Andi's Heart Surgery

Kurdistan, norther Iraq

Andi Admitted into Hospital

Posted on Sun, 07/12/2015 - 22:35 by Laura

I had the privilege of going with Andi and his mother to be admitted to the hospital today. He is scheduled for surgery tomorrow. He took a nap most of the way while his mother nervously held onto my hand. Keep her in your prayers as she is very scared for her little boy.

Andi is not at all impressed with his hospital experience so far. After his examination, X-ray and getting things poked into him, he was not a very happy baby. After his admittance, we sat out in the play area outside with the other mothers from Shevet Achim.

Yad, who just had his surgery, was a great help in entertaining Andi. He's like a big brother for him.

Everything looks good for his surgery tomorrow. Pray for Andi that everything would go smoothly for the operation and for his mother that she could feel calm and at peace as this is a very hard time for her.

Beautiful Big Eyes

Posted on Sun, 07/05/2015 - 21:53 by Emily Peck

Andi has such a sweet smile, and such beautiful big eyes that draw you in immediately.  He is a joy to be around, usually pretty quiet, but sometimes he’ll “talk” a little bit. One of his favorite things to do is to push a ball back and forth, which usually brings out that beautiful smile.

Yad will often push him around the rooms in the stroller and he enjoys that a lot. He’s very content with observing what’s going on around him, and happy to sit on his mother’s lap while the world goes on around him. The relationship between mother and son is very strong, and it’s obvious how much they love each other.

Andi is still waiting for his surgery and we ask that you will join us in praying that it will be scheduled soon. In the meantime, we are enjoying his winning smile and his mother’s sweet company.

Andi and Mother's Busy Day

Posted on Fri, 06/12/2015 - 10:20 by Jesse Tilman

Andi and his graceful mother did quite a lot at the hospital today. First, we had a sleeping medicine administered after which he seemed to just get more rowdy and crying. While in this stage we went for a check of the PPD test. He came out cleared but his mother has been asked to have an xray in the future to check her lungs as the test came out positive for her.

After a little while, he went to sleep in his mother's arms in the hallway. Dr. Alona was happy to take him next and begin his echo in a peaceful state. With a more complicated heart, his echo took much longer. It helped that there was a doctor in training there as well. They were discussing things with the regular doctor as they teased out further methods and thoughts considering his case.

As we ate lunch together it was good to see the love between mother and son. Andi has a very winning smile and is adorable. His mother also is very warm and helpful. She translated from Arabic to Kurdish for us at points so that we could communicate more with another Arabic speaking parent. Praise God for His care for this family and we look forward to the healing in their lives.

Smiling with Strangers

Posted on Wed, 06/10/2015 - 17:16 by Judith Schmidt

A few days ago, ten-month-old Andi and his mother arrived at our Shevet Achim house. As they stepped out of the car, Andi was not shy at all. His dark brown eyes with his long eyelashes were curiously observing all of us. As long as his mother is with him, he is calm and happy, smiling back at anyone smiling at him. He is happy while interacting with other kids and staff members. 

But when his mother leaves him with us – to use the bathroom or just step out of the room for a minute – he unfolds the whole volume of his voice, crying for his mother to come back. It is not easy at all to calm him down then. Eventually, with much effort, we are able to distract him. Just holding a cellphone helps sometimes. 

He is a brave little child. When the nurses started to do his first examinations, he quietly watched them, smiling every now and then. 

Andi's heart defect is called  Atrioventricular Septal Defect. His body did not manage to build four chambers in his heart. That means that there is a canal that shouldn't be there. This canal causes his oxygenated and deoxygenated blood to mix. 

On Thursday, he will have an echocardiogram, and the doctors hope to find out more about his medical condition in order to determine the right treatment for him.

A Journey Begins

Posted on Sun, 06/07/2015 - 15:15 by Ruth Zellweger

Little Andi was born to a family that loves him very much. He has two older brothers and many uncles and aunts. Several of them came the evening before Andi's travel to Israel to spend a few more hours with him and his mother before their departure early Sunday morning.  

Andi's congenital heart defect requires surgical repair outside the country. His parents are thankful for the opportunity to receive help in Israel, but they also had many questions about how things would be during the time of travel and their stay in Israel. Yesterday, Sophie and I had the opportunity to visit with them for a while; to share about life in Israel, at Shevet Achim, and at the hospital; and to get to know mother and son better.

We were also able to see them briefly at the airport early this morning before they left for Jordan. They both were well prepared for the journey, the mother a little bit nervous about the things to come and worried about her son's life. It was nice for her to not travel on her own, but to have the company of another mother, a grandmother, and their children. 

We are expecting them to join our community in Jerusalem today in the evening.