to pray for this little one. His surgical need was rated between needing immediate intervention and being inoperable. We have seen many miracles happen with the children God has brought here, and these doctors are very committed to saving children's lives. They can only succeed in what they do by the help of God. He is the One who holds the power of life and death in His hands.

Ahmed's Extended Echo Leads to Ice Cream

Posted on Mon, 11/23/2009 - 06:41 by Donna_West

While Ahmed waited for his first echo this morning, we played silly games, made faces and giggled at each other for quite some time. Slightly before lunch, the doctor gave Ahmed a sedative because children need to lie perfectly still during the echo procedure. Ahmed

Ahmed's First Visit to the Hospital

Posted on Tue, 11/17/2009 - 06:41 by Michelle_Bradburn

The journey has begun! Late last night precious four-year-old Ahmed and his mother arrived safely in Jerusalem from their home in Iraq. Today was his first day at the hospital, and he and his mother bravely tried to make the most of it. He smiled so much while we scribbled on scraps of paper and on our hands! Then we made paper airplanes. They didn't fly too well on their own, but that didn't matter because Ahmed turned out to be an excellent pilot.

Unfortunately, it turned out Ahmed had a bit of a fever and some coughing, so he was not able to have his first echo today after all. He was admitted into the hospital with his mother and they are staying over night. Even though Ahmed's Mother was really tired from a long day of waiting and of not being able to communicate (we didn't have a Kurdish translator) she was still smiling for Ahmed. The love she has for him is so evident.

Please pray for them both, that they will be filled with peace as they wait, and that Ahmed will be strengthened and healthy so he can go onto the next step.

Part Two ( November 19):

After spending two nights at the hospital, Ahmed and his mother were relieved to come back to Jerusalem this afternoon. Ahmed still has not undergone his echo test, but his fever is nearly gone and he is feeling incredibly better. The change in him was so evident. He was bouncing around the room with a gum-wrapper airplane, shouting tiarra! tiarra! He could not stop his sheepish grinning, and with him in our presence, neither could we.

Although Ahmed was quite sick, they sent him home with a bag full of medicine to help him get well. Hopefully, he will be well enough to move on to his echo sometime next week. Please pray that God will strengthen his little body! Even more than that, pray that God would strengthen his spirit and fill his heart with joy!!