Bilal's Heart Surgery

northern Iraq

Farewell to a Young Gentleman

Posted on Fri, 02/11/2011 - 06:43 by Mary_Dailey

Thursday night we had a going away party for Bilal and Awat. Everyone is always excited by the gifts for the children and desserts and lots of love. We share about how much they have blessed us and how much we love them and are going to miss them, and they also like to share with us how much they appreciate us and love us.

Bilal had been a little upset at the beginning of our party but when he heard Jonathan say that the next time they went back to Iraq they would be checking on them to see how they were doing he cheered up and it seemed like he couldn't hug Jonathan enough. Bilal has really matured much since he first got here and he has turned out to be a great helper and young gentleman. Bilal's mother turned out to be a great helper with our families also. She did much of the translating from Arabic to Kurdish for us.

Friday morning all the families visited the Garden Tomb. which turned out to be a wonderful experience. The boys were so impressed by the hill of the skull that they wanted their picture taken together by it. When we got to the tomb there was a group surrounding it who were singing, "In Christ Alone." You could sense a presence of awe and I believe our whole group was affected by it, down to our smallest child. Everyone was anxious to enter the tomb and see where Jesus may have been laid. After exiting the tomb we all gathered together and sang some Kurdish worship songs. Jonathan asked the children if they thought Jesus was still in the grave, and one child said no and motioned that He went up to heaven.

As we left the Garden Tomb one group that was staying in Jerusalem went in one van and the ones leaving for Iraq went in the other. We all said our goodbyes with a lot of tears and smiles knowing that our boys were going back with healed hearts and an experience that they'll never forget. They will be able to live normal, healthy lives.

Bilal's Heart Is Healed

Posted on Mon, 01/24/2011 - 06:43 by Donna_West
Today was Bilal's final echo, which means the condition of his heart is healed enough for follow up by local doctors in Kurdistan. His mother still has a question regarding the final repair of his congenital cleft palate, as there is still an opening in the roof of his mouth. She wants to know if it is possible to have that repair done while in Israel. Tomorrow Bilal will return for a consultation with the ENT department at Wolfson. But for today, Bilal was happy to enjoy some male companionship with our coworker and driver, Gadi.

Finding His Pose on Checkup Day

Posted on Mon, 01/10/2011 - 00:00 by Mary_Dailey
Bilal had his first heart echo after surgery today, and the doctor said it was excellent. She asked that he would return for another echo next week, and lessened his medication dosage.

Bilal did not want his picture taken, and every time I tried to take it he would turn his back or put his hands over his face. This is where Tim came in and saved the day for me. I told Tim that we could not have a blog without a picture, so he was pleased to have his picture taken with Tim. The mothers tried helping, but to no effect; I guess Tim had the magic touch or personality that won him over.

Thanks for praying for him, the Lord has done an awesome healing on Bilal. He's feeling well enough to be his own playful self again.

Bilal Says Farewell to Hospital

Posted on Mon, 01/03/2011 - 00:00 by

We received good news from the hospital around noon today: Bilal was ready to be released in the afternoon! So off to Wolfson Hospital in Tel Aviv Gadi and I went in the mid afternoon to bring Bilal and his mother back to the Shevet house in Jerusalem.

When we arrived, we saw both Bilal's mother and Abdullah's mother sitting by the driveway having a chat. Using hand gestures, we broke the good news to Bilal's mother and asked her to go pack up her belongings. In the ward we found Bilal lying awake on his bed, wrapped in a blanket, looking snug and comfortable. When his mother told him they were going home, he protested, much to my surprise. And when she pulled back the covers, he whined, resisting her efforts to remove him from the safety of his cocoon. With some prodding, he got up and changed into his own clothes and his mother brought him to the nurses room to get his bandages removed. He grimaced in pain when the nurse stripped them off his arms and some slight bleeding followed. The nurse then asked his mother to pad down the wound with gauze and to hold it there to help stop the bleeding.

With his medication and accompanying instructions handed to me by the nurse on duty, and their belongings all packed, we were ready to go. Abdullah's mother was with us the whole time in the ward and I could sense she was feeling a tinge of sadness at the thought of her friends leaving, as it meant she would be facing some lonely days ahead of her. In fact, as we bade farewell to her at the hospital entrance, I caught a glimpse of her forlorn expression as we walked away to the parking lot. With thanks to God for Bilal's good recovery, I pray that it wouldn't be too long before her own son Abdullah could also be declared fit and ready to be released from the hospital.

