Baran's Heart Surgery

Kurdistan, northern Iraq

Please pray for Baran

Posted on Mon, 04/18/2016 - 20:25 by Christelle Fonjallaz
This morning we had the occasion to see Baran sleeping and to exchange some words with his mother. He is intubated and sedated after yesterday's surgery. 

During the day, we learned that Baran needed another bronchoscopy, which happened during the afternoon. We didn't have the opportunity to spend much time with him afterwards because the ICU wasn't accessible for a long time. 

A new surgery is planned tomorrow for Baran. Please pray for him and his mother during this difficult and overwhelming time. We trust God, that He has everything in His hands.

Surgery, Sun and some Prayers

Posted on Sun, 04/17/2016 - 21:41 by Alexa Bigl

Rebekah and I headed to Wolfson this morning for Baran's surgery day. He was intubated over the weekend and was struggling to keep his temperature below 38 Celsius. We were concerned his surgery would be delayed, but we were happy to learn, this morning, he was doing well enough for the operation. 

As we waited during his operation time Baran's mom, Rebekah, and I enjoyed spending time together outside. We took some silly 'faceswap' pictures.

We also got some sun in our attempts to comfort Baran's mom. She was very strong throughout the day, and she appreciated when her friend and a Shevet translator, Ilan, came to visit and stay with her during the waiting.  

Around 1:30pm we went to wait outside of the operating room, and Baran was soon finished and wheeled out. After we arrived at the ICU, we waited another half hour before Baran's mom was allowed in to see her precious baby boy. The surgery was reported to have gone well, but tests tomorrow will give more information. Baran's left bronchus was completely closed, but the surgeon was able to reopen it. Baran's situation continues to be very complicated, and he requires the healing touch of our Heavenly Father.

There's a possibility Baran will soon be undergoing another surgery for his problematic left bronchus. He is currently intubated and he is on an oscillatory ventilator. This type of breathing machine will decrease trauma to his lungs while keeping everything open in his respiratory system.

Please join us in praying for him and his mother. It's comforting that the Lord knows exactly what the future holds for Baran, and we pray this future holds a long and healthy life for this young boy.

Surgery is Coming!

Posted on Tue, 04/12/2016 - 21:13 by Alejandra Becerra

It has been a nice day for Baran and his mother. He left the intensive care unit, and everything is prepared for his surgery to take place on Sunday, if he continues to remain stable.

When we visited them today, we were greeted with the good news Baran has been receiving food by mouth. We had a special time playing and sharing with Baran. We will be waiting for the details of his surgery, and praying to God everything goes well!  

A Plan of Action

Posted on Thu, 04/07/2016 - 19:45 by Ruth Zellweger

Little Baran and his mother are much loved, not only by their family in Kurdistan, but also by our Shevet family and the medical staff at Wolfson hospital. Many of the doctors and nurses there have built a relationship with the mother and often take a few moments to talk to her or offer her a tea or sweets. I am so thankful to know that they are so well taken care of, as their stay at the hospital continues.

Currently, Baran is still monitored in the ICU, but is in stable condition on high flow oxygen. He is smiling a lot, especially when he sees his mother. I love watching the bond mother and son have.

Dr. Alona told us today after they performed a CT-scan a few days ago, they have sent the pictures and report abroad and are waiting now for a model of Baran's heart, which will hopefully give them a better understanding of the anatomy of his heart. If that model arrives in the coming week, then Baran is potentially on schedule for surgery the following Sunday. We ask you to continue to pray for mother and son, as well as for wisdom for the doctors.

Another Muajaze

Posted on Wed, 04/06/2016 - 00:47 by Rebekah Yang

While we were on our way to Wolfson hospital to visit Baran and his mum, Ruth received a phone call from his mum saying Baran was not in good condition. She told Ruth he needed to have some sort of medical procedure and maybe even surgery. Due to the uncertain circumstance, when we reached the hospital I went to the secondary ICU right away. I wanted to immediately be there to support his mum, and to find out more information regarding Baran’s medical treatment plan.

I saw Baran was lying on his bed and struggling to keep his breathing slow and even. According to his mum, Baran had a high fever again after having slept poorly last night. The ICU doctor on duty was very concerned Baran’s right lung (his ‘good’ lung) may be inflamed, and this could endanger his life. This doctor was very nice and patiently explained to me as soon as Baran gets transferred back to the main ICU, Baran will have to be intubated and a second bronchoscopy performed. The bronchoscopy would be to clear his bronchi and lung as much as possible. The next step would be to prepare Baran for open chest surgery to fix the problem with Baran’s existing pulmonary stent.

