Aveen's Heart Surgery

Kurdistan, northern Iraq

No Complaints

Posted on Mon, 04/10/2017 - 18:36 by Moshe Mali

We met near the apartment in Yafo - Eva, Beverly, and myself - to go to the hospital and see Aveen after her surgery. After a while we were able to go into the ICU and saw her in bed. Her father was right next to her.

She looked in pain, but she didn't complain. She just told us that she had difficulty seeing. The nurse came and told us her stats are ok. She asked a few questions about the seeing issue, but it seemed to be alright.

Aveen was born with two defects: Transposition of the Great Arteries (TGA), and Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD).  When Aveen came last year for medical care, her first surgery repaired the reversed arteries and used a patch to cover the hole of the VSD. Aveen needed to return for a second surgery because this patch had come loose and was not performing its job correctly. The doctor said they managed to fix this, and that the surgery was good, indeed.

Her father told me that he hopes she will be alright. We left him standing near his daughter and wishing that she will be healed and happy again. Please pray for them to have encouragement, peace, healing, and joy as they continue Aveen's medical journey in Israel. 

Aveen's Second Heart Surgery

Posted on Sun, 04/09/2017 - 22:03 by Rebekah Yang

Early this morning, Eva, Joseph and I had a short prayer for our beloved girl Aveen. Then all of us headed to Wolfson hospital for her another big day - second heart surgery day.

Upon our arrival, Aveen was still sleeping peacefully like a "Sleepy Beauty."  A few minutes later, she woke up and started to play with us and we enjoyed our company together. Around 7:20am, Aveen was wheeled to the pre-operating theater and waited for her turn. Not too long later - just before 8am - she was sent to the operating room and her open-heart surgery began.
At first, her father still gently kept smiling and our Shevet community brother Joseph accompanied him on a walk around the hospital.  Joseph also prepared some nice tea for him.
As time passed by, he started to show a bit of worry and anxiety, so we gave him some time to make phone calls back to his home in Kurdistan. We had estimated the time of the whole operation may take between 4 to 6 hours, so we decided to go out for a quick lunch. When we returned we went to the echo department for Safa and two Gaza kids.
Later on I learned that Aveen has finished her heart surgery. So all of us rushed downstairs to wait outside the operating room. Eventually the time came, and I saw the door slowly open. It was our precious Aveen being wheeled out towards the ICU. After almost 5 and a half hours of waiting and now she was finished. Praise God.
Surgeon Dr. Yoyu said the surgery was successful. They were able to find the hole and do a full repair. At the moment her condition is stable. She is intubated with a ventilation machine, plus a central IV line and also a few other tubes to help her body work through this big stage. By God's grace, tomorrow morning she may able to be extubated and start to breath on her own.
Please lift your hands to offer all the thanks to our living Messiah Yeshua for all the healing He has given to Aveen. Hallelujah!

Surgery on Sunday

Posted on Fri, 04/07/2017 - 18:57 by Miriam Svensson
Yesterday it was comfirmed from the hospital that Aveen is on schedule for surgery on Sunday. When I told Aveen and her father that she would be admitted before the weekend they both looked very happy. Although they seem to enjoy our community life, they are far from their home and waiting can be hard.
This morning I drove them the short way to Wolfson hospital. Admission tests were taken and Aveen had an IV canula inserted. She endured everything smiling, only the needle and blood test made her frown a bit. Although my Kurdish is very limited, it was no problem to explain what the nurse and doctor wanted, since Aveen was familiar with the procedure.
I thought about how much this beautiful young woman has been through already, and how much she has grown in her personality since I first met her last year. I know that the Lord can use all these experiences for good in her continued life. Thank you for praying with us for Aveen. May our loving Father hold her in His hands and let her blossom even more.

Aveen Back to Jaffa Community

Posted on Tue, 03/28/2017 - 17:04 by Rebekah Yang

This morning we learned that Aveen can be discharged from the hospital and go back to our Jaffa community. 

Upon my arrival, Aveen was enjoying a craft time with the other children in the hospital. Around 11am, a group of Jewish kids and IDF soldiers came to present the patients with some lovely songs and gifts.
Aveen happily received a beautiful teddy bear toy from one of the group's teachers. Afterwards, Aveen was waving good bye and went with our coworker Camila for the SACH lunch program at their house.
Praise God for His protection on our beloved Aveen.

A Joyful Soul

Posted on Mon, 03/27/2017 - 23:41 by Ruth Zellweger

Aveen and her father have enriched our Jerusalem community these past weeks. While his cooking skills have been highly praised, there have also been many kind words regarding Aveen, as she does not make it hard for your to connect with her. She is full of life, love and laughter. 

This morning, our wonderful co-worker and nurse assistant Lindsay found out that Aveen had not slept well this last night, but had experienced chestpain that was already better in the morning but not completely gone. Even though we knew that it is very likely connected to her condition and the need of surgical correction, we took her to Wolfson hospital anyway for a check up. Better to be safe than sorry. 

Upon arrival, Aveen's vital signs were quickly taken, and EKG written and then we were off to the echo department. There the fun personalities of her and her father were fully displayed. While Dr. Demeke took her history, Aveen's father decided to take his seat at the examination table and to assess his daughter:

Suprisingly, he could not find the cause of her chest pain. Nevertheless, his daughter laughed, and laughed, and laughed...

Then, Dr. Demeke examined her carefully and confirmed what they had already seen during her initial assessment. The VSD-patch that had become loose caused the blood, coming from the left ventricle, not to go where it was supposed to go. This can also cause the chest pain. 

