Fanya 's Heart Surgery


Fanya Leaves Israel

Posted on Wed, 02/04/2009 - 00:00 by Donna_Petrel

This morning a relaxed and happy Fanya waited patiently while all the last minute packing details were taken care of for our trip to the Jordan border. She was a little more giggly than usual as she anticipated this first big leg of the journey home. After goodbyes and prayer for all the children, we left for the border, and decided to stop for pictures with a camel as we neared the Dead Sea. Fanya was hesitant to get near the camel, although she did eventually get on for a picture. Much to her dismay the owner then had the camel stand up, and Fanya was hysterical for a while even after she was finally back on the ground. Once she settled down, her sunny disposition returned. She took in all the scenery around us throughout the trip, and was not concerned when we were searched on our way through the check point approaching Beit Shean.

We had the border terminal to ourselves, and sailed through the process to the bus, which was waiting and about to board. With lots of hugs and a few misty eyes we sent this precious girl on her way to Jordan where she will fly home in just a few days.

Keep praying for her and her family. Her mother had a few health issues which we tried to help with while we were together. Let us pray for all the healing she needs to come to her from our loving God. We give Him praise for all He's done as we send these friends on their way back home.

Preparing For Departure

Posted on Tue, 02/03/2009 - 00:00 by Donna_Petrel

The Shevet house was a flurry of activity today as the mothers of Fanya, Donya, and Azhin prepared for their departure Wednesday morning. There was last minute shopping so that everyone back home would have a gift from the journey, last minute laundry to pack away, and lots of pictures to remember the special friendships formed here. Fanya came out during the picture-snapping session to show off an adorable new outfit she bought with a gift of money given by someone from a local church fellowship we visited. She knew exactly where she wanted to pose for this picture and directed me there so I could get the right angle for her.

This evening we all gathered for a farewell dinner filled with lots of laughter and tears. Follow this link to play a short video clip of Fanya and Azhin saying good-bye (shalom) in Hebrew.

We all pitched in to create a good blend of international cuisine, and finished it off with a wonderful chocolate cake from a bakery in the Old City. There were more pictures taken and as the mothers began to reflect on the reality of leaving, especially leaving behind their good friend Um Rasan, the tears flowed freely. These are precious relationships which will be lifelong opportunities to stay in touch once the families are home in Iraq again. It is our delight to send these families home with a literal new chance for life, and it is our prayer that their hearts have been forever changed by the grace and love of God they've encountered while with us.

Healthy, Ready To Return ToIraq

Posted on Mon, 01/26/2009 - 00:00 by

Today Fanya went in for her final echocardiogram to see if she was healthy enough to return to Iraq. During the wait for the doctors, she and the other patients, Azhin and Donya, played house like healthy girls. After a thorough check-up the doctors said her heart is healthy, and we have received clearance to send her and her mom home to Iraq!

It has been a blessing to witness the miraculous change in Fanya over just the last two weeks of her recovering. Seeing her be able to run, play, and chatter with the other little girls you would never know how seriously ill she was just one month ago.

On their way out of the hospital Fanya and her mom said a cheerful goodbye to the doctors, and snapped pictures at every opportunity on the walk back to the van.

Recovering On Track

Posted on Mon, 01/19/2009 - 00:00 by


We took Fanya in for an echocardiogram today to see how her heart is healing. After a short wait the doctor gave us good news. Fanya is recovering on
track and if all is well, after one more echo scheduled for next Monday, Fanya
and her mother will be able to go back Iraq.

After the echo all the Iraqi families at the hospital and I gathered for a
picnic on the lawn, and stopped for ice cream on the long ride back to
Jerusalem from the hospital in Tel Aviv.

Collecting Seashells

Posted on Mon, 01/12/2009 - 00:00 by

Sunday morning we took Fanya in for an echocardiogram but found out once we arrived at the hospital that her echo was actually scheduled for Monday.

Rather than drive the hour back to Jerusalem we thought it would be a great opportunity to take her to the sea.

Fanya didn't care much for getting wet. She stayed bundled up with her coat and rain boots on, but loved picking up seashells and collected a great deal to bring back with her.

Today I went with Fanya to have her first echo after surgery. The doctors were happy with the healing process . She was not very happy however, when it came time to have her stitches removed! Vanya still remains on antibiotics for the next week since her wound is open in places and there is a risk of infection. Please pray for this shy, sensitive little girl who is gradually recovering from her heart surgery.

Happy Girl Now

Posted on Thu, 01/08/2009 - 00:00 by Dorothy_Finlay

Today saw a turn around in this little girl who had a happy smile on her face. Thank you for praying. She is doing well.
Dr. Tamir decided she should stay an extra day or so as she had a serious operation and needed the rest.
Yesterday I could hardly coax her to drink water, but today her cry was for Iraqi soup!! Not much here, but she made do with an apple.

On Antiobiotics For Fever

Posted on Wed, 01/07/2009 - 00:00 by Dorothy_Finlay
Fanya had spiked a fever overnight and when the laboratory reports came in she was commenced on antibiotics. It took a lot of coaxing to get her to drink a little and her mother is of course worried. However, this is to be expected with complicated surgery on a nine-year-old. Tomorrow we expect to see her with her usual grin.

Pray that she will sense the love of the Lord and that her mother will sleep better. Thank you for standing with this young lady to see the Lord's best for her and her soon return to health and strength.

Very Large Hole In HeartWas Successfully Closed

Posted on Mon, 01/05/2009 - 00:00 by Dorothy_Finlay

When I arrived at Wolfson expecting that Fanya was already in surgery, I found her and other children in the ward "school" and enjoying the toys there. What a sweet little girl, who appeared to show no anxiety. Mum was a bit stressed and kept calling out to God to help her the doctors and Fanya after she went to the operation room about 10am. It was a long wait--five hours before she received the message that Fanya was ready to go to the ICU.

It was about 3.40pm that at last she was able to see her daughter, all linked to cables and tubes and breathing quietly on a ventilator. The surgeon told us that the hole in Fanya's heart had been very large. Normally it should have been closed at birth but now at nine years of age, she was a challenge to their expertise. But all went very well and a steady, normal recovery is forecast.

Pray for Fanya's mother as she is very nervous for her daughter, that the Lord will comfort her with His peace.

Fanya to Surgery in theMorning

Posted on Sun, 01/04/2009 - 00:00 by Dorothy_Finlay

Midmorning we were informed that Fanya is scheduled for her surgery tomorrow morning. We were already at the Wolfson hospital when we learned this, so our coworker Hank hurried to get her and her mother down to the hospital from Jerusalem (where she is pictured above) to be prepared for her operation.

Fanya is a very spiritually sensitive child who loves to sing and always wants to go to worship. Pray for her as she sleeps and then goes to the operating room early tomorrow morning. At her echo assessment last week the doctor said she should have a straightforward surgery for which we are grateful.

Fanya Comes Through Her Heart Catheterization

Posted on Wed, 12/31/2008 - 06:44 by Justina

Fanya and Arazoo both had an uneventful heart catheterization today. Please continue to pray for wisdom to be given to the doctors and surgeons as they strategize on how to proceed. Intercession for the spiritual hearts of these young ladies is also vital. Both girls were deeply impacted by the love and kindness shown them while staying with Dirk and Manuela in Jordan. I often hear them singing praise choruses in Arabic and they have asked me several times to be taken to worship meetings.