Ayman's Heart Surgery

northern Iraq

Ayman Extubated; Recovering Well

Posted on Fri, 11/02/2012 - 22:08 by Ruth Zellweger

We'd hoped for several days to find Ayman awake and breathing on his own, but when Jesse and I arrived at the hospital today Ayman was still breathing only with the help of mechanical ventilation. But one hour after we arrived, the nurse was in the process of preparing everything for the removal of the tube. Ayman

Answered Prayers For Ayman

Posted on Tue, 10/30/2012 - 20:21 by Kristina Kayser

Fervent prayers for Ayman were answered in a beautiful way this afternoon. His mother hovered at his bedside through the morning hours, stopping often to gaze at her beloved son, concern and affection mingled on her face.

Around 1:30 pm, two nurses walked in to prepare the room for Dr. Mishali. His arrival to close Ayman's chest was our signal to wait outside until the procedure was finished. His mother sat briefly before getting up to pace the halls, gaze out the window, or answer a number of phone calls from Kurdistan. She finally sat beside me again, her face shadowed with anxiety. We began to speak of the comfort of prayer and the way God hears and responds to hearts that cry out in faith. Our shared hope in this reality led us to continue whispering intercessions for Ayman. 

Less than an hour later, I stepped out of the waiting room and saw Dr. Mishali in the pediatric ward. "Is Ayman finished?" I asked expectantly. "Yes!" he responded. "It went well, and there is no more bleeding." This was music to my ears. Dr. Mishali went on to explain that while Ayman's surgery and initial post-op period had unforeseen difficulties, his prognosis was now positive: "We hope to see progress in the next few days and want to wake him up soon." When I translated all of this to Ayman's mother, she began smiling and praising God. Taking his tiny hand in hers, she bowed to gently kiss her son. 

It seems as though the tides have turned for this precious boy. A clean white gauze now covers the freshly closed incision. His oxygen saturation is 94%. And his once bluish skin is now flushed pink. Today was a day of rejoicing. May we continue to witness the faithfulness of God in Ayman's life with every breath and heartbeat.

Hope Abiding: Ayman Hanging Onto Life

Posted on Mon, 10/29/2012 - 23:31 by Kristina Kayser

Ayman's precarious position following surgery further intensified around 9:30 pm last night. He continued to bleed internally and the surgeon, Dr. Mishali, was called in to address the issue. He determined that Ayman's chest needed to be reopened to stop the bleeding. This was no small matter, especially since his chest had already been opened twice earlier that day. It is moments like these when you realize how fragile life truly is. God's grace was poured out again on Ayman last night as the bleeding was significantly reduced and his situation finally stabilized. Ruth was with Ayman's mother all the while, comforting her through this traumatic experience. As things calmed down, both women were able to get some much needed rest. And Ayman remained stable through the night under the vigilant care of Sheba's ICU staff. 

When I arrived this morning, the situation was thus: Minimal internal bleeding was still present and Ayman's chest remained open, covered merely by a thin, translucent film. The image was graphic, though the atmosphere was hopeful. After a couple hours, Dr. Mishali arrived to announce that he planned to close up the chest today if possible. No time was set for the procedure, but still we clung to this good word. Ayman's mother, who has eaten very little in the past few days, admitted to being hungry and joined me for lunch downstairs. She seemed to appreciate the relief this short break provided, smiling as we walked and telling me more about her family and home in Kurdistan. When we returned to the ICU, a new nurse had come on shift, but no action otherwise. By late afternoon, it seemed as though plans to close Ayman's chest would not take place until the following day. His mother continued to impress me with her strong, yet sensitive spirit. We affirmed together that God was with her son and that nothing was too difficult for Him. I saw in her a beautiful picture of abiding in hope: hope that is anchored in what we cannot see, in One whose love is greater than our hearts can conceive. 

