Bawan's Heart Surgery

Kurdistan, northern Iraq

Still needs $570
Help Bawan

Goodbye, Bawan!

Posted on Fri, 03/16/2018 - 00:50 by Rebecca Keller

After more than three months Bawan was finally able to go home again. Although we will all miss him so much and are sad that he is no longer at the house, we are happy that he is now back home and reunited with his family. 

I remember when I first saw Bawan. We were sitting at the table ready to have lunch and I looked at him and he just smiled at me with his beautiful smile. Everyone loved Bawan's smile. When he was smiling at you, you just also had to smile. So he would always fill the room with happiness. In my time here in Israel I never saw Bawan crying or in a bad mood. He was always so joyful and curious. So it was hard to stop him, when he wanted to walk around and explore his surroundings. It was great getting to know Bawan and his dad, who are just best buddies and made everyone happy around them. 

At the farewell party Bawan was also filled with joy. He really liked his new car that was gifted to him, and started playing with it right away. When we were watching his video (a slideshow of all his pictures in Israel), he was laughing a lot and enjoyed seeing all these pictures of him and all the friends he made here. 

At the airport Maia and Daru were already tired and didn't like it that it took so long to check in the luggage, but Bawan was still very active and didn't stop smiling. Because of his curiosity we couldn't stop him from wandering around at the airport. I had a great time playing with Bawan at the airport and also seeing his dad taking such great care of him. It was really hard seeing him leave, but when he and his dad were waving at us, while they were walking to the gate, Bawan still filled all of our hearts with joy with his pretty smile.

I am sure we will all never forget Bawan and his joyful character and he will always have a place in my heart. May God keep on filling Bawan with joy and protect this cute little boy! Thank you lord for bringing Bawan here and that he recovered well from his surgery! 


Last Echo

Posted on Mon, 03/12/2018 - 19:29 by Noelle Chung

Today was the final check-up day for Bawan. He is smiling a lot as usual, making everyone happy.

His walking skills are improving day by day. He can walk without assistance for a while, sometimes clapping his hands. He has grown up so much since he arrived, and he makes talking noises, too.

His echo results were very good, and the doctor discharged him to go back to Kurdistan.

We high-fived with his dad! However, we are going to miss them. All of us at Shevet appreciate so much Bawan’s presence and his father’s personality. 

We are looking forward to Bawan’s future. He is so happy in any situation and good in socialization, including eye contacts and smiles. We hope the best for his childhood life and education. 

Third Echo

Posted on Mon, 03/05/2018 - 21:39 by Noelle Chung
"Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack! The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing."  Psalm 34:8-10
Today is Bawan’s echo check-up day. He has been doing well. He can now walk quite a bit while holding his father’s hands.
Although Bawan smiles a lot most of the times, he became afraid in the echo room and cried sadly. However, praise the LORD, we heard good news! The previously observed tricuspid valve stenosis is all resolved, and now results are all good. So his medication is reduced, and he needs a final check-up next week.
Praise our God who gives a new heart and new life to this beautiful kid! Daily I am realizing how good our God is. God is merciful and gracious, endlessly loving and forgiving. That is, by our Messiah Jesus’ suffering, we can be healed and have new life. I believe that it was God’s plan to send Bawan here to meet us and to have his heart cured. 

Second Echo

Posted on Mon, 02/26/2018 - 21:45 by Noelle Chung

It has been already two weeks since Bawan got his surgery. He is doing well at our home, with typical angelic smiles inherited from his dad and mum. Moreover, he started to walk recently. His dad is always loving and encouraging Bawan to move or play. 

Today, he visited hospital for an echo check-up. Last time, mild stenosis (stiffening) of the tricuspid valves was observed, which led to him needing additional diuretics. In today’s results, the tricuspid stenosis was persistent. However, the doctor reassured us that the stenosis is mild and is not worrisome. She adjusted Bawan’s medication, and the next appointment was set in a week.

Echo Findings

Posted on Mon, 02/19/2018 - 22:19 by Jesse Tilman

"To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit." 1 Cor 12:9

Continuing Bawan's healing story, we brought him for a further echocardiogram today. 

After just being discharged, it was a bit funny bringing him back to the hospital, but he was glad to be getting the checkup. It was a bit crowded in the department, nevertheless we were soon ushered into the room.
The doctor examined him carefully and decided to add a blood-thinning medicine to his regime. He told us that one of Bawan's valves is still constricted (too narrow) though he hopes that it will get within the desired range as Bawan grows, maybe even while he is still in Israel!
He is scheduled for another echo on Monday. May his healing be complete!

Bawan out of Hospital!