Around noon, I accompanied Baran and his mum to the main ICU. During the transfer, I told the doctor Baran had a special blessing while he was first hospitalized here at Wolfson hospital last year. We had given him the nickname ”Muajaze”, which means miracle from God in Arabic. I told him we’re praying for Baran right now; both our team at the hospital as well as our coworkers back in Jerusalem. We lift Baran into God’s mighty hand and trust He will continue to bless Baran by showing another miracle.

Just thirty minutes after being in the ICU, we witnessed a “muajaze” happen again. Baran’s breathing stabilized, and he even had strength to cry out for food. I knew it was from God, so I held Baran’s mum’s hands while saying ”muajaze from God; let’s praise God. Hallelujah!!” As we continued to hold hands, we praised God for His miracle together. The ICU medical team then had another discussion. They decided not to intubate Baran and also to cancel the bronchoscopy until his condition is stable enough for his open chest surgery. One of the ICU doctors commented since he came into the ICU, Baran looks much better. How amazing to see this big difference. Yes it was indeed a miracle to see Baran’s big smile.

Before we left the hospital, Baran had a high-flow oxygen nasal cannula and naso- gastric tube for feeding. He was peacefully sleeping as we walked out of the ICU. I am so grateful and lift my hands to praise God for His work in Baran’s and his mum’s lives.

 "Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them" (Mark 11:24).

Baran's Bronchoscopy

Posted on Sun, 04/03/2016 - 21:35 by Rebekah Yang

Today I had the privilege to go to the hospital with some of the other Shevet volunteers for Adil's heart surgery and Baran's bronchoscopy.

When we entered the Secondary ICU, the nurse informed me that Baran had had a high fever that morning (his body temperature was 39℃). The medical staff gave him some medicine in order to try and reduce the fever. After receiving this medication his body temperature did lower to 38.6℃.

After a time spent waiting, the medical team decided to still go ahead with his bronchoscopy. They transferred him from the Secondary ICU into the ICU for the procedure to take place. The bronchoscopy started at around 11:20am. At 1:15pm, an ICU nurse explained that the procedure had finished and that I could go back inside the ICU. Baran still retained the oxygen cannula use and was doing fine!

Later on, ICU Dr. Houri explained to Baran's mother that the whole procedure had gone well without the need to intubate Baran. However, the stent that was put in several months ago is not in the correct position anymore and it does not help Baran to open his lung. They were not able to remove this through the bronchoscopy, so now they will need to get all the medical staffs together in order to discuss the next best step for Baran's treatment.

Before we left the ICU, Baran had drunk all of his milk after the long hours of fasting. Looking at him, I praise God for what He has done in healing Baran so far. Please continue to lift Baran in your prayers. May our God provide the doctors and nurses wisdom over these next few days so they can make the best decision in the treatment for him.

"As you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favour granted us in answer to the prayers of many" (2 Corinthians 1:11).

Going Out and Coming In

Posted on Thu, 03/31/2016 - 17:07 by Naomi Knight
The past three days have been full of comings and goings for Baran. After hearing of his arduous adventure, I and some of the other volunteers set out this morning with excited anticipation to see his face. 
On arrival to the ICU we were delighted to hear that he was being moved to the secondary ICU which shows the doctors are positive in his progress. They moved him immediately - there was a lot of hustle and bustle and as a result we were unable to really get close to him and his mother.
Once they had been settled in the Secondary ICU, I had a chance to introduce myself to Baran's mother and chat to her a little. We discovered that this morning the CT scan of Baran's chest was done but that the results had not been returned as of yet.
Due to the business of the ward (it is a very small space with little children who still need a lot of attention in their recovery) we were unable to spend much time there. We waited outside for a couple of hours bringing food and acting as a point of support if a small chit chat break was needed.
As I was unable to get into the ward to take pictures of Baran, his mother kindly offered to take them for me and I am amazed at the beauty of what she took. He is such a gorgeous child!
"The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in from this time time forth and forever," Psalm 121:8.
We continue to ask for God's careful watch over this precious life - that his return to Israel would not be in vain. Thank you, Lord for your everlasting watch over our lives. Amen. 

A Long Day and a Brave Mother

Posted on Wed, 03/30/2016 - 22:49 by Agnes Bruna

This morning at 6am Baran and his mother set off from Kurdistan for a very long day. They are now in the very capable hands of Israeli doctors at Wolfson hospital.

We had been expecting him for the last two weeks and, thanks to help from our friends at the hospital and goodwill from the Ministry of Interior, the visa applications for him and his mother were fast-tracked. As soon as we received notification at the beginning of the week that the visas were approved, we started the long and difficult negotiations with several airlines to get Baran safely to Israel, as he needs a constant oxygen supply.

