Atwar's Heart Surgery

northern Iraq

Day After Surgery: Resting Boy, Happy Dad

Posted on Mon, 02/11/2013 - 21:05 by John M.

The weather was cloudy but the air was clear as I drove to the hospital this morning. Several patients were having heart echoes. On the way we listened to worship songs in Kurdish, several with the words

Smooth Sailing for Atwar's Surgery

Posted on Sun, 02/10/2013 - 21:15 by Jesse Tilman

Kristina and I arrived at the hospital this morning and descended to the hallway outside the operating room, where Atwar

Atwar to Surgery in the Morning

Posted on Sat, 02/09/2013 - 21:53 by Ryan Gregg

Atwar and his father were picnicking in a rose garden in west Jerusalem this afternoon when the phone call came:

Atwar and Father Biding Time Until Surgery

Posted on Sun, 01/27/2013 - 20:21 by Jesse Tilman

The days are going by and Atwar

Still Waiting for Surgery, Visiting the Sea

Posted on Fri, 01/18/2013 - 18:53 by Jesse Tilman

Atwar and his Dad have been getting a little house sick lately, so this morning we got together a beach trip for them. A few of us were heading to the hospital to visit our patients there and by taking a van we would have extra room for Atwar, his Dad, and myself. We would spend about an hour at the oceanside as other team members were in the hospital nearby.

The drive down was smooth. I turned on the Arabic music of the artist Fadia Bazi, and talked with Atwar

Echo Confirms Atwar's Diagnosis

Posted on Tue, 01/08/2013 - 19:56 by Ryan Gregg

Atwar and his father sat quietly in the backseat as we fought January wind and rain toward the hospital. Rain beat the aluminum roof of the car. It sounded like a drum. The passing streets seemed the aftermath of an umbrella apocalypse. If someone had directed a garden hose full-steam onto the windshield through which I was trying to see the road, it wouldn

Atwar's Initial Assessments

Posted on Mon, 01/07/2013 - 21:25 by Ruth Zellweger

This morning, Jesse and I took Atwar for his first round of assessments at Wolfson Hospital. Atwar arrived in Israel just in time for what is supposed to be the coldest, wettest week of winter.  

And on our way to the the hospital, God blessed us with a beautiful bright rainbow, which reminded me again of His faithfulness. This rainbow to me was a sign that God has His eyes on the precious little boy in the car with us. 

When I first met him, Atwar appeared as a gentle, shy young boy who was fascinated by BUBBLES. This was one of the instruments which we used to distract him during the first of his different examinations. It was not a problem for the nurse to check his vital signs, but when she put on the pain-relief cream for drawing blood, tears formed in his beautiful eyes and began to silently drop. 

When he had to lie down for the EKG, I could clearly see that he was frightened because of the unfamiliar surrounding and tests. One of the hospital clowns came to our help and entertained Atwar. They enjoyed some fun moments together, but when it came time for his blood to be drawn, nothing helped anymore. He didn

Atwar Lights Up Our Lives

Posted on Mon, 01/07/2013 - 00:10 by Jonathan Miles

It's a common Middle Eastern compliment to say that someone is "lighting up" the place he or she is in. And if that expression suits any child we've seen, it would be three-year-old Atwar, who arrived in Jordan from Kurdistan, northern Iraq, on Saturday. Before setting out for Jerusalem this morning, his face at the breakfast table was an irrepressible combination of charm and showboating:

What a little personality! Although he looks quite healthy, Atwar's father reports that without medication Atwar turns blue and can lose consciousness due to cyanotic spells. Surgery is urgent to spare his life.

Tonight we reached Jerusalem, where the five Kurdish mothers already waiting for surgeries for their children were ready to greet the new arrivals with good Kurdish food. Tomorrow Atwar will go to the hospital for his first exams Lord willing, and we will update his page in the evening.

On His Way to Israel

Posted on Sun, 12/23/2012 - 17:50 by Jonathan Miles

Cheerful Atwar has just turned three years old, and its the perfect time for his lifesaving heart surgery. His condition is called Tetralogy of Fallot, and doctors hope they can repair his defects and spare his pulmonary valve so he'll have a normal heart.

We've applied for Atwar's visa and hope to have him with us in Jerusalem before the end of the year.