Ainda's Heart Surgery

Northern Iraq

One Night at the Hospital

Posted on Thu, 09/22/2016 - 22:07 by Ruth Zellweger

Precious Ainda is back in Jersualem after one night under observation at Wolfson hospital. Her condition has improved under inhalation, and pneumonia was not confirmed. Instead, the doctors think that she is having a fall-cold, that many children are having right now. She is not yet her old self, but is already looking a lot better compared to yesterday. She hardly drank any milk today, but rather prefered a hearty meal with mashed potatoes and carrots around noontime and for dinner. 

Please pray with us that she completely recovers and gains weight before the repair of her cleft lip in a few weeks. 

Ainda Endures

Posted on Wed, 09/21/2016 - 22:07 by Rebekah Yang

Ainda sleeps after a long day of tests at the hospital

Our sweet Ainda had heart surgery two weeks ago and has been back with us in Jerusalem since the 13th of September. She was always cheerful and laughing all the time until yesterday. Ainda started to cough and had a runny nose yesterday afternoon. She also began to have shortness of breath from time-to-time. 

This morning, Virginia and I went to check on Ainda's condition and her mum said she did not sleep that night due to her inability to breathe well. After that we checked her vital signs. We discovered she had a high fever of 38.4 Celsius and her heartbeat was 173. So I talked to the doctor on the phone, and we decided to head to the hospital for Ainda's emergency check-up and treatment. Of course, it was indeed very painful for our little Ainda to go through all the medical procedures again. She was non-stop crying even when they checked her body temperature, too. Poor Ainda had her blood drawn out and a chest x-ray done. After that, the nurse used a catheter in order to get her urine sample for examinations as well.

Before we said good-bye to Ainda and her mum, both the doctor and nurse confirmed that Ainda has pneumonia and needs to be treated at the hospital. Just looking at Ainda's face while she was asleep (see above picture), I felt sad and sorry for this precious little girl. 

Dear Heavenly Father, please heal her lung problem. May she be healed soon and return to Jerusalem. Amen!!!

Heart is Well, Cleft is Next!

Posted on Mon, 09/19/2016 - 22:25 by Eva Markewitz

Today precious Ainda had her follow-up - everything was fine and her heart is healing well. Her next echo is on Monday. Also her stitches got removed without any problems. If God's willing, she will get the surgery for her cleft lip on the 10th of October!

I thank God that she got better so quickly and that he gave her such a wonderful smile!

Moving Forward

Posted on Thu, 09/15/2016 - 22:02 by Eva Markewitz

Today we went to the hospital for the echo of little Ainda. The echo appointment was actually very short, we just had to wait about 20 minutes before we could enter. When her mother laid her on the bed, Ainda began to cry. She seemed to be a bit scared, but finally the familiar music of her mothers phone distracted her from the situation.

Thanks to God, she has no more fluid around her heart! So she will come for another echo on Monday to check on her heart's condition.

Afterward, we had the opportunity to visit our dear friends at the Jaffa apartment. Together with the families we had a delicious lunch, enjoying the community. Ainda was happy to sit on a few laps while her mother was eating and gave us lots of smiles.

If God’s willing, Ainda will have the surgery for her cleft lip in two or three weeks. For her cleft palette she probably have to wait at least another half year. Indeed, it was a successful day we can be thankful for! Let us pray for precious Ainda that she will get healthy soon.

Good News

Posted on Mon, 09/12/2016 - 22:49 by Ruth Zellweger

Today was a big day for precious Ainda and her mother. Not only was she discharged to our home in Jerusalem, but with very good news. The residual hole after the VSD-repair closed itself and is no more. Praise the Lord! There is only a small muscular hole left that should close without any intervention around the age of two years. Ainda's mother received the news quietly, but it was obvious how happy she was that the heart repair after all had been a success.

A little bit later, Ainda was seen by an endocrinologist, and then by a team of doctors from different departments to discuss the treatment of her cleft lip and palate. The common understanding was that Ainda will need two surgeries. At first the doctors would operate on the cleft lip, and then after six to twelve months fix the cleft palate. However, before she will have to recover from heart surgery for a few more weeks and gain more weight. 

Both mother and daughter seemed happy to be back with us at Shevet, because it is a very special day as our Muslim friends celebrate today the sacrifice of Abraham's son. We are praising God for His faithfulness towards little Ainda and her family.

Making Progress

Posted on Sun, 09/11/2016 - 22:27 by Virginia Pavy
We arrived late in the morning to Wolfson hospital after picking up a mother and baby from the Gaza border. Right after getting them checked in, we went looking for little Ainda in the secondary ICU. Once there, we were glad to find out that Ainda had been moved to the children's ward the night before. We made our way to Ainda's room and found mom and daughter gone. Ainda was taken to be examined for her congenital cleft lip and cleft palate. The doctors were assessing her condition so they can better prepare for a future reconstructive surgery. 
When mother and child got back, it was bath time. Ainda was not at all happy with it and cried the whole time. When it was over, a bottle awaited her and soon she fell sound asleep.
Ainda slept peacefully for about two hours. This gave the mom time for herself and to visit with Hani's grandmother. When the nap was over, Ainda was ready to play. I'm grateful to God for the progress I saw in Ainda today.
Even though Ainda looked so much better, her condition continues to be delicate. We are hopeful that when she has an echo tomorrow, the doctors will be able to let us know how her heart is healing. Please continue to pray for the complete healing of this precious baby.

