Baran Israel 's Heart Surgery

Baran Israel

Apart from a Miracle

Posted on Tue, 11/09/2010 - 06:42 by
November 9, 2010

Donna and Mary both spent Tuesday at Sheba Hospital with Baran and his family, a difficult day. They each had perspectives to share:

Donna: The catheterization was done early this afternoon which doctors will use to determine how Baran's heart was responding to treatment. He was very unstable through the night, and his fever continued to be high. No infection has been found in any cultures, and it was mentioned that the cause of fever might be related to heart failure. Yet if the results from the catheterization are positive there is a chance that the surgeon will go ahead with open heart surgery, which is what Baran needs. When doctors spoke with his mother and a member of the family it was made clear that even catheterization was dangerous for him. Therefore it was a very solemn time as Baran was wheeled upstairs for his procedure, and since he was already heavily sedated, he went straight to the cath lab rather than going in with his mother as before. We waited together for news from the cardiologist, and after about an hour and a half he came out to speak with us: Baran's pulmonary pressure was still very high. It had not responded to the treatment with nitrous oxide and medication. Because of this, the cardiologist told us that he would report to the surgeon that in his estimation Baran is inoperable. The surgeon needed this information for his decision. Baran was taken back to the ICU shortly afterwards, and we waited for this decision. He agrees with the findings of the cardiologist and hopes to be able to remove Baran from the ventilator so he can go home. Baran's mother and family are struggling with the devastating news at this time, and need your prayers. So do all of us here who love them. We maintain our trust in God, and understand that medically things do not look good, apart from a miracle.

Mary: Today was a very intense day, but in spite of everything that happened there was a peace that I cannot describe. I guess you would call this the peace that passes all understanding. There was a unity between Baran's family, Donna, Gadi and I. Amidst the anxiety of not knowing if or when doctors were going to do Barans catheterization we were all comforting each other. There was really no panic or despair. The scripture Psalms 133: 1 (How pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity) really is what we are all about. Comforting, supporting each other, and being there to encourage one another. This increases each ones faith. Please pray for baby Baran and his family. Pray that God will continue to do a recreative miracle in this baby's life and raise him up to be an example of what an awesome God we have. We thank you for your prayers and will keep you posted on how he's doing.

*At 9pm tonight we spoke by telephone with ICU nurses at Sheba Hospital. They will have one more group consultation among doctors and surgeons before making the final decision whether Baran is operable. We expect this decision sometime tomorrow.

Surgeons Unable to Operate on Fragile Baran

Posted on Sun, 11/07/2010 - 06:42 by Donna_Petrel
November 7, 2010

Today was a difficult one for Baran and his mother, and all of those who love them. From early in the morning everything was prepared for him to be wheeled out for surgery, yet he began to be restless and feverish. His heart rate was very high and remaining elevated. After several hours of uncertainty about when Baran would have his turn in the operating room, the surgeon came and told us there would not be a surgery today. Even with antibiotics and fever reducers being administered, Baran was running a very high fever. Besides that disappointing news, the doctor also said that he is not certain whether Baran is operable at all, and that it may be too late to help him. More tests will be done to determine the best thing for Baran. The first step in determining how to go forward is to try again to remove him from the ventilator, and as soon as they feel he's ready, the staff will begin the process.

When we got the news that it may be too late to help Baran it was heart-breaking. The tears flowed for both of us as it sank in, and I wanted both to be with Baran and his mother to comfort her, as well as to leave them together in privacy. After a little time with them I came out of the ICU to give them privacy, update the rest of the staff, and take time for prayer. I saw one of the other doctors leaving the ICU and asked her about Baran coming off the ventilator. She assured me they would try everything they knew to help him in every way, and that it would take a few days to see how he would handle the treatment. She said they had options of doing another catheterization or doing surgery, depending on what was best for him day by day. Baran's mother came out of the ICU a little later and we sat together for a while, then decided to have some lunch. During that time God strengthened my heart again, and reminded me not to lose hope.

