Aryan's Heart Surgery

Kurdistan, northern Iraq

Still needs $5200
Help Aryan

Aryan Has Taken Wing

Posted on Sun, 06/03/2018 - 21:59 by Jesse Tilman

 Psalm 55

6  I said, “Oh that I had wings like a dove! Then I would fly away, and be at rest.

18  He has redeemed my soul in peace from the battle that was against me . . .

22a  Cast your burden on Yahweh and he will sustain you.


Our dove Aryan has flown home to her nest. After many wonderful days at our Jaffa House, the time finally came when she was happily healthy.  Special memories remain and our connection is not broken for sure. Her family sent us photos on Messenger of them together at the airport already.

It was amazing getting to know this bright young life.  Aryan's spirit is a spark that is just fanning into flame. She was reluctant about the surgery to the point of avoiding all mention of it, her mother barely telling her about the process. She knew she could hardly bare it; even on the surgery day, she told Aryan she was just going for a small catheterization.

Her recovery at first seemed slow, her throat had gotten dried out and she could barely talk. But as the days passed, she quickly got back to her cheerful self. A no-fat diet cleaned her system out and brought quick energy. She still looks way too skinny, but I'm sure their Kurdish home cooking will fill her out even as a growing teenager, as soon as she has a few months at rest.

We had a great farewell party for her hosted by our long-time community friend and supporter Ben as translator. Aryan is working on her Arabic language skills and fared just fine understanding the conversations.

Their flight out started very favorably with the airport departures hall nearly empty and the terminal staff having extra time and energy to bring a chair for Aryan's pregnant mother, saying they were sorry for the wait on checking their passports, and then they found an Arabic-speaking young man to attend them personally to their gate.

But then we heard back that night that the airline was taking them off the flight because the mother was at around 8 months in her pregnancy. Many calls, prayers, and helpful doctors later and by late nightfall of a full day, we had new medical permissions and opinions that were enough to convince the airline authorities that Aryan's mother could fly safely. With a little more help from some kindly airport personnel to bring them to the gate once more from her in-airport hotel, they were back on their way!

It's was good to hear back from Aryan's family the next day when she had safely arrived home. Our precious dove has had quite an adventure and thankfully flown home with all well. God bless them!

Song of Solomon 2

10  My beloved spoke, and said to me, “Rise up, my love, my beautiful one, and come away.
11  For behold, the winter is past. The rain is over and gone.
12  The flowers appear on the earth. The time of the singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.
13  The fig tree ripens her green figs. The vines are in blossom. They give out their fragrance. Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away."
14  My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hiding places of the mountainside . . .




Posted on Tue, 05/29/2018 - 23:14 by Sophia Vogt
Today Aryan has had her final echo. After a short waiting time, during which she had already tinkered with the friendly hospital staff, we went to the echo room. Both mum and daughter couldn't wait to hear the results, and when they finally heard the word "hallas", which means "finished", Aryan jumped out of her chair, running out of the room and shouting "Kurdistan, Kurdistan!" How good to see her so very happy, after the hard days full of pain in the hospital. Immediately she called her father and told him the good news, and told me proudly that he had smiled about this, which doesn't happen very often.
Besides one medication, she will be, God willing, not in need of any other treatment after three weeks. Praise the Lord! As we left the hospital, Aryan gathered all her friends (doctors and nurses) together to make photos and said goodbye to everyone. Jumping and running through the hallways she sang: Goodbye hospital! Goodbye hospital!
Both Aryan and her mum seem to have changed during their time here. While in the beginning they were very bored, exhausted and demanding, they now radiate joy and happiness. I hope they will keep this, going on in their lives and may God bless them!

Recovering Well

Posted on Fri, 05/25/2018 - 04:46 by Georgia Willcocks

Lovely, brave Aryan had follow up in the form of an ECG and an Echo. Everyone who recognised her at the hospital greeted her so warmly; it's clear that not just us in Shevet who love her! She was so friendly, and polite with all of the staff, testing out her English skills: "Thank you, doctor."


During the Echo, the doctor pointed out some of the structures of the heart to me and Johanna, keen to share his passion and knowledge.The doctors reviewed her echo and her ECG, and were pleased to say her recovery is going absolutely perfectly. We are all so happy to hear this news. 

Discharged from Hospital!

Posted on Tue, 05/15/2018 - 15:23 by Maxine Stuart


Aryan is now back at the house! This is joyous news for us, as she was the last of the current intake of families to receive the all-clear to go home. Being an older child, the recovery is often slower, and she was also fighting a bacterial infection. 

Her doctor reported that her heart is looking good, but that he'd like to check her again this coming Monday. She has to be on a no-fat diet,  take a few more days of antibiotics, as well as the usual post-surgery medication. 
She had a lovely welcome home, the team and other families all came out to the street to welcome her. It was great to see her smiling face as she walked into her freshly cleaned room at the house. She is back somewhere familiar, with no strange people, smells or sounds. I am glad that her (and her very pregnant mother!) can relax and get some solid nights sleep. It is lovely to have everyone together again. 

