Aros's Heart Surgery


From a Happy Dad in Iraq

Posted on Tue, 10/13/2009 - 00:00 by
Hello, how is everyone at Shevet Achim? I wanted to send you pictures of my son Aros. He is getting bigger and able to play around in good health. Thank you for helping us!

Aros Doing Well Back Home

Posted on Sun, 11/30/2008 - 00:00 by Donna_Petrel

Today we received this photo and email from Iraq:
How's everyone in your organization? I am Aros' father and I must thank all those who participated in the rescue operation of the death of my son. My son is healthy and playing and running.

Much Anticipated Journey Home For Aros

Posted on Mon, 07/07/2008 - 01:00 by Keleigh_Glisson

On Monday, June 23, Aros went to the hospital for an echocardiogram, which is normal procedure following heart surgery. Unexpectedly, following the echo, the doctors said that he was healthy enough to be released to go back to Iraq. Aros mother was ecstatic. The only problem was that her visa to Jordan wouldnt be ready until the following Monday. On Monday, June 30, after a week of patiently waiting to finally be reunited with her husband and family in Iraq, she was able to travel to Jordan and begin the final stages of her long journey.

Monday was a very long day. We left
Jerusalem at 8:00 a.m. bound for the hospital. There was the possibility that Ghaith would be having his final echocardiogram that morning and would be released to go home. If this were the case, Ghaith and his mother would travel to Amman with us.

A few hours after we arrived to the hospital and Ghaiths echocardiogram was finished we got the news Ghaith was free to go home!

Our journey to Amman began around 2:00 p.m. It took some time for us to cross the border, but we did so without hindrance. We arrived to the Shevet apartment around 10:30 p.m. I thought we would go right to sleep, but the mothers were so excited, we stayed up talking and munching on snacks. Finally around 1:00 a.m. we began to make our way to our bedrooms.

On Tuesday, the following day, we went shopping and ate lunch at a mall nearby. On the upper level of the mall is a play area with rides for children. Jody, a close friend of the mothers, and also a pastor of a local church in Amman, volunteered to watch the boys while the rest of us went shopping. Aros and Ghaith were able to play around while their mothers bought some last minute souvenirs.

Later that day, Jody took the mothers by the apartment where Aros mother stayed for three months while waiting to travel to Israel. They also stopped by the church to say goodbye to their friends there.

When we met back at the house later that evening, I asked Aros mother how the rest of her day was. Aros mother said, I dont know. I am very happy and very sad. I go to the church and see my friends and I see the place where I used to live. I saw the kitchen where Naris mother cooked for me and it makes me very sad.

It was difficult for me to believe what I was hearing. From the first time I met Aros and his mother she made it very clear that she would do anything to make this process go quickly. She was very much in love with her husband and was counting down the days until their reunion. Once Aros surgery was over and she knew she would be going home soon, her demeanor changed, but she was still very anxious to get home.

It is impossible for me to understand the stress these mothers are under as they come to the unknown land of Israel in hopes of finding health for their children. It is a blessing to see them go in both joy and sadness.

Aros mother had picked out a black, traditional Arab outfit to wear on the plane, but her husband asked her to wear something else. He said that black is for sadness and on this day they would be happy. On Wednesday, around 4:30 a.m. Aros and his mother, wearing blue and gold, emerged from the house ready to go. Through tears we said our good-byes and as she got in the taxi she asked me to say thank you to everyone at Shevet Achim and to everyone who helped make her son healthy.

Many hours later, after seeing Ghaith and his mother off, I made my way back to Jerusalem. Around 11:00 p.m. she called to say that she was home safely, her travels were over, and everything was good. She was with her family.

Fast Heart Rate Corrected

Posted on Tue, 06/10/2008 - 01:00 by Andrew_Peck

Aros is doing very well. His heart has been beating a little too quickly lately, and, if left untreated long enough, this could be harmful. However, the doctors corrected the problem by giving him blood. Now his heart rate is normal, and Aros is healing just fine.

Israeli singer Achinoam Nini (Noa) visited the hospital during our visit, and Aros enjoyed being the center of attention for the few minutes she spent playing with him.

Aros' mother is very tired, but she continues to be a leader for the other mothers. Even as she worried over her own sons fast heart rate and blood transfusion, she maintained a cheerful face and encouraged Nari's mother as Nari came out of his surgery.

Extubated, Recovering in ICU

Posted on Thu, 06/05/2008 - 01:00 by Amy_Denney

Today Andrew and I went to the hospital to visit Aros. Aros is recovering in ICU. He seems to be hanging in there very well. Although he hasn't been very alert, the doctors say he is doing quite well. He's been extubated and now has an oxygen mask. Aros' mother seems be doing okay and seems calm.