After lunch when we were back beside Baran's bed, we were thankful to see that his heart rate had come down and he was resting comfortably. His nurse gave us the good news that x-rays are showing Baran's lungs are clear, so they do not believe pneumonia to be the cause for infection. They are waiting on results of several cultures to find out what the source may be, and expect it could take the rest of the week before they are certain. Before leaving the hospital this afternoon, I assured Baran's mother that I would not give up hope, but would keep hoping with her for Baran. In my heart I will keep believing that it is not machines or medicine or people that are in control, but it is all in God's loving hands. His love never changes even when things are very difficult for us, so I will continue to trust him. He is able to do miracles today as always. I will pray for Baran and his mother, and his family, from this perspective, and invite you to join me.

Baran Critical, Slated for Surgery Tomorrow 

Posted on Sat, 11/06/2010 - 06:42 by Donna_Petrel
November 6, 2010

I received a call from Baran's mother just after noon today. She had just been sent out of the ICU, because the doctors had said: "Baran is not good." He had been struggling through the morning with oxygen saturation levels in the mid-60s (on a 100% scale), and it was dropping. His blood pressure also was not good. The doctor on call was brought in, and contacted the head surgeon. Baran was put on emergency measures in the ICU, and it was expected that he would have immediate surgery.

Upon hanging up with Barans mother, Mary and I left Jerusalem to be with her in Tel Aviv. By the time we arrived, though, Baran had responded well to the emergency measures. Nitrogen was supplemented to the oxygen of his ventilator in order to increase the size of the airways in the lungs and their ability to absorb oxygen. The affect was positive: For the first time since admission, and likely since his birth, his oxygenation was at 96-97%. His blood pressure also responded favorably, and Baran's body can rest better now since it is functioning more normally. He is receiving heavy sedation and in a deep sleep, with a number of medications assisting and protecting him. It is still expected that he will undergo surgery very soon, but the staff could not give us a date (*see note at the end of the blog). One of the factors in scheduling a difficult surgery like Baran's is that there must be an open bed in the ICU so that after the surgery he can receive the intensive attention he will need. Of course this would not stop a surgery in an emergency, but can cause a delay if other children need the ICU space.

Baran's mother was doing ok; she is a strong woman who does not break down easily under the strain of concern and emotion. She waits continually beside Baran's bed or in the room just outside the ICU, speaking frequently with the staff. Her family is calling often to check on Baran and offer encouragement to her. Today I was happy for the opportunity to talk with a family member who called and speaks English. As I shared during that phone conversation, we love Baran and his mother and thank God for the chance to be here with them.

The pictures we took today show the large nitrogen tank beside the ventilator on the left side of the bed. And in the close-up photo, at the top of the blog, little Baran is sleeping deeply even though his eyes are open. Let us continue to join prayers on behalf of Baran's healing and the comfort of his family while they wait for his surgery.

*Shortly after 10pm tonight, Saturday, we received a call from Sheba Hospital that Baran will have open-heart surgery tomorrow morning. Be in prayer.

Baran in ICU for Third Day 

Posted on Thu, 11/04/2010 - 06:42 by Donna_Petrel
November 4, 2010

I arrived at Tel HaShomer Hospital this morning to find Baran's mother sitting in the waiting area outside the ICU, and she seemed happy to have a visitor. We sat together and chatted over pastries made by German friends of Shevet Achim. She shared that Baran was still in ICU and stable, and that the doctors planned to remove the breathing tube this morning. We then went to the ICU to be with Baran. After only a few minutes there the nurse asked us to leave so she could give him a bath and suction his lungs. When we returned later to his bedside he was a little more alert, and the nurse told us they were beginning to wake him for extubation (the removal of the breathing tube, or ventilator). He was wiggling and stretching a bit, harmlessly, but then an alarm went off on one of the monitors. When the nurse came over she determined that he'd likely swallowed some saliva in his wiggles, making it hard for the breathing machine to do its job. So they began suctioning his lungs again, and after a few minutes his oxygen level returned nearly to normal. Because of this small incident, however, it was no longer an opportune moment to remove Barans breathing tube, and he was put back on sedation and to rest. The doctors tried again in the afternoon, unsuccessfully, to remove his breathing tube, and as of this writing, after a call to the ICU in Tel Aviv, if Baran's night is stable the plan is to reattempt extubation in the morning.

Baran's mother continues to be strong and thankful while staying at her son's side. We had a wonderful time of conversation during our visit today, discussing many things about our families and about being mothers. God has knitted our hearts together in a sweet way, and even though I would have preferred to stay a while, I needed to return to Jerusalem for some other duties. She knows we all love her and are praying for her. Let's continue to ask God for his loving help, even as his activity is seen in everything happening.

