Anas's Heart Surgery

Kurdistan, northern Iraq

To the Ward

Posted on Tue, 01/05/2016 - 17:13 by Alexa Bigl

Great news for Anas and his mother today; Anas has been transferred to the children’s ward!

Anas’ medications and special diet are still working to reduce the fluid, and we pray for continued reduction.

We are also praying Anas’ post-surgical external cardiac pacemaker will not be needed soon. There is a small issue that is occasionally arising on Anas’ ECG tracing that requires the pacer wires to stay intact for now.

Sophie and I had both had opportunities to spend quality time with Anas today and were blessed with his sweet personality. He enjoyed playing with cards, balloons, and motorcycles!

Thank you for your faithful prayers regarding Anas’ recovery.  

Progress In Recovering

Posted on Mon, 01/04/2016 - 18:39 by Miriam Svensson

During our visit to the hospital today I spent some time with Anas. He is still in the secondary ICU, but he is doing well. His chest tubes have been out for a few days now (medication and Anas' special diet is continuing to reduce the fluid around his lungs), and he doesn't need any extra oxygen.  

Anas is usually happy to see me, but today he wasn't so interested in talking to me. This was because he was very busy watching cartoons. He gave me a few smiles though, as long as I wasn't standing in front of the TV. He seemed content, even when his mother took the opportunity to leave the room to get some rest.

We praise the Lord for the continued recovery of our sweet Anas! Thank you for joining us in prayer for him and his mother.

Kisses Bring Smiles!

Posted on Tue, 12/29/2015 - 18:18 by Alexa Bigl

Today, I had the opportunity to visit Anas and his mother in the secondary ICU at Wolfson.

Anas was very cheerful and smiled when he first saw Laura and I. Despite that he had a chest tube placed this morning, Anas was very friendly and seemed quite happy. We reminded Anas’ mom the importance of only feeding him the hospital’s provided food in order to allow his body to heal from the lymphatic leak. Anas’ special diet does not allow for fats. His mom understood and was happy Anas loved the provided lunch!

Anas listened to music on his mom’s phone while tapping the screen to the beat and making sure everyone saw him by sneaking sly glances around. He also blew me a kiss not long before it was time to leave. He loves to receive blown kisses and it made my heart melt when he reciprocated!

We are so thankful to God despite this speed bump in recovery, the leaking lymph, Anas is still recovering his joyful personality and his heart continues to do well. We will continue to pray for patience for Anas’ mother as she stays by her son’s side during his extended recovery time.     

Transfer From ICU to Secondary Unit

Posted on Mon, 12/28/2015 - 21:05 by Maureen Grimshaw

It was discovered today Anas will need special attention to fluid in his chest, which is coming from the lymphatic system. This is quite a common complication after cardiac surgery. However, the doctors decided to postpone placing chest tubes for draining both sides of his chest and possibly do this tomorrow after 24 hours of observation. Meanwhile, Anas will be on a special diet, to help his system cope with the leakage.  

His mother coped well with the news about his chest and was her usual gentle caring self as she fed him and stayed by his bed. He was transferred to the secondary ICU where they may insert the tubes tomorrow. Although he looked sad, it was easy to comfort him and even help him to smile. We are hoping this problem will be resolved soon; although it can take some weeks for the leakage to stop.  

Keep praying for this delightful little boy that he will be able to work through this setback. 

Praise God for Yummy Food

Posted on Sun, 12/27/2015 - 21:07 by Rebekah Yang

Anas had a funny grumpy face when I entered into ICU to greet him and his mum on his bed.

I was not too sure what caused him to be grumpy at the beginning. But then his mum explained to me that he had been fasting for a few hours due to some kind of medical treatment, and she couldn’t understand what is going to happen to him and when. Therefore, I went to the nurses' station to ask his primary nurse what is going on so that his mum could understand.

The answer was good news for Anas. They were going to remove one of his chest tubes from his left lung. Anas patiently waited for another half hour. At around 1:20PM, his left chest tube was removed. Right after that, his mum fed him some biscuits and a cup of drink. He happily enjoyed all of those things.

After his nurse helped him bathe and changed his clothes and bed sheet, he began to enjoy his late lunch. Wow! Watching the way he was eating, I could only praise God for His healing hand at work in Anas’ life.

Dear Anas, let’s praise God for this yummy food. Shall we?

Successfully Extubated

Posted on Tue, 12/22/2015 - 22:14 by Ruth Zellweger

Precious Anas is steadily recovering after his successful surgery yesterday.

Early in the morning, an echo was performed, and afterwards, he was extubated. Throughout the day, he slept a lot with his loving mother at his bedside. Towards the evening, he became more active.

Praise God for the beautiful transformation in little Anas' life.


Posted on Mon, 12/21/2015 - 22:44 by Miriam Svensson

Ruth and I drove to the hospital at sunrise this morning to be there for Anas' big day. When we arrived at the childrens' ward, he was already awake, and he smiled happily when he saw us.

