Delir 's Heart Surgery


Awakening To New Oxygen Level

Posted on Tue, 12/04/2007 - 06:43 by Donna_Petrel

Little Delir was awake when I arrived at the ICU this morning, with his mother by his side. He was resting comfortably, but when he realized he could not move his arms (since they're restrained to prevent him pulling out tubes and wires) he began to cry. This made him cough, which made his oxygen level drop temporarily, which made the monitor sound out an alarm. Diyka Delir ("mother of Delir") became very concerned about her son, and began to cry too. The nurse came over and checked him, rearranged him to a more comfortable position, and reassured his mother that everything was OK. She said that Delir is doing very well. And when Delir stopped coughing and crying, his oxygen level returned to the beautiful figure of 99%. What a vast change from only five days ago when he arrived with only 48% oxygenation in his blood! Thank God for this improvement.

Please keep praying for this precious boy and his mother. He seems pretty alert already when he wakes up although he is still sedated. He's had a miraculous life so far to reach age 2 with his heart condition, and we pray he will also have a miraculously quick recovery. Please remember also to pray for stamina for his mother as she watches her son get better day by day.


Delir Comes Through Surgery

Posted on Mon, 12/03/2007 - 00:00 by Donna_Petrel
Thank God! Delir made it through surgery today and is now in the ICU at Wolfson recovering. It was a long day for his mother, but she is more thankful to God than ever for helping her son. Because there were other mothers from Gaza around who have been through this process, and her friend (Diyar's mother) who she traveled with from Iraq is there waiting for Diyar's catheterization, Delir's mother stayed in their room in the ward for most of the waiting period. But because a television crew was covering the surgery, both of the mothers and I were able to get special permission to wait just outside the operating room and view Delir as he came out and was transported upstairs to the ICU. When Delir's mother saw that he was okay, instead of walking beside the bed all the way to ICU, she was anxious to call her husband to tell him the news. The medical team who walk patients from one place in the hospital to the other walk hurriedly so the child will be reattached quickly to the necessary equipment, and since Diyka ("mother of") Delir was talking to her husband, she fell behind the rest of us. But again, because there was a TV crew there, the mothers were allowed to go into the ICU with Delir.
After a relatively short wait, we too were allowed to go into the ICU to see Delir, and I was amazed at how calm his mother was. She checked on her son and looked around at all the machines helping monitor his condition, and then she opened her mobile phone and took a video of the entire setting, beginning with Delir, panning the machines and the room, and coming back to Delir again. She sent this to her husband so he too could see how his son was doing "real time."

After a few more minutes, she came outside to wait. Before long the surgeon Dr. Sasson came out to speak with her about Delir's condition. We were all able to hear the information since there were cameras rolling... and we were shocked to find out that just as he went into surgery and was put under anesthesia, Delir had a cyanotic spell which was an extremely dangerous and life-threatening emergency. That was the first thing they had to deal with, he said, and after he was stabilized again, they went on with the surgery. To illustrate the emergency nature of Delir's surgery, Dr. Sasson said that the opening in Delir's aorta was only about3-4 mm in diameter rather than the normal 14 mm, and he felt it was truly a miracle that Delir had survived to make it to the surgery.

Praise God! We know it would not have happened except for His care and keeping of this precious boy! When I look back now at the fight for his visa last week so he could travel immediately, I am filled with thanks again that everything came together as it did. Dr. Sasson shared in the interview with the news crew that he felt Delir had only days, or at most, weeks left to live without surgery.
Later this afternoon as we returned to Jerusalem I received a call from Delir's father telling us (and therefore you are also recipients) thank you for helping his son. I didn't count, but I think he probably said it 10 times, and I could hear the joy in his voice as he spoke. In response, I thanked God for helping his son.
Let us pray for Delir's rapid recovery as a further testimony to the miracle which we've seen so far. Pray for his mother to remain strong as she helps nurse her son back to health -- Delir is expected to make a full recovery, and grow up into manhood with a family of his own.

Delir to Surgery in the Morning

Posted on Sun, 12/02/2007 - 00:00 by Donna_Petrel
Today brought news which was very good - Delir will have surgery in the morning. His mother was very thankful about this, and maintained a thankful disposition throughout the day. Along with the pre-op attention of the other children, Delir was very sweet throughout the day. He is a very curious and happy child all of the time I've been around him. An echo was done this afternoon and Delir was contented throughout the echo as well.

Please pray for this sweet baby and his mother in the morning. Diler will go to surgery around 7 am, which is 7 hours ahead of the east coast of the US. Pray for his mother as she waits the long hours for her son's return from the OR and sees him rushed into the ICU. And pray for his father back home, as we know he will be waiting anxiously after returning to Iraq the same day we came over from Amman with his son.