In the end, it appeared best to fly them to Amman, Jordan and pick them up there to travel by car to Israel and the hospital. We were in Jordan anyway the night before to help return Aveen and her father. Friends in Amman kindly hosted Ruth and me. And Philip, a former volunteer who now studies in Amman, rented a car and enthusiastically dropped his studies for the day to do his part in saving Baran’s life.

With God’s help, Baran’s mother received favor at the airport and Jordan visas were issued without prior arrangement. She was allowed to bring oxygen on the plane, and when they reached us Baran was stable and his oxygen levels were quite good. It stayed like that during the long trek to the Jordan River border between Jordan and Israel. There, the Jordanians very kindly agreed to let Philip take us as far as passport control which normally is not allowed. We even got our own personal police escort!

The Israeli side was even kinder! After a quick phone call, they were waiting to help us through as quickly as possible. They even offered to allow Miriam, who had been waiting for us on the Israeli side of the border, to come inside so we did not have to walk too far. And they helped carry luggage and oxygen canisters, too.

Another long journey to the hospital and here they are. Baran is stable in the ICU and they are waiting for the attending cardiologist and the pulmonologist to come and check him out. The ICU doctor does not think anything major is going to be done tonight, as he is stable. His left lung is indeed collapsed and they will do a CT scan in the morning to make a decision about what next steps to make.

When we arrived just after 7 at night, the mother who had been so strong all day, broke down in tears. I am always amazed at the compassion of the doctors. They took one look at her, and offered drinks and something to eat. They said, "Don’t worry, we’ll take care of him. You are very tired, you need something to eat and some tea." One of the nurses even shared her chocolate with her.

In very practical ways they modelled the way God takes care of us. “The Lord is good to all, and his compassion is over all that he has made,” Psalms 145:9. God has special compassion for the weak and the vulnerable, and we are so privileged to be able to show His love to these precious people.

Precious Life

Posted on Sun, 03/20/2016 - 21:49 by Ruth Zellweger

Our little Baran is struggling to breathe. Recent assessments have shown that his oxygen saturation is once again very low, 55%. A few days ago doctors in Kurdistan performed a bronchoscopy and found that his left lung is occluded and not ventilated at all. After talking to the cardiologists at Wolfson hospital, they agreed to accept Baran again as a patient. Tomorrow, we will be applying for an emergency visa for him and his mother and hope that it will be approved quickly.

Baran is currently at home with his parents, but on constant oxygen supplementation. We pray that Baran can make it safely to Israel, as well as for wisdom for the treating doctors both in Kurdistan and Israel. Baran's life is fragile, but precious, not only in the eyes of his parents. His heavenly Father is watching over him with love and cares deeply, and we are thankful to know the One who saves.

Not Forgotten

Posted on Thu, 02/18/2016 - 11:49 by Ruth Zellweger

During our recent visit to Kurdistan, Agnes, Jonathan and I had the oppotunity to follow up on some of the children that have been with us recently. One of them is little Baran, who during his time in Israel made sure that we all stayed in close contact with our heavenly Father. He was in serious condition not only before his surgery, but also for a long time afterwards. 

When we called Baran's mother to let her know that we are in town, she became very excited and invited as right away to her home. The next day we went to her home over lunch time. We were met by her husband, who is a teacher and had taken off that day in order to be with us. I am always struck by how uncomplicated the Kurdish people are and how they honor their guests. No way is too far, no time too late. There is much I can learn, coming from a culture where everything is usually planned days or weeks in advance.

It was a joyful reunion with Baran's young mother, who remembered so many things about her time in Israel. She even put on the scarf that we had given her as a farewell gift. Baran has gained two kilograms since he left and weighs now six kilograms. The parents told us that he has regular follow-up by the local cardiologist, and that his heart is looking good. However, he is intermittently on oxygen throughout the day and night, as his lungs are still weak. Additionly, he just caught a lung infection recently and had to be put on antibiotics.

We enjoyed a beautiful meal with the Baran's parents and older brother Aro, a lovely four-year-old. It was a nice visit and we're thankful for the opportunity to visit this precious family. Baran's mother follows daily on our homepage what is going on at Shevet. She still feels very much part of our community, which is so special to know.

A day later, I received a phonecall from his mother, who told us that Baran had to be admitted to the ICU at the hospital, because the infection worsened and his oxygen saturation dropped down to 55%, which is very, very low. He was put immediately on iv-antibiotics and oxygen. Today I contacted his mother again and she told me that Baran is still in the hospital, but doing already a lot better. We are thankful that God has been sustaining Baran's life until now. 

"Are not five sparrows sold for two cents? Yet none of them is forgotten before God."  Luke 12:6