Baran Under Close Watch in ICU

Posted on Wed, 11/03/2010 - 06:42 by Donna_West
November 3, 2010

When I arrived at Sheba's Pediatric ICU this morning, Baran's mother was keeping a watchful eye over her baby and all the monitors to which his little body was connected. She stood watching the beat of his heart and from time to time put her finger on his chest, as I have seen nurses put their finger on a wrist to take a patient's pulse. She asked me to feel the beat of his heart, which was an excellent opportunity to pray for him. Very soon after that, I spoke by telephone with the rest of the team in Jerusalem and ask them to also assemble in prayer.

A full day after his catheterization Baran is still intubated (a breathing tube is inserted down his trachea to assist breathing), which is abnormal. The doctors have also placed him on wide-spectrum antibiotic, to wipe out a system irregularity which they are observing but which has remained unidentified.

I watched Barans mother pull back his light blanket and look at the incisions in the crease of his legs, with a painful awareness that this was where the heart catheter had been inserted. As one nurse prepared the medication, two others came to double and triple check the dosage before it was administered. Every possible care is being taken. However, the final outcome is in the hands of the "Great Healer".

As the medication was being administered, the alarms of the machinery began to sound. Barans mother and I were asked to leave the ICU while medical staff made adjustments to the medication and machinery. After a small lunch in the cafeteria, we returned to find Baran in a more stable condition. He opened his eyes and stretched long enough to make eye contact with his mother and feel the touch of her loving presence. (See video below.)

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Tonight, mother and son are resting under the watchful eye of the Lord, as we continue to pray in Jerusalem. Will you join us?

Surrounded by Family on a Challenging Day

Posted on Tue, 11/02/2010 - 06:42 by Donna_Petrel
November 2, 2010

Thank you for praying for Baran and his mother today during his catheterization. The day was a long one since another child needed an emergency catheterization done first this morning, which pushed Baran's surgery to the late morning. Everything went well during the procedure and Baran was taken to the ICU for observation and the removal of the breathing tube. However, shortly after it was removed he began to have respiratory distress, so the doctors decided to put him back on the ventilator temporarily. It is hoped after resting on the ventilator tonight that Baran can again have the breathing tube removed tomorrow morning. When the breathing tube is removed, Baran will return to the regular children's ward while the surgeon reviews his case and makes decisions about the surgery. The doctors also had questions for us about whether Baran had any problems with his kidneys because they want to check them before his heart surgery. Since everything went well with his catheterization it was not necessary for him to remain in the cardiac ICU, but because of the need for the ventilator, Baran was moved to the regular pediatric ICU for tonight's stay. After showing her the special sleeping quarters for parents whose children are in the ICU, the staff brought Barans mother a nice dinner. Several other mothers who were there asked her about Baran, and I believe they will be a friendly comfort to her tonight.

Throughout the day and the unexpected breathing problems Baran's mother was very strong and kept a positive attitude. She is able to speak with the doctors and nurses and ask questions whenever she needs to, and the staff also comes to her with information about what is happening during the day. The highlight of the day for our volunteer Jennifer was when a doctor asked Baran's mother if her family from Iraq was here: she said no, but that we are her family because of how we are helping Baran. We all thank God for the chance to be like sisters and brothers or aunts and uncles to Baran and his mother. They are precious to us, and all through the day we are praying for Baran and his family. It is our hope that he will receive all the healing he needs while with us, and go back to his family soon. Tomorrow we expect to get the report from the surgeon regarding surgery plans. Let's keep bringing our prayers to God for his help as we continue to trust him with everything needed for Baran's treatment.

Baran is Admitted for Catheterization

Posted on Mon, 11/01/2010 - 06:42 by Donna_Petrel
, November 1, 2010

This morning we took little Baran and his mother to the Sheba Heart Center to be admitted for his heart catheterization tomorrow morning. Although his mother seemed a little nervous as we left Jerusalem, she remained peaceful throughout the hours of waiting and testing before Baran could settle into his room for the evening. One of the echo machines was not functioning today, so the wait was a little long, but we were able to speak with the anesthesiologist in the interim, and get all the necessary documents signed.

