Baveel's Heart Surgery

northern Iraq

Off To Begin His New Life

Posted on Wed, 02/06/2008 - 00:00 by Jody_Miller

I took Baveel and his mother to the airport today. I met them at the bus station last night and I was so glad to see Baveel RUNNING and playing. What a change from the way he tired quickly before his surgery. I went to get my car to bring it to the taxi and Baveel ran up behind me and grabbed my hand. He was even helping with the suitcases. At the airport his mother was thanking us and thanking God and said "wa ktiir ktiir shukran" (many, many thanks) to everyone in Israel.
Jean Calvani hosted Baveel and Mom last night and adds her report:

At around 10:30pm on Tuesday, Baveel and his mother finally reached Amman after the long drive from the border. They were so grateful to be welcomed into the warm flat where they spent the night before flying home. Even though it was already late, Baveel was still full of energy. I could see the excitement on his face as we discussed the travel plans for the next morning. As we sat on the couch chatting, his mother explained how he really missed his father. They also shared with me some of the Hebrew they picked up while in Israel! After eating a shwarma, Baveel changed into some cozy pajamas and headed straight for bed. Jody was coming at 9 the next morning to drive him and his mother to the airport. After being in Israel for a little over a month, they're finally on their way home!

So concludes the story of Baveel's journey to Israel for a new heart;
you may click here to help another child experience the same blessing.

Onward to Jordan

Posted on Mon, 02/04/2008 - 00:00 by Simantov_Allalouf

Baveel said a last farewell this morning to his buddy Asher, oldest son of our Jerusalem staffer Martha Berg.

Then we set off up the Jordan Valley, and Baveel and mother got on the bus to cross the Jordan River and leave Israel at about 540 pm and were on the next leg of the journey home to Iraq. They are glad to be headed home and so very much thankful for the kindness and generosity they were shown here in Israel. If all goes well they should get to Amman by about 9:30 pm.

Sporting a New Hairdo... and a Scar 

Posted on Mon, 02/04/2008 - 00:00 by Hank_Dannecker

Baveel has received the green light to head back home to Iraq. Not only does he sport a new hair style, but also an eight-inch scar on his chest, which he is proud to share with anyone who is willing to take a good look. With bags packed and goodbyes in order, many of the other mothers and children at the Save A Child's Heart house tagged along to load up the van. Some of the other children got into the van and cried when they realized Baveel would make this trip alone.

The attachment with the moms and children one to another is community at its best; each senses the joy and loss when a mother and child leaves for the last time.

Baveel was anxious to get back to the Shevet house in Jerusalem; that is, until he asked the question and learned that Hardi and Aras were no longer at the house but had already made the journey for home. He became very quiet and went to sleep for the remainder of the trip.

I believe with all my heart that God is doing a supernatural work mending hearts and lives together for a kingdom work yet to be revealed. Can Kurdistan ever be the same with so much of God's handiwork?

Would you Believe He Was in the OR 8 Days Ago?

Posted on Mon, 01/21/2008 - 00:00 by Hank_Dannecker

Baveel amazed everyone by leaving the hospital on Thursday, just four days after his surgery. Today, on post-surgery day eight, he returned to the hospital for an echo exam, and I caught up with him in the waiting room sitting under the aquarium with his buddy Aras. One thing led to another, and soon it was time to show off battle scars:

The echo report today was "very good," and Baveel was looking noticeably better than before his surgery, though still quite thin. He's not eating well, but his mother says that's always been true of her beloved son.

Lightning Recovery

Posted on Tue, 01/15/2008 - 00:00 by Alex_Pettett

Baveel is a laid-back young man who was always comfortable coming up to me and speaking a paragraph or two of Kurdish (of which I did not understand one word). Typically I responded with a paragraph or two of my own in English, which meant nothing to him. Both of us would shrug our shoulders, laugh, and be on our way.

I went looking for him today in the ICU only to discover that he had already been transferred to the ward. That's just two days after surgery! His mother explained that there was not room in the intermediate ICU so they saw fit to move him to the regular ward. The young man I encountered has not eaten anything but soup and was experiencing some pain in his chest. The old antics of speaking to each other at length in indiscernible languages were gone.

The newest patient, Rebar, even tried to offer him kids' favorite salty snack, potato chips. He shrugged them off.

Though Baveel is obviously having difficulty recovering, his progress is still one of the most rapid I have encountered. Friends, please pray that Baveel would start eating soon, the pain in his chest would subside, and that we would once again enjoy our long conversations about nothing.


"Thank you for not giving up on my son."

Posted on Sun, 01/13/2008 - 00:00 by Jane_Smelt

Not long after I arrived, Baveel was wheeled down to surgery. He was calm and kept giving his mum and I the "thumbs up" sign. When his mother gave a final goodbye before he went into theatre, he told her very firmly that she wasn't to cry.