Bilal Awake and Smiling in ICU

Posted on Sun, 01/02/2011 - 00:00 by

This morning when I walked in to the intermediate ICU at Wolfson to visit Bilal, I found him wide awake with his mother by his bedside. We exchanged smiles and greetings and I was glad to see him in a cheerful spirit. His mother also appeared light-hearted, probably enjoying some peace of mind now that her child's condition had improved since last Friday.

On checking with the nurse in attendance, I was told that Bilal had still to be kept in the ICU because the children's ward was running full and had no space for him to return there for the time being. What a great relief to know that it was not because his condition required close medical attention. Your continuing prayer for his complete recovery is much appreciated.

Already Breathing On His Own

Posted on Thu, 12/30/2010 - 06:43 by Mary_Dailey

When I stopped by to see Bilal in the ICU today I was surprised to see that he was already extubated from mechanical ventilation. He was sleeping and I wasn't about to wake him up. No doctors were around so I didn't get to ask any questions, but since he was already extubated this is a great sign that he is doing good. His mom seemed really at peace and happy.

All the families really in hospital are enjoying their time together. It's nice when there are others from our Shevet families together at the hospital. It doesn't seem nearly as lonely to them. When I think of this I think of our theme scripture, Psalm 133:1 "Behold how pleasant and how good it is for brethern to dwell together in unity."

Please pray that all will continue to go well for Bilal and his mother and that he will be able to return to Shevet Achim soon,

Laughing On His Way To Surgery

Posted on Wed, 12/29/2010 - 06:43 by Mary_Dailey

After arriving at Wolfson Medical Center this morning, we found a remarkably cheerful Bilal. He had been fasting since 6 AM in preparation for the possibility of surgery this afternoon. He laughed and joked around even while watching other patients eat their lunch in front of him. About 1 PM they came to take him to surgery.

Bilal and his mother had another hour and a half to wait even after being taken downstairs. There was little to no conversation but Bilal's expression was calm and peaceful with a few smiles here and there along the way. His mother was very tense, though, and I could sense the worry beneath her silence. At 2:40 PM Bilal was taken into the surgical room and his mother could no longer be with him. She broke down and just cried at that point. It seemed like a long evening of waiting for Bilal to come to the ICU following his surgery, but actually it was only a little over three hours from the time the surgery began.

By 6:30 PM Bilal and his mother were reunited by his bedside and both were at rest.

Please continue to pray for Bilal that his healing will continue without any problems.

Cheerful Bilal Goes To Surgery in the Morning

Posted on Tue, 12/28/2010 - 00:00 by Mary_Dailey

It is good to know that Bilal did not have to wait too long for his heart surgery, which has been scheduled for 1 pm tomorrow, a little more than two weeks since his initial medical routine. Our driver Gadi and I took him and his mother to Wolfson this morning for the necessary admission process. Bilal was in rather good spirits, displaying a bright smile most of the time and did not mind the picture-taking... except after he had changed into his hospital clothes.

He decidedly refused to be captured on camera then, so I thought it wise to let him get used to his 'new' attire and to settle down a bit before making any further attempt. And true enough, the wait was worth it as Bilal had resumed his usual demeanor after lunch.

As Gadi and I were about to leave, I went in to say goodbye to the boy and his mother but was surprised to find that a nurse was doing some tests on him at the time. He just smiled and allowed me to take his picture with all those wires taped to his body. I was glad to leave him and his mother in this happy state, and told them as best as I knew how that we would visit again tomorrow before he went in for surgery. We appreciate your prayer for God's blessing upon the surgery tomorrow.

Bilal Begins the Medical Process in Israel

Posted on Tue, 12/14/2010 - 00:00 by Mary_Dailey
Bilal, fourteen-years-old from northern Iraq, had his first appointment at Wolfson Hospital this morning. It was the usual blood work, heart echo, chest x-ray, and PPD test for Tuberculosis. Although it didn't take long to do the blood work or any of the other tests, we had a long wait anyways because Tuesday is always a very busy day at Wolfson. This gives us a chance to get to know our mom's and children better. We found out that Bilal is very cooperative most of the time. He was wonderful through everything, except for his echo: when Dr. Tamir wanted to check him he said la (no) and really meant it. His mother tried to get him to, but to no avail. Dr. Tamir said that was o.k. This was about 3:30 p.m. and we had been there since morning.

The doctor said it would be a while before they could do his surgery because there are at least 5 or 6 others children ahead of him. He definitely needs the surgery, but his is not quite as serious as some of the other cases. Please pray that he and his mom will have patience and peace while they're waiting, and that the Lord will give him a healing touch. His mom says that he gets tired easily so hold them up in prayer. Thanks for all your prayers.