Baran is a contented, relaxed, and curious baby who was undisturbed over events around him except for a few tears towards the end of the echo procedure. We were glad to be told that his catheterization is the first one on the schedule tomorrow, and that his surgery is expected to take place in the coming two weeks.

After sharing a quick sandwich in the waiting area, we were directed to the ward where Baran and his mother will sleep tonight. God blessed us all by placing them in a room shared with an English-speaking Jewish family whose little boy is recovering from surgery. They were glad to befriend Baran and his mother. I explained to them that he has come from Iraq to have a catheterization in the morning, along with other heart treatment, and that his mother speaks good English.

Jennifer and I were able to pray for both Baran and his mom before we left, thanking God for his loving care in the help he is providing, and for his protection throughout this night as well as in the upcoming surgeries. Will you please join us in prayer for this precious little one who has such a complicated heart condition, and also for his sweet, adoring mother? I am certain that God has very special plans to bless Baran's family as his healing process begins.

An Unusual Heart Condition

Posted on Thu, 10/21/2010 - 00:00 by Donna_West

After weeks of speaking with doctors at different hospitals to determine which would be best to treat eight-month-old Baran, we have agreed on Sheba Medical Center. Not only does Sheba offer specialists in pediatric cardiology, but they also have excellent plastic surgeons, making them well-suited to repair Baran's cleft palate and lip. At 9 am this morning a group of us left for Tel Aviv: Baran and his mother, our driver Gadi, Glen and Marilyn (Shevet partners from Australia), and myself. By a touch after 4 pm all of the scheduled exams of both heart and cleft palate were complete. The staff and volunteers at Sheba were helpful, escorting us to different departments of the hospital, and even staying open beyond normal hours to accommodate us.

Baran is such a pleasant and sweet spirited baby, constantly smiling at his mother and moving his arms and feet as though he has a song in his heart that nobody else can hear. But that is not the only unusual 'heart condition' for Baran. Due to a missing septum his heart only has two chambers (instead of four), and those two chambers share one valve. The doctors now need to have a team consultation in order to decide if any further tests (such as a heart catheterization) are needed before moving forward. So please continue to pray for this special little boy. We believe the Lord has a good plan for his life and that it will be ushered in by the prayers and skills of those who have his best interest at heart.

A Beautiful Countenance

Posted on Mon, 10/04/2010 - 06:42 by Mary_Dailey

After baby Baran and his mother rested overnight in Jerusalem from their journey, Suhail, Gadi and I started out with them as soon as we could this morning for their first hospital visit near Tel Aviv. Baran not only has a heart defect but he also has a cleft palate and his eye might need attention. With all these strikes against him I was amazed to see how bright he is and what a precious happy baby he is. His mother is wonderful with him and when she gets him to playing and laughing he just draws your attention to him and has a beautiful countenance. He's one of God's special babies.

After they did his blood work today we took him to get his first echo exam of the heart. Dr. Alona told us he only has one valve where there is usually two; this normally should be repaired by six months of age, but eight months is not too late. After five days they will present this to the surgeon when he returns from vacation, and Alona believes he can do the surgery without complications. Baran also has a hole in his heart but it should not be too hard to close.

Baran and his mother are staying overnight at the hospital, and tomorrow an eye doctor will see him and another doctor will see him about his cleft palate. All day I kept thinking about God's creative power. Wouldn't in be wonderful if He would do a creative miracle on this beautiful baby? Nothing is too hard for God.

Baran Reaches Israel in Search of Grace

Posted on Sun, 10/03/2010 - 00:00 by Jonathan Miles

Seven-month-old Baran from Iraq reached Israel tonight, after a long journey from Jordan in the arms of his young mother. In addition to his heart defect, little Baran was born with a cleft palate, and his mother anxiously asked today if we might have that repaired too while in Israel.

Baran is the firstborn child to his young parents, both of whom are lawyers in northern Iraq. He was generally a good-natured traveler today, mostly quiet and sleeping often--although it was hard to be sure, since he seems to sleep with his eyelids half open.

Tonight Baran and mother are sleeping securely in the Shevet Achim center in Jerusalem. Tomorrow will be the first trip to the hospital in Israel; we're praying that it will be an encounter with God's grace which will transform the life of Baran and his family.