He was in surgery for just over four hours, which seemed like an eternity for Baveel's mother. We talked, we went for walks, I prayed for her and she tried to tell me how she felt. It is not difficult to understand a mother's distress in any language. She received possibly 40 phone calls from family in Iraq, checking up on Baveel's condition during the afternoon. Sometimes the calls were helpful to calm her, but when her husband started to cry on the phone, she was very upset. Mustafa's mother helped a lot to prepare her for what lies ahead. She explained many practical things to her. Today is just the beginning of a recovery process for Baveel. Mustafa's mother continued to encourage her that God is good and reminded her how sick Mustafa was, but that now he was recovering.

Baveel's mother told me during the afternoon that not a single hospital was willing to take Baveel until he came to Israel. She had been turned down in three other Middle Eastern countries. She is sincerely grateful to the surgeons at the Wolfson Medical Centre for not giving up on her son.

Baveel was in ICU for over an hour before we were allowed in to see him. He had woken quickly after surgery, but the doctors sedated him again, so that he doesn't move or experience pain after such a major procedure.

Please continue to pray for Baveel's healing. The doctors have done marvellous work but he will need much encouragement in the next few weeks as his body heals. Pray for patience and strength for his mother as she walks with him through the recovery period.

Cath Shows Baveel is Operable

Posted on Thu, 01/10/2008 - 00:00 by Donna_Petrel

Baveel's catheterization yesterday revealed the wonderful news that he is operable - thank God!! Both Baveel and Dr. Tamir talked about being thankful for this, and Baveel is "excited" about his surgery. His mother is grateful and looking forward to this life-saving, life-changing opportunity for her son. His surgery is scheduled for Sunday around mid-day, Dr. Tamir said. Baveel will remain hospitalized until then.

When we arrived at the hospital today, he was standing with Dr. Tamir in the hall as the doctor spoke with several others, and Baveel seems to have a real affection for this special doctor. Later l found Baveel walking around the ward visiting Hardi, Juliana, and Mustafa, as well as Diyar and Hussein who had come for another echo. He was smiling and telling everyone about how many needles he had in his arms, etc. as if it was rather awe-inspiring.

Please pray for Baveel and his mother as the date and time approach. He is a sweet boy who makes friends easily and cares about others. We look forward to seeing him healed to grow into the man God created him to be.

Expressive and Intelligent

Posted on Wed, 01/09/2008 - 00:00 by Jane_Smelt

Baveel had his catheterisation today and by the time I saw him, he was getting very impatient with the wires on his arms. When it was explained to him by Mustafa's mother what was happening, he seemed more content. He was even happier when a nurse came by and took the blood pressure cuff of his arm. Later he enjoyed a long drink of Pepsi. He chatted on the phone to a relative, and was very obviously describing what had happened to him in great detail. He is a very expressive and intelligent little boy and wants to know everything about what is happening to him.

Catheterization Tomorrow

Posted on Tue, 01/08/2008 - 00:00 by Jane_Smelt

When the Wolfson Medical Centre called this morning, it was good news for Baveel and Juliana. It was now their to go for their catheterizations in the morning. Baveel was very excited. Suddenly the mothers were in a frenzy of packing and cooking, as they wanted to take food for the other mothers at the hospital.

Baveel chatted happily all the way to Tel Aviv, trying to teach me Kurdish and showing me how his watch worked.

On arrival, the children's ward was a flurry of activity as two children, Aras and Dilshad were being discharged to the Save a Child's Heart house, and the new children were arriving, and other Iraqi mothers joined in for news of each other's children. Baveel had his bed allocated whilst he and Juliana were undergoing the first few medical procedures which involved sticky cream on the hands. Neither of them were very impressed by this. But Baveel was happy to see his friends Dilshad and Aras dressed and ready to leave the hospital. He also told the hospital clowns that he was from Kurdistan. They seemed suitably impressed.

Catheterization Needed Immediately

Posted on Wed, 01/02/2008 - 00:00 by Donna_Petrel

Baveel had a very long and intensive echocardiogram session today. He has a number of problems with his heart, and the only way to determine the course of treatment is by doing a catheterization. Dr. Tamir said that if the catheterization lab were open, he would schedule Baveel immediately since he needs attention quickly. The doctor also said he hopes that the lab is open next week so Baveel can be catheterized then. For now though, we'll all have to wait until he can be scheduled.

Baveel was very wiggly on the exam table, yet afterwards fell asleep on a toy table outside the echo rooms. He clearly does not have energy for long periods of activity, but Dr. Tamir said even the cath itself will make him feel better.

Join us in praying for Baveel. The doctors knew when they invited him that Baveel is a "borderline" case, and it is possible the catheterization will show that Baveel is inoperable. These doctors, however, like to take the cases other doctors might not take to give a child a chance to live... and I praise God for every one which is now living because of this. His mother began making many calls after hearing the doctor's report.

She will need support during the waiting and surgery time, and your prayers will be a big part of the support God wants to send to her and Baveel. Remember her husband too at this time, along with Baveel's two sisters.