Hospitalized Immediately in Israel

Posted on Thu, 11/29/2007 - 00:00 by Donna_Petrel

When I arrived at the apartment in Amman this morning, I found all the families ready to go, but noted that Delir's mother seemed not just ready, but relieved to go. I greeted each person, and as we said hello, her response to me was to thank me for getting her son to Israel, to the hospital today. As we loaded the suitcases into the taxis, her husband told me how they had to give Delir oxygen at 2 am and 4 am this morning. He too expressed many thanks for what is being done for his son, and I want to be sure that all of you who are reading know just how much your prayers and donations mean to these desperate parents. As we left Delir's father behind in Amman, these parents did not seem sad to part from one another, but actually encouraged at what was finally unfolding before them. His final comments to me, interspersed among many more thank-yous, were an invitation of welcome to come to their home and be their guest as a way to show their gratitude and the depth of friendship this help portrays to them.

Delir was very quiet as we traveled, sleeping part of the way to the border. He has already made close friends of Diyar and Dilshad, so enjoyed Dilshad's company while he was awake. After our arrival at the hospital many hours later (click here for the full story of the journey), Delir was given the standard blood pulse oximeter test which showed that his oxygen saturation rate was only 48%. Dr. Katz did an echocardiogram (pictured above), and quickly determined that Delir would be admitted immediately. Again, I saw his mother react with gratitude rather than anxiety over this situation. She knows how much her baby needs help, and must feel somewhat like this is a dream as everything goes forward for his surgery to happen soon.

I left Delir and his mother late this evening along with Diyar and his mother who were all awaiting completion of the admission process. Please pray for them to rest well after a very long day. Pray for stamina and courage for Delir's mother, and peace for Delir as tests determine his readiness for surgery.

Delir, Needing Oxygen, Reaches Amman

Posted on Tue, 11/27/2007 - 00:00 by Donna_Petrel


Tonight Jody and I went to the airport to meet the newest group of Iraqi children and parents who will go to Israel for heart surgery, after they were identified as operable at the echocardiogram screening last month. This group includes 5 year old Dilshad, 17 year old Diyar and--the most urgent--2 year old Delir. It took over an hour for them to clear customs and security, and then we saw them coming into the terminal where we greeted each other with big smiles, handshakes and traditional kisses hello. Although we had taken name cards in Arabic so they would be sure to find us, we found we didn't need them, as we all recognized each other immediately. I knew just who to look for after seeing their faces regularly on their passport pictures needed for their travel visas. It is a blessing to have them here now those for whom we are laboring and praying.

Because of the severity of Delir's condition, his father accompanied him and his mother to Amman. This was also preferred by the other families so that the women and children would not have to travel alone. He will look after everyone until the mothers and children leave. This is in itself a comfort for all of them as they find themselves on a journey they've yearned for to get help for their sons, yet one which is filled with unknowns and intense emotions.

As we drove into Amman, little Delir opened the window multiple times and put his face to the opening - this surprised me since it is rather cold outside. At first I thought this was only a 2 year-old playing with the window, but after the second time, I realized that he already knew he needed the fresh air to help replenish his body's oxygen supply. His mother lifted him to the window each time he opened it, and after a little while, he seemed to be satisfied and didn't bother the window again. This made me aware that we might need to check further on his condition after we got home.

We had been informed last night that little Delir had been going to the hospital in Iraq for oxygen because the level in his blood had dropped about 20% since the screening. So tonight when he began to open the window in the van as we rode from the airport to Amman, I felt it urgent to ask the parents more once we arrived at their apartment. After they ate, we talked about his need for oxygen tonight. They shared that he has been going every night or every other night to the hospital for oxygen, and that yes, they could tell that he did need to have oxygen tonight, even though he had been at the hospital in the wee hours of this morning in their city at home. I had taken steps today to address the possibility that he may need medical attention, so called a contact I had been given at the Red Crescent Hospital, the place which had hosted the screening and so is aware of our work. We were told to go to the ER there, and they would have an oxygen cannister waiting for us and allow us to use it until the baby traveled to Israel for his heart surgery. What a blessing!

When we arrived, the head nurse met us outside, and led us in to give Delir some oxygen. As he talked with Delir's parents, he told us that he too was from Iraq, that the city of Baghdad in fact had been his home. I never cease to be amazed at God's connections for these precious families! Delir was so tired that even though his parents reported that "he usually loves the oxygen," tonight he cried when they began to administer it. As his mother settled him with a bottle, his father was instructed on how to use the oxygen bottle, and with the help of Jody from the Iraqi church in Amman, loaded it into the van. After about a half hour, we took the family back to the apartment so they could at last get some rest.... Delir's mother seems exhausted.

Please pray for this precious boy and his parents. Already they express their thanks and gratitude for what is happening for their son, and we in turn thank God for his vast provision of love which makes this opportunity possible.

You may click here to help with the cost of Delir's surgery in Israel.