To make sure that everything is not out of her current normal, Dr. Demeke ordered a bloodtest. And because Aveen also needs to be evaluated by a neurologist prior her heart surgery, it was decided that she would be admitted for the night. Aveen and her father took this news well and made the best out of this circumstance. They soon found some hospital pajamas that somehow fit Aveen, and then she started coloring a minnie mouse picture that she later wanted to have signed with her name. 

If everything goes well, Aveen will be discharged tomorrow from the hospital and will continue the waiting for her surgery with our community. We are thankful for our heavenly Father who is watching over our precious friend. 

A Long Day

Posted on Wed, 03/01/2017 - 22:23 by Eva Markewitz
Aveen had her CT scan this morning. When we arrived at the hospital, the nurses told us that we probably would have to wait a little bit. So we got some pajamas, which was easier said than done - we spent almost ten minutes looking for ones that would fit her.
After a while, Aveen was called to go to the CT scan. Her father and I had to wait outside, but it only took about ten minutes.
On our way back, we met a group of cheerful children in costumes. They gave Aveen a funny headband and, with a laugh, she put it on her head. She is a sweet girl. Almost every time I looked at her today, she gave me a smile.
The analysis of the PPD test from Monday was next. Her test was fine, but her fathers was positive, and he probably needs a X-ray to see why it was. Another bloodtest and scan followed, and then we could finally return home.
We ask you to pray with us for precious Aveen and her father.  Everything is in God's hands. May he give them strength for the coming time, and the patience to wait until the right day for her surgery.

Cheerful Aveen

Posted on Tue, 02/28/2017 - 22:50 by Camila Buitrago
Today I had the opportunity to share time with Aveen. She is very sweet, and had a great disposition during the tests and the waiting in between them.
The doctors gave Aveen a blood test and another special test for her eyes. The hospital wants to make sure that our sweet Aveen does not have any infections in her heart.   
One of the doctors in the hospital performed a general examination, and stopped to analyze Aveen's hands. I do not know why, but the skin of the hands of our friend Aveen - more specifically below her nails - has a different color.
For me it is very beautiful to see the way in which medicine contributes to the welfare of mankind, and the care the doctors have for each detail in the human body. But it is even more beautiful to remember that all the knowledge we have comes from God, because it is He who gives us the potential to learn and to serve others.

Second Time Around

Posted on Tue, 02/28/2017 - 00:03 by Brenda Hofer

Today, I had the great pleasure of spending most of the day with the beloved Aveen and her father going through assessment tests once again. Aveen and her father seemed to be unfazed by all the hospital staff running around about them. They took things in stride as they moved from one test to another.

They are seasoned veterans since they lived with Shevet one year ago. The only time I saw Aveen anxious was when they were drawing blood. I don't blame her; does anyone like needles? 

The echo exam revealed some further complications with the dislodged repair. It appears there is a vegetative growth on the surgery spot, so the doctors would like a wide spectrum of blood tests done on Aveen to pinpoint what is causing this abnormal growth. Unfortunately,  it will take some time to get the lab results in. The good news is the doctors feel that, once that issue is resolved, the actual surgery with be fairly routine without any other concerns.

I wonder how hard this must be for this precious young lady and her father having to come back to Israel for a second time? Even though they handled everything thrown at them with grace and gentlness, it is not easy. Thank goodness, even though life's circumstances can be difficult, our heavenly Father never leaves us nor forsakes us. He is with us through life from start to finish. Let us continue to lift up in prayer this beautiful family for both physical healing of Aveen’s heart, but also a spiritual healing for the family's heart so they will know the grace and gentleness of the Messiah.

Awaiting Aveen's Return

Posted on Wed, 02/22/2017 - 22:19 by Ruth Zellweger

Our Shevet community is awaiting Aveen's return this coming week. The community members that remember her and her father from last year are very excited, as both of them had become beloved members of our Shevet family. 

Aveen needs to return for medical treatment because part of the patch that closed the hole between the two ventricles of her heart became detached. We pray that there won't be any further complications, and that the time with us in Israel can be blessed and meaningful. 

Reunion With This Lovely Family

Posted on Sun, 11/13/2016 - 21:37 by Rebekah Yang

For Shevet long-term volunteers serving in Jerusalem, we have been missing some family members; Aveen and her dad. It's not only that Aveen's dad cooked many lunches for the Shevet community, but much more importantly was Aveen and her dad's love and support. This is what bonded us together into a beautiful relationship: family.

We were very excited to pay our visit to Aveen's dad and the whole family.

Four of us (Mark, Virginia, Hezhan and I) arrived a bit later than regular lunch hours. However, Aveen's whole family were already waiting for us with a huge feast. Upon our arrival, the kids, except the the littlest daughter who was still sleeping, greeted us. I asked Aveen to show me the baby's room where we took a the photo below. 

After that, we spent some times to catch up about their lives since their return home. While we were chatting, we also enjoyed their delicious food. Although it's my first time visiting Kurdistan, I knew the large feast was the way they showed their love and care towards us. Our plates were never empty because they continuously filled them. After the main course of rice with different meats and vegetables, then it came to tea time. Along with sweet tea were desserts. Wow, I could hardly breath due to too much food!

At the moment, Aveen still goes to a local cardiologist to get her regular echo follow-ups. Last check-up, the doctor found out her heart has gradually developed some issues. Aveen's father has sent the report, through our nurse in Jerusalem, to give the cardiologists at Wolfson hospital. They will further examine and discuss what needs to be done for Aveen.

Please continue to lift up this sweet family for their faith and lives in Kurdistan. May our Heavenly Father's healing hands touch Aveen's heart. In Messiah's mighty name I pray, amen.