In my last phone call with Ayman's mother late this evening, I heard that the doctor did not return today but that Ayman and she were doing okay. Please pray that they both will have a peaceful night and that tomorrow will bring fulfillment to our hope. For in You Lord we

Ayman's Surgery Day: A Long Wait

Posted on Mon, 10/29/2012 - 00:05 by Ruth Zellweger

Ayman, his tearful mother, and I left last night as soon as the Sabbath was over for Ayman

Surgery Confirmed for Sunday Morning

Posted on Fri, 10/26/2012 - 16:38 by Ruth Zellweger

Two days ago we received the long-anticipated phone call from Sheba hospital, confirming a surgery date for Ayman. They expect him to come to the hospital Saturday evening after Sabbath for surgery the next morning. We shared this news with Ayman

Ayman Back in Jerusalem

Posted on Mon, 10/22/2012 - 20:17 by Ruth Zellweger

This afternoon, Kelsey and I went to Sheba Hospital for visitations hoping that we might bring Ayman back to Jerusalem after his MRI (which he had in the morning). When we arrived we found him sound asleep, his mother sitting beside him. Half an hour later he was awake, eating and playing with a balloon. We all practiced our patience until the doctors had time to talk with us. The MRI went well, but they did not have the results yet. They released him to return to Jerusalem and will call soon to tell us his surgery date. As of tomorrow, it will have been a month since Ayman and his mother arrived in Israel. Please continue to pray with us for the right timing for Ayman

Ayman Admitted for MRI

Posted on Sun, 10/21/2012 - 21:09 by Anna Kohler

Ayman was admitted to the hospital today for an MRI of his heart, which will take place tomorrow morning. The procedure will aid doctors in understanding the complexities of Ayman's heart before the surgery. 

As we waited with our energetic Ayman and his mother today, we entertained him by blowing up balloons, and releasing them to fly freely in his room. He also spent a lot of his waiting time drawing in coloring books with his loving mother. When the nurse came to check on him, he grew nervous and restless. She dealt with him with so much kindness, though, and calmed him down with his mother

Ayman Waiting for Surgery

Posted on Sun, 10/14/2012 - 22:37 by Anna Kohler

Following Ayman's catheterization, he was released from the hospital and returned to Jerusalem. He and his mother are now waiting for a surgery date to be decided. Ayman's mother is so thankful and patient while she waits with her son. Ayman is an adventurous little bundle of joy, and daily endeavors to find something new to entertain himself. Please pray that he will be able to have his surgery soon!

Ayman Resting After His Catheterization

Posted on Tue, 10/02/2012 - 22:30 by Donna_Petrel

It was a happy surprise last evening to learn that Ayman should come to Sheba immediately for a heart catheterization this morning! The nurses on duty told us they thought Ayman would be the first patient of the day, so this morning we expected him to be taken into the cath lab by eight o'clock. As it turned out, Ayman was not the first, but the second procedure of the day, and after a few hours without food, he became unsettled and started to cry. His sweet mother soothed him till he fell asleep, and he slept right till she picked him up to go in for his catheterization. She was allowed to carry him right into the operating room, and stay with him till he fell asleep. This was helpful for them both, but I could hear Ayman's cries as I waited just outside, and his mother returned with tears in her eyes as well. But beyond those tears was a grateful heart for this help for her son, and she maintained such an attitude for two hours until he was wheeled out to her again.

Ayman was awake when we saw him, but quickly fell back to sleep once his bed was parked in the intermediate ICU. His sleep, however, was fretful, as he realized the magnitude of his hunger and thirst, but could not ingest anything for at least half an hour. After this important window of time passed, a nurse checked Ayman and brought him a cup of water. He drank the entire cup immediately, and then, satisfied, fell back into a deep sleep. A doctor brought this good news: his catheterization went well. It was necessary for him to receive oxygen continuously till he awoke from the anesthesia, and even several hours later he was still sleeping soundly. The nurse told us that they expected him to awaken early this evening, but at the time we left for Jerusalem, he was still sleeping. We made sure his mother got something to eat, and left this happy boy and his mom in the care of the staff at Sheba. We expect him to return to Jerusalem tomorrow where we'll wait for a surgery date, hopefully next week, after the end of the Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) holiday. Join us in thanking God for Ayman's successful catheterization, and pray for the perfect timing for his surgery.