Azhin's Heart Surgery


Saying Goodbye to Azhin

Posted on Wed, 02/04/2009 - 00:00 by Donna_Petrel

Azhin and her mother were ready to leave for home on Wednesday morning and anxious to get on the way. We gathered for a time of prayer and goodbyes in the courtyard before we left for the Jordan border, and in the parting were tears of joy and words of blessing. Um Azhin was filled with thanks in every part of the trip, including remaining unruffled when we were stopped for a security search at the checkpoint leading to northern Israel.

Azhin rode contentedly throughout the journey taking in the scenery and enjoying the snacks we packed for the occasion. Upon arrival at the crossing point, she was thrilled to ride the luggage cart through the process as though it was designed just for her pleasure. We breezed through the customs process as the terminal was nearly vacant, and found the bus waiting when we arrived at the bus stop. With hugs and a few more tears we all said goodbye as the families boarded the bus to head to Jordan where they were to meet Dirk and be hosted at his home until they fly out a few days later.

Let's keep praying for this dear little girl and her family. The change in her life is already evident in her interaction with the other children; she seems to be more responsive and obedient to her mother as well. Who knows but God what wonderful things lie ahead for Azhin now that she has a healthy heart to enable her to live a life full of joy.

Azhin's Farewell Dinner

Posted on Tue, 02/03/2009 - 00:00 by Donna_Petrel

Azhin was excited to get a call from her Baba (dad) this afternoon so she could talk to him about leaving for home tomorrow. She played happily while the rest of the Shevet house was a flurry of activity as her mother, and the mothers of Fanya and Donya prepared for their departure Wednesday morning. There was last minute shopping so that everyone back home would have a gift from the journey, last minute laundry to pack away, and lots of pictures to remember the special friendships formed here.

This evening we all gathered for a farewell dinner filled with lots of laughter and tears. We all pitched in to create a good blend of international cuisine, and finished it off with a wonderful chocolate cake from a bakery in the Old City.

There were more pictures taken and as the mothers began to reflect on the reality of leaving, especially leaving behind their good friend Um Rasan, the tears flowed freely. These are precious relationships which will be lifelong opportunities to stay in touch once the families are home in Iraq again. It is our delight to send these families home with a literal new chance for life, and it is our prayer that their hearts have been forever changed by the grace and love of God they've encountered while with us.

Clearance To Go Home To Iraq

Posted on Mon, 01/26/2009 - 00:00 by


Today Azhin went in for her final echocardiogram and once again the doctors were impressed at her recovery. During the wait for the doctors, she and the other patients, Fanya and Donya, played house like healthy girls. As of today, less than one month since her heart surgery, Azhin no longer requires any medication, and we have received clearance to send her and her mom home to Iraq!

The diagnosis was no surprise. Azhin has been full of energy and enthusiasm this last week, running around and playing non-stop. It's not often that this is a joyous thing, but as a sign of her good health she has become a rambunctious little girl, bouncing off the walls and making herself a handful for her mom and Shevet volunteers, praise the Lord!

On their way out of the hospital Azhin and her mom said a cheerful goodbye to the doctors.

Very Good News Today

Posted on Mon, 01/19/2009 - 00:00 by


We took Azhin in for an echocardiogram today to see how her heart is healing. After just a short time in the doctor's office, Azhin and her mother
emerged with big smiles. Azhin's mother doesn't speak English but she understands when the doctor says, "Very good!" Azhin's mother repeated to me "Very good!" and was visibly excited as she used hand motions to explain they could go back to Iraq soon. The doctor said that if all was well after one more echo scheduled for next Monday, they could go back to Iraq.
Azhin and her mom called back home to tell their family the good news.

After the echo the families at the hospital and I enjoyed a picnic on the lawn, and stopped for ice cream on the long ride back from the hospital to Jerusalem.

Fluid Around Heart Has Decreased

Posted on Thu, 01/15/2009 - 00:00 by Keleigh_Glisson


This morning we drove to the hospital for Azhin's echocardiogram. This sweet mannered girl has a tendency to sing and chatter while doing a myriad of things. This morning she was our music as we made our way to the hospital. It was great to listen to her.

Once we arrived to the hospital we had lunch with Ali and his father and then made our way upstairs for Azhin's echo.

The doctors reported that the fluid around her heart has decreased and if she continues in good health, like today, she wouldn't need to come back for another check-up until Monday. Pray that she remains in good health so that she and her mother may go home soon.

Fun At The Beach

Posted on Mon, 01/12/2009 - 00:00 by


Sunday morning we took Azhin in for an echocardiogram but found out once we arrived at the hospital that her echo was actually scheduled for Monday.

Rather than drive the hour back to Jerusalem we thought it would be a great opportunity to take her to the sea.

Azhin had a blast stepping in the water with her mom, throwing sea shells into the sea and playing in the sand.

Today, Azhin was in the early morning group for her first echo after discharge. Like her friend Fanya, she didn't enjoy having her stitches out but her antibiotics are now completed. Although the doctors did not express concern they started her on a short course of prednisone and asked for her to return within three days for a further echo. Pray that she will rest and that her wound will heal as quickly as possible.

Smiles Are Back

Posted on Thu, 01/08/2009 - 00:00 by Dorothy_Finlay

Today saw a transformation in Azhin. She was feeling better but her wound was needing a dressing. Dr Tamir decided to keep her at the hospital over the weekend.
She is full of fun again and enjoyed playing with Wahaj again. Thank you for praying.

Cough And Fever

Posted on Wed, 01/07/2009 - 00:00 by Dorothy_Finlay


Tuesday afternoon little Azhin was released from the ward and went to join Wahaj at the Save A Child's Heart house. However, last night she developed a cough and fever and returned to the ward for follow up.

Please pray for this little girl who was not her usual smiley self. Still, her wound is healing nicely and she is eating well, and we expect she will be released to Jerusalem tomorrow.

Home To Jerusalem Tomorrow

Posted on Mon, 01/05/2009 - 00:00 by Dorothy_Finlay

Azhin was a picture as she 'studied' in the ward school this morning. This morning she was scheduled for an echocardiogram and this proved that she had had a very successful heart surgery. Dr. Alona gave the news that tomorrow she could come back to Jerusalem. This was greeted with much enthusiasm as she wanted to see the other children and play.

What a picture she made in her new pajama suit, some four sizes too big but announcing to all she was a little star. She had had a slight temperature last night but it is all normal now. It is hoped to transfer her and Mum to Jerusalem tomorrow afternoon. Pray protection against the coughs and colds which have beset some of the other children in Jerusalem and that soon she will be ready to go home wrapped in the love of Jesus.

Baby Bathing Time

Posted on Sun, 01/04/2009 - 00:00 by Dorothy_Finlay
Today Azhin occupied her time with running around the department and washing her doll in her baby bath. Azhin is full of life and you would never know she has recently had a life changing surgery. Praise God for her recovery and for the loving care given by her mother.

Dressed in fashionable hospital PJs and with brown hair sparkling she looked a picture. She was also a friendly punching bag for Wahaj, also recovering from his surgery.

Pray for this little lady who is so friendly and settled in this very foreign environment. May the Lord enfold her and her mother, touching them with His love and presence.