Andrew adds:

Aros was asleep during our visit, but the nurse told us that he is doing very well. Although she looked very tired, Aros' mother was in very good spirits. She is missed at the house in Jerusalem. I was glad to see that Aros' mother has befriended Ghaith's mother, who speaks only Arabic, whereas most of the families speak Kurdish, so she has been a little lonely at times. As we were leaving, Aros' mom asked for prayer for herself and her son. Please continue to pray for a quick recovery.

Mother Sheds Tears After Aros' Surgery

Posted on Wed, 06/04/2008 - 01:00 by Keleigh_Glisson

I was able to meet up with Aros' mother this morning after Aros was taken for surgery. Much to my surprise, she was very relaxed. She seemed very happy and relieved that the surgery had finally taken place. When I pointed this out, she quickly showed me her trembling hands.

A few hours later, after surgery, we were able to see Aros in the ICU. Immediately her relaxed, happy demeanor turned to tears.

It was a very emotional time as we sat with Aros post surgery, and the complex operation that Aros had undergone became a reality.

Praise God, the doctors reported that everything went well.

Pray that Aros will have a quick recovery so he and his mother can return to Iraq in order to see her father who is very sick.

To Surgery Tomorrow

Posted on Tue, 06/03/2008 - 01:00 by Keleigh_Glisson

Aros left the Shevet house in Jerusalem early this morning, to go to the hospital in preparation for his heart surgery tomorrow. Originally, Aros' surgery was scheduled to take place on June 1. Last week we were informed that the surgery wouldn't take place until Tuesday, June 3. On Sunday we were informed yet again that his surgery would be moved back one more day.

I was able to spend some time today in the hospital with Aros and his mother as they prepare for his surgery tomorrow. Aros' mother is no doubt excited that her long wait will soon be over.

Late this morning Zhino was requested to come to the hospital for a
catheterization that will take place on Wednesday as well, and Shaima continues her recovery in the children's ward. Aros' mother seemed to be very relaxed this evening as Aros took a nap and I was getting ready to leave. I asked her how she was holding up and she told me that she was praising God that Zhino, Shaima and Aros could all be together in the hospital. This was giving her much comfort. These women have become family to one another while they are away from their biological families. It is amazing to see how they care for one another.

Please pray for Aros' operation that will take place on Wednesday, June 4, and for his mother as she anxiously awaits the completion of his surgery.

Infection in Blood

Posted on Wed, 05/21/2008 - 01:00 by Donna_Petrel

Two days after last week's catheterization, Aros returned to the house in Jerusalem. Saturday morning I received a call that little Aros had been sick through the night and was still feverish and sick. After calling the hospital, checking his fever, and administering some over-the-counter meds, we waited for one of the doctors to call us back. When I saw Aros, it was clear that he was not his usual happy self. We wondered if it might be teething causing his symptoms, as he is definitely cutting some teeth. The doctor let us know that we should bring Aros in to be sure it was nothing serious, so by early afternoon we were on our way to the hospital.

Just as we were arriving at the hospital, Aros began to vomit, adding another symptom to report once we got to the children's ward. Upon examination, the doctors found that Aros had a slight fever, but an x-ray showed his lungs were clear. Aros remained very wary of the staff through the day after several attempts had to be made to find his veins for blood tests, and each time we neared the nurses' station area where these tests are done, he began to cry. The blood test showed infection in the blood, so an antibiotic was started after other tests were finished. It was necessary to admit Aros until the doctors were sure they'd gotten the proper treatment for him.

On Sunday he was doing better, and happy to see his friends Nari and Ranj when they came for further tests. By Monday Aros was ready to be dismissed back to us in Jerusalem, much to everyone's delight. Please pray for Aros and his mother as he waits his turn for surgery. She is very concerned that he will become sick again, and the planned surgery date of June 1 will have to be changed. We are instead focusing on thanking God that he is doing well now, and that his surgery is already scheduled.

Admitted for Catheterization

Posted on Tue, 05/13/2008 - 01:00 by Donna_Petrel

Aros was admitted this afternoon for his catheterization tomorrow morning. He arrived happy, and was happy when we left him. But this bright little boy has already figured out that doctors and nurses mean pain sometimes, and his afternoon contained some tears along with the smiles.

Please pray for him and his mother as the doctors do this procedure tomorrow. His surgery is expected to be simple, and after the catheterization, the doctors will know how best to treat him.

First Echo Reveals Three Holes in Heart

Posted on Thu, 05/01/2008 - 01:00 by Andrew_Peck

Aros had his first echocardiogram in Israel today. Aros' mother was obviously shaken, and even began to tremble, as the nurse informed her that instead of having one, her son actually has three minor holes in his heart. An obvious look of relief swept over her face, however, when the nurse assured her that it would be an easy surgery. Immediately after her son's echo, Aros' mom called her husband to tell him the news. We left them a very tired baby and a hopeful mother.