We took some pictures and imagined how his very blue fingers would have a changed colour in the afternoon.

Soon it was time to follow Anas and his mother down to the preparation room. So far, he had been perfectly calm, but when he saw the three of us put on strange gowns and hats, he started crying.

Luckily, we did not have to wait long until it was time for the staff to take him in to the operation room. His mother accompanied him there, and when she came back, she was also crying. Until then she hadn't showed much emotion, but after leaving her child, she could not keep it back any longer.

Back in the children's, ward we started our waiting, praying that everything would go well. We spent some time showing each other pictures of Anas and of our families. Anas' mother treated us with tea and some Kurdish cookies that she had saved for a special occasion. She is such a lovely and kindhearted person, and I really enjoyed sharing this day with her.

After lunch, we went to sit outside for a while. It was a beautiful day, and we all enjoyed the warm sun. When five and a half hours had passed since we said goodbye to Anas, I thought that maybe we should soon start looking for him. The next moment, we saw his bed being wheeled towards the ICU. I ran after them and asked one of the doctors if he was okay. The answer I got was, "Excellent!"

We had to wait almost another hour before we could go in and see Anas in the ICU. His mother was impatient and wondered why we had to wait. When we finally came in to the ICU and saw his sweet face, she cried again. I can imagine it was hard for her to see him like that. But mostly, I think, she was crying of relief – happy that the surgery was over and she could see her son again. 

Praise the Lord for the good result of Anas' surgery! We pray for a swift healing and that He will continue His beautiful work in the life of this precious boy. 

Admitted for Surgery

Posted on Sun, 12/20/2015 - 20:30 by Noa

Today, Anas made his way to the hospital with Miriam and I because he was approved to have his surgery tomorrow morning! Anas and his mother are both incredibly excited that this day has finally come.

On the way to the hospital, Anas had fun in the backseat, being his usual adorable and fun-loving self. Once he got settled into his bed at the hospital, Anas put his new hospital outfit on and had an apple snack.

We then went to bring Anas to his X-Ray, and he did a wonderful job standing still while the technician completed the scan. Once we went back to his room, Anas got to meet his new roommate, a sweet little Tanzanian girl, who recently received heart surgery herself.

We all rested for a bit until the nurse came in and examined Anas. She then gave Anas’ mother pre-surgery instructions. Before leaving, we all hugged and kissed goodbye and left Anas and his mother in their anticipation and excitement for what tomorrow will bring.

We will all be praying for Anas and his mother for tomorrow.  

A Weekend in the Hospital

Posted on Sun, 12/13/2015 - 21:18 by Ruth Zellweger

 Lindsay and I took our little friend, Anas, to Wolfson hospital Friday afternoon just before Shabbat started. He had not been feeling well for a few days and had been coughing a lot. On Friday, the symptoms worsened, and he also complained about a sore throat and didn't hardly drink anything. He looked very miserable.

Upon arrival at the hospital, the doctor in the ward quickly diagnosed tonsillitis and prescribed antibiotics. He was admitted for observation and for monitoring his fluid intake. 

Today, Miriam and I went back to the hospital to visit our families there. As soon as Anas saw his friend Miriam, he started smiling and grabbed her hand, walking around with her.

He was doing a lot better already, and the nurse told us that he would return to Jerusalem today. We had to wait for quite a while before the discharge papers for one of the Gaza children were ready, who we took back to the border. Anas spent that time exploring the ward. It was a joy to observe him. He felt comfortable in the hospital and caused many people to smile. He is a special child - a gift from God. 

Since Anas was started on antibiotics, his surgery will most likely be postponed for at least another week until the treatment is finished. Please continue to pray for patience for his mother. She, of course, wants the best for her son, but also would like to return home to her family. May our Shevet family be an encouragement to her in these coming days and weeks.

This Charming Boy

Posted on Tue, 11/17/2015 - 21:04 by Miriam Svensson

Today it was time for a new hospital visit for Anas, as he was going to take new blood tests. I was also concerned about his heart rate that had been a little low. When I called the doctor about it yesterday she said they would look at that as well today.

The children’s ward was very busy when we came, so we had to wait for a while before someone had time to see Anas. When Anas came to us last week he was a bit shy, but he has opened up more the past few days. He seemed happy and quite comfortable exploring the waiting area, playing with some books and making funny faces to me and his mother.

Just after we had finished eating lunch they called us into the ward. Blood tests and vital signs were taken, under some protests from Anas. His mother did her best to distract him by playing with him and he quickly regained his good mood as soon as the tests were done. Anas' heart rate was normal now, the doctor told us he could continue with the same medicine dose but we should keep checking his pulse.

Praise the Lord for the opportunity we have to help this charming boy. Thank you all for joining us in prayer for him and his mother as his surgery comes closer.