Armanj's Heart Surgery

Kurdistan, northern Iraq

Unexpected Admission

Posted on Thu, 05/11/2017 - 22:45 by Rebekah Yang

Before dinner time while I was busy cooking for our Shevet community in Jaffa, our sweet Aveen came over and told me that our baby boy Armanj is not doing well and he looked very blue.

Right away I dropped my unfinished food and ran next door to check on him. I saw his whole body was very blue indeed and he was crying nonstop. I checked his oxygen saturation which was very low - only 20% oxygen out of 100 - and his heart beat was between 188 to 198 per minute. I rushed back and put him on nasal cannula and gave him some supplemental oxygen. Then I checked again his oxygen saturation, which had increased to 30 to 40%. However his heart beat was still very fast between 170 to 180 beats per minute. Therefore I called the children's ward at the hospital and told the on duty doctor about Armanj's condition. He agreed that it was best to bring Armanj for further examination.
Praise God, I got great help from all the families, our Shevet community volunteers, and also Jonathan drove me to the hospital. Within an hour and a half, doctor and nurses finished all the necessary check-ups and it seems his condition was getting better. Later on, the medical team decided to hospitalize Armanj for an overnight observation.
Please pray with us as our little baby and his grandmother will need to stay at the hospital for tonight. May our Messiah send his angles over our little baby's bed and protect him without any problems. In Yeshua's name I pray, amen!

CT Scan for Armanj

Posted on Sun, 05/07/2017 - 21:28 by Rebekah Yang

Early this morning, Debbie and I went with Armanj and his grandmother to Wolfson hospital for his CT scan examination.

Due to the CT requirements that he must have a bigger IV cannula for the sake of 3 dimensional pictures, poor little Armanj was suffering a lot when the medical staff were attempting to insert his IV canula. It took almost half an hour. Eventually he was all prepped, and they wheeled him into the CT room.
Praise God, the whole percedure was very successful and it only took around 10 minutes. Afterwards, the doctor, Armanj's grandmother, and I walked alongside Armanj as he was wheeled to the post-operation room for half an hour of observation.
At noontime, our precious Armanj was awake and had his first milk bottle for today. Thank God for his protection. Armanj has had no complications or bad reactions following his CT. When his milk bottle was finished he was allowed to be released back our Shevet Jaffa base.
Please continue lift up Armanj and his grandmother in prayer. May his CT results provide the best information for the medical team to plan Armanj's future treatment. May our Yeshua bless him and also give his grandmother peace in the Lord's perfect timing.

Back in Jaffa

Posted on Sun, 04/23/2017 - 20:47 by Ruth Zellweger

After observation at Wolfson hospital over the weekend, Armanj and his grandmother returned this morning to our Jaffa community. 

His oxygen saturation, though low, has been stable and so he was allowed to return to our home.  Armanj blessed us today with his beautiful smile, and also his grandmother seems to get more comfortable around us.

We are thankful for that and pray for peace for her as she continues to care for Armanj.

Urgent Trip to Wolfson

Posted on Fri, 04/21/2017 - 21:52 by Alexa Bigl

As Armanj was having his morning assessment today, his oxygen saturation was reading very low. After readjusting his position and trying a different finger probe for measuring, his saturation was still in the 30's. This is dangerously low (for perspective, a healthy child will have oxygen saturation in the high 90's). With the help of some supplemental oxygen it rose some, but still remained very low. While his baseline saturation is always low due to his heart defect, this was even lower than normal for him still as it hovered in the low 40's. We quickly got him and his grandmother loaded into the car and called the hospital to give them the heads up that we were on the way.

We arrived to the children's ward safely and the medical staff began assessing what was going on. Having the supplemental oxygen flowing did not seem to impact the oxygen saturation of his blood; it remained in the mid 40's with or without the oxygen. Armanj was happy and kicking around his legs during all this, maybe wondering what all the fuss was about. 

After placing a call to Dr. Alona, they decided to admit him for observation. We were relieved they would have him stay at the hospital. Although he was stable, the saturation is low enough we would constantly be worried if he was staying at our Jaffa home. 
It took quite at few tries to get an IV inserted and little Armanj shed many tears as they worked to get a patent line. Luckily, the doctors were finally successful and Armanj could soon get a cuddle and have some lunch. 
His saturation rose a bit as he got comfy and fell asleep in the hospital crib. 
We are also concerned for Armanj's grandmother as she is trying to take in all that is happening. She did a good job caring for Armanj through all the things that happened today. Please continue praying for her strength to increase and that we can support her in many ways, as needed.

First Assessments

Posted on Thu, 04/20/2017 - 22:24 by Ruth Zellweger

Early this morning we went to Wolfson hospital for Armanj's first check up. His grandmother had swaddled him tightly, and I could see that this gave him a sense of security. For the baby seat in the car, however, I had to loosen the cloth so that he could be strapped in correctly. Upon arrival at the hospital the nurses started with the different assessments right away. Of course, Armanj was not too happy about it. Especially the blood test was difficult, but eventually all the samples had been taken. 

Just before it was time for his echocardiogram, Armanj fell asleep, which saved him from taking sedation. He peacefully slept through the whole examination. Dr. Alona confirmed his diagnosis and said that Armanj preferably should gain a little bit more weight before the surgery. She will discuss his case next week with the other cardiologists and surgeons. 

Armanj is now back in our Jaffa home. His grandmother has a hard time adjusting and somehow seems to be in shock. Please pray with us that she soon will feel comfortable, loved, and at peace.


The Journey Begins

Posted on Wed, 04/19/2017 - 23:40 by Eva Markewitz
Today we welcomed sweet baby boy, Armanj, and his grandmother to our Shevet community! They just arrived in Israel today. Two other Kurdish families, Dima and her mother, and Ayleen and her mother also traveled with them. A group of our Shevet volunteers met them at the airport for pickup.
Armanj is the baby in the green blanket
The mother quickly connected to our other families, and they were all sitting together and talking nicely. The initial assessments will be tomorrow, so a long day is ahead of them. Please keep them in your prayers as they begin their medical journey in Israel!