Posted on Sun, 02/18/2018 - 17:35 by Maxine Stuart

Today we got some unexpected but very good news. Little Bawan was cleared to come home! He was getting an echo done when we arrived, and was crying with discomfort. My team-mate Nate mentioned how it was the first time he'd seen this cherub look-alike cry! It was actually my first time too, and I have been around his smiley face for over 3 months now. Anyway, the doctor said he was well enough to return home but has to come back tomorrow for another echo. I collected his medication and instructions of how to care for him at home, and we arrived to the Shevet house a short time later. Bawan was received with joy at the house, and his father was all-smiles. 


Posted on Thu, 02/15/2018 - 01:10 by Alena D'Olimpio

Today, I had the joy of seeing Bawan for the first time since he left the house for surgery. Anyone who knows Bawan will know that this little one emanates exactly that: joy. He is such a happy boy, always laughing and smiling. At first he was a little bit fussy as his father was trying to give him a bottle; however after a few minutes he fell asleep. His dad wanted to go get lunch, so I sat by his bed while his father was absent. During this time the doctors conferenced around his bed to discuss their little patient. I got the chance to ask when they expected him to be moved out of the ICU and thankfully the answer was later on today.

Praise God for Bawan's recovery and for the wise staff of Wolfson! He woke up while I was still with him; he did not cry or seem upset, on the contrary he seemed like his pre-surgery self. His hand gripped one of my fingers and his eyes were taking in the bustling ICU. His father returned from lunch, and we chatted about how he used to pull Bawan's hair into a small bun on the top of his head, and how, after Bawan is released from the hospital, he'll style his son's hair like that again. It was good to laugh with Bawan's father and see Bawan smile again. It is moments like these that serve as reminders we are all created in the image of God. 

Postoperative Day #1

Posted on Wed, 02/14/2018 - 21:02 by Noelle Chung

Bawan is stable in the ICU. Extubation was done this morning. Bawan's dad was very excited at how awake Bawan seemed. Bawan was also happy to see his Dad again. However, he soon developed mild stridor (wheezing) and had to stay at ICU one more day.

Postoperative echocardiogram showed good result.

Bawan's Surgery Day was Today!

Posted on Tue, 02/13/2018 - 23:48 by Jesse Tilman

"Today We Heard His Voice and Believed." The busy doctors were able to call Bawan for his surgery today after previous attempts.

We left bright and early to be there for this father and son. They were situated in the ward next to our other long-time residents, Daru and mother. After a short time of relaxing with them, a nurse came in and announced gruffly that it was time to go.
He guided the hospital bed through the hall as Bawan was carried in his father's arms.
Down in the surgery area, Sophia went on into the family rooms with them for the final time with Bawan before the operation. After she and the father came out, we were only in the waiting seats a short time before a nurse that looked like she was retired and just helping out at the hospital in her spare time came by and reminded us that the surgery would be a while and it would be better to go for a walk.
During the day we visited just about everywhere, all our friends, and the cafe, not to mention the falafel shop across the street! The father handled the time well and kept that "stiff upper lip." One half hour, we went up to an overlook of the walk-in entrance and people watched with our reflections on the yellow windows across the main hall. After exchanging some thoughts on faith, we got to wave to Yousef and Esther as they entered for the Gaza Clinic. 
The burst of activity as a child exits the surgery area did not disappoint as we jumped to it to keep up with Bawan's team.
Then the lull as we waited for him to be stabilized came and we found some books to read. A main doctor came by and let us know that the surgery had been a success with no complications. 
Soon we entered the ICU and got to see Bawan for ourselves. The amount of nurses around him soon built up as they maybe felt more pressure to have him squared away in front of us. After the attention waned we got to speak with a few of the staff in the quiet and confirmed his condition. They communicated to the father the protocols for the ICU and what to expect for the days ahead. They did connect two temporary pacemakers laboriously, I believe precautionary measures.
After hanging out a bit more a nurse encouraged the father to get back home for the night and get some solid rest before they extubate (wake from sedation) Bawan tomorrow. He agreed and we made ready to go. On the way out, another main doctor for the children rejoiced with us for Bawan's good prognosis. 
Praise to our Father in Heaven for His wonderful works among the children of men! He has been good to us today.

Admitted for Surgery Tomorrow!

Posted on Mon, 02/12/2018 - 03:20 by Noelle Chung

We headed for the hospital in the morning with Bawan and his father for his long-awaited admission for surgery! Because of the busy schedule of the hospital, Bawan had to wait a couple of months for surgery. Bawan’s father and Bawan have been very calm and patient in the midst of uncertainties.

Bawan changed into the hospital gowns and got his blood sampled for the preoperative test. He was brave and did not cry much. He and Daru received bed placements next to each other. Bawan will be operated tomorrow morning, while Daru’s operation is in two days.