Ainda in Secondary ICU

Posted on Fri, 09/09/2016 - 00:14 by Ruth Zellweger

Little Ainda was transferred today to the Secondary ICU, which means that she doesn't need supervision as close as the ICU provides. However, she is still very delicate and fragile, and needs special attendence. Her mother cares patiently for her. In the past week she had experienced times of distress and anxiety, but today I found her at peace at her daughter's bedside. 

I was able to talk to one of the cardiologists today, who told me that during the surgery they had closed the hole in Ainda's heart. However, the repair did not hold and the hole opened again. The doctors will continue to assess her condition on a daily basis. We pray for wisdom for them, and that Ainda recovers well.

My little friend didn't bless me today with her heart-melting smile; instead she cried several times. It seems that she has been traumatized by her time in the hospital. Her mother told me that since the surgery she has not once laughted her signature laughter that dwells deep within her. But we know that God can heal not only the physical but also the emotional. May Ainda be covered in His peace, and may her joyful personality return. 

Extubated and Doing Well

Posted on Wed, 09/07/2016 - 23:13 by Virginia Pavy
I was delighted to hear that I was to go visit Arwin and Ainda at the hospital today. This was my first hospital visit since I joined the Shevet community a week ago. Upon arrival at Wolfson hospital, we made our way quickly to the children's ward and then the ICU. Ainda has been in ICU since her surgery Sunday. As soon as we walked in the room, Ainda's mother welcomed us with a smile and a hug. 
You could tell she was happy to have the company. I made my way to the bed where I found Ainda with her eyes wide open and glancing at us. It was good to see she had been extubated. I asked the nurse standing nearby how Ainda was doing and she replied, "What do you think? Look at her; she is fine." She is off the oxygen, the fever subsided and she drank two ounces of milk today. She is doing very well and could be moved out of the ICU tomorrow. My heart rejoiced hearing those words. I praised God for His faithfulness and the answered prayers.
We did hear that it was possible a second surgery might be needed for Ainda. So I asked the nurse about it, and she said to talk with the doctor. I wasn't able to talk with the doctor but I was told he is not sure yet. He wants to give it time and see how well Ainda recovers. Please continue to pray to our heavenly Father for a complete healing to Ainda's heart. O, Father, we pray no additional surgery is needed. 
While in the ICU room, Ainda's mom signaled to us that she wanted to go for a walk. I accompanied her while Eva stayed with Ainda. She wanted to visit Arwin and his dad. After a short visit, she made her way back to the ICU but first stopped by the vending machines. She asked me to help her get an ice cream bar. And after opening it, she sat down and took her time to enjoy it. After making a call and going to pray, she was called back to the ICU room. Ainda had noticed her mother's absence and had been crying for her. It took but a second and Ainda was comforted at the sight of her mom. I was thinking this mother was in such a need to get a little time for herself. I'm grateful we were able to provide that opportunity to her. After praying for baby and mother, we said our goodbyes. The mother kissed us and told us she loves us. We pray she will be surrounded in the love and comfort of Messiah. 

Winning Heart

Posted on Mon, 09/05/2016 - 00:13 by Sean Perez
This afternoon we arrived at Wolfson hospital to be with Ainda and her mother on surgery day (and also for baby Arwin and his dad). She still wasn't out of surgery when we arrived, so we spent a couple hours with Ainda's mom while we waited for the doctors to usher her forth from the operating room. It is hard to describe what it was like being by the side of parents and seeing the expression of love for their children intimately written on their faces.  The compassion and tenderness of the parents hearts' is such a tangible presence within itself - that your heart is won over as well in the midst of the process.  It is amazing to be doing life with these families in these situations, "as we bear one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Messiah" (Galatians 6:2).
When she finally came out of surgery, the doctor and nurse reported that the surgery went well and that Ainda was stable.  They also mentioned that they were hopeful to be able to extubate and remove Ainda's breathing tube some time tomorrow.  We were all very encouraged about the result and we look forward to rejoicing with Ainda and her mom as the Lord has given Ainda a "winning heart."

Baby, Baby I'm Worth It

Posted on Fri, 09/02/2016 - 13:06 by Alexa Bigl

The waiting all seems so unimportant and not a big deal as soon as we got word Ainda's surgery is scheduled! Ainda has been admitted today at Wolfson in preparation for surgery on Sunday! All the waiting has been worth it.

Ainda's lungs are fully healed from her persistent pneumonia, thanks to our Heavenly Father, the Healer. So, with the surgeon back in Israel after his vacation and Ainda being infection-free, the time is here! Ainda is probably Sunday's second surgery, after Arwin! Our hospital team on Sunday will have a big day- supporting both Arwin and his father and Ainda and her mother. We ask for a special preparatory appeal to God of strength for Shevet's Sunday hospital team. 

Today, Ainda weighed 5.075kg. She had lost weight her first weeks here in Israel as she fought off her pneumonia and adjusted to being here, but she has regained that weight now! She continues her special diet that includes lots of extra nutrients to continue helping her gain more weight. Despite Ainda's protests at have her blood pressure taken, everything went well with Ainda's admission today.

Ainda's mom and Arwin's dad worked together to help one another and the babies settle into their room and beds. They also worked together to set up their phones on the hospital wifi. It's very special they can be going through this highly emotional portion of their journey together; I see a beautiful friendship undergoing even more growth than would have been possible without them sharing this specific experience together. 

Thank you for joining us in praying for Ainda and her mother. We pray for a peace-filled weekend for them both. May God strengthen their hearts and minds as Ainda's surgery approaches after so long of waiting!