Uncomfortable Waiting

Posted on Mon, 05/07/2018 - 20:52 by Sophie Harvie

It was lovely to visit Aryan today at Sheba. When arriving at ICU mum shared with us that she is finding it difficult at the moment. Mum is heavily pregnant and the demands of hospital life are taking their toll. Aryan is experiencing quite a lot of pain as part of her recovery and is often dizzy when she tries to get out of bed. However, Aryan's medical team are pleased with her progress so far. She is awaiting a repeat echo to see if any fluid remains following the surgery and then the medical team will start planning for her discharge.

Although still clearly quite uncomfortable, Aryan was keen to spend some time with Georgia and I today which allowed mum a little opportunity to take a short break. Aryan was unable to be quite her normal chatty self due to a dry and scratchy throat (likely a result of extubation). We tried to keep Aryan up to date with Shevet news and she was pleased to send some selfies back to Sophia and Esther in the team writing her own message to them in emojis. I have so enjoyed getting to know Aryan. She is such a lovely girl, mature and articulate when communicating with the mum's and others at Shevet and yet still beautifully young, playful and fun. We are looking forward to her return from hospital soon.

Secondary ICU

Posted on Sun, 05/06/2018 - 23:27 by Johanna Ebert

Aryan is on her way to recovery, which is a pleasure to see. As we visited her today, she was sitting in a wheelchair, still in pain but happy to come for a short time out of her bed and out of the secondary ICU.

For her mum is it a hard time as well, she suffers with every pain Aryan feels. And since she’s also pregnant which doesn't make things easier either. We hope she can continue to recover and come back to our Shevet house soon. Please pray for her and her mother!

Progressing Well

Posted on Fri, 05/04/2018 - 17:29 by Robyn Stuart

Aryan was passing in and out of a medicated sleep as I arrived to visit her. Beside her bed was her faithful mother - holding her hand and praying quietly. She explained she was worried about the pain in her daughter's shoulder and neck. A quick check of her observation monitor showed her vital signs were stable and positive. However, a good mother's concerns are never calmed by equipment beeps and numbers. Chasing down her very busy Doctor, I was able to confirm back to her that; in spite of Aryan's pain that he was happy with her progress, the operation had proved successful, and they were soon going to remove the extra oxygen assistance provided by her nasal cannula. Although Aryan's mother declined my encouragement to sit in a more comfortable chair a little separated from her daughter's bedside, a cup of tea brought her a measure of relief as she faithfully watched Aryan dose back to sleep. Let's pray that Aryan's healing continues well and that her pregnant mother will relax more as the healing time passes.

Surgery Day came Quickly

Posted on Fri, 05/04/2018 - 17:14 by Jesse Tilman

Eleven-year old Aryan had her surgery this morning. It's the second one of her life after being to Israel ten years ago for the first. 

This surgery was to switch a pulmonary artery to the correct position, widen another blood vessel, and work on some other smaller issues.
They were ready this morning after the preparations and discussions of last night. Unlike our toddlers, the nurses decided she is big enough to just walk to the surgery room instead of being wheeled over in the hospital bed. 
There we had a time of getting signatures on needed documents, explaining more, and some hugging. The staff decided to keep the parent with Aryan as they put her to sleep. After some tearful goodbyes we went over to the waiting area.
Other Kurdish families were around and it was a good way to minister to Aryan's mother as we worked with them as well. Some distant relatives living in Jerusalem also were represented.
Round about the time for Aryan to finish up, we began hearing from different staff members. Aryan's mother got good info from multiple sources and we got to see the personnel wheel her out of surgery. A little while later and we went in to see her. 
We didn't know how long she would be under anesthesia, but before the day ended she was awake once more. Sometimes it can be a day or two. 
We're glad to report a successful surgery for Aryan and the new hope for her life. Many thanks to the doctors and our Father in Heaven!


Posted on Tue, 05/01/2018 - 01:49 by Johanna Ebert

Aryan is admitted. We got a very spontaneous call from the hospital after lunch that they have a spot for her surgery. And now is she already in a room in the ICU. After some examinations today, she will hopefully have her surgery tomorrow. Please pray for her, the surgeons and her family!

CT Scan

Posted on Mon, 04/23/2018 - 03:55 by Sophia Vogt

Aryan, accompanied by her mother, Johanna and myself attended Sheba Hospital today for a CT prior to her planned admission tomorrow. We had a long wait between Aryan's blood test and IV insertion and her CT scan but this gave us lots of time to get know each other better. Aryan demonstrated herself as a kind and patient teacher helping to develop mine and Johanna's Kurdish speaking skills. We shared pictures with one another showing our families and landscapes from back home.

Aryan was a little sleepy and unsettled going into her CT scan as she had had to fast for the test today. In addition Aryan's mother was not allowed to stay in the room for the test as she is currently pregnant. Despite these circumstances I was impressed with just how well Aryan handled herself throughout her CT scan, only needing a little reassuring hand squeeze throughout.

After this Aryan's mother was able to speak with the doctors about her surgery which is scheduled to take place on Wednesday.