Halat's Heart Surgery

Kurdistan, northern Iraq

Halat's Homecoming

Posted on Sun, 06/04/2017 - 21:54 by Ruth Zellweger

Halat is back with her family in Kurdistan. Our Kurdistan community had the privilege to be at the airport early Wednesday morning to meet Halat and her mother, and to witness firsthand the reunion of Halat's father with his beloved daughter and wife.

It was beautiful to see his quiet joy. He immediately took Halat and did not let go of her until we reached the camp where they are living. During the car ride Halat was sitting on his lap, and she was very comfortable. Her mother looked tired, but happy. 

When we reached the camp we were also able to witness the reunion of Halat and her older brother Hakar.

During the whole time that Halat and her mother had been in Israel, Hakar had been with the family of his uncle. More than three months he had been without his father, mother and little sister. Halat's mother was very emotional and shed tears, but they were tears of joy. 

What a privilege being part of Halat's journey towards a healed heart. So many people were involved in that journey. There had been the doctors and nurses in the camp, who before she even traveled administered oxygen almost every evening. There was a family who had it on their heart to sponsor Halat's heart surgery. And many other friends all over the world who prayed for Halat regularly. Then there had been Nelly, a respiratory therapist from Mexico, who had taken time to accompany Halat and mother, as Halat needed a medical escort during travel. There were the many doctors and nurses at Wolfson Medical Center, who cared with great love and dedication for Halat before and after her complex heart repair. And the many members of our Jaffa community, like Rebekah and Eva, to only mention a few.

They had supported Halat's mother during the very long and emotional surgery day. During our car ride from the airport, Halat was mentioning Eva's name several time. 

Halat won all of our hearts, as she welcomed everyone like her long time friend. Whenever she would see Jonathan after he returned from traveling, she would get very excited, run to him and embrace his legs.

Both mother and daughter have so much love to give. 

Today, our Kurdistan team had the opportunity to spend a little bit more time with Halat and her family. We arrived at their home in the late afternoon and stayed for about an hour. Several neighbors came to say hello. Halat's family welcomed us and served us drinks and snacks very generously. Little Halat was bouncing back and forth between the people and it was obvious that she was doing well and comfortable. 

Halat's journey towards a healed heart has a beautiful ending, and we give our heavenly Father the honor and praise sustaining and healing her. May she some day come to understand the great love God has for her.

Farewell, Halat!

Posted on Thu, 06/01/2017 - 17:18 by Dany Escalante

On Monday, we had a farewell party for our little Halat and her mother. We were able to share a beautiful time together here in the comunnity.

On this day, Halat's mother expressed her deep gratitude for the help and love they received from each of volunteers. At the same time was an opportunity for each of the volunteers to express their love for Halat and her mother through words of appreciation. They also were given presents which were received with great joy.

That night we had a delicious dinner, and we also celebrated Ayleen's birthay - double motivation for joy!

We give thanks and glory to the Lord for what He has done in their lives all this time. And now Halat with her new heart has been reunited with all her family.

Thank you very much, all of you reading, for your valuable help in support and prayer!


Final Echo!

Posted on Mon, 05/29/2017 - 23:03 by Eva Markewitz
After some hours of waiting at the echo department, Halat finally was called to the echo room.
She was afraid of what was going to happen, but once I distracted her with bubbles, she calmed down, catching the bubbles and watching a video on the TV.
Dr. Alona was very pleased with the results and said that she can go home!
What a joy for mother and child, with a big smile they left the room and were blessing us with their contagious good mood.
Thank you for all your prayers!

Halat's Echo Report

Posted on Mon, 05/22/2017 - 19:09 by Alexa Bigl

Halat had a follow-up echo today and the cardiologists had a very good report. Halat's heart looks fantastic! Her repair, while very complicated, is holding up very well during this vital time of recovery. 

At first, Halat was very upset about being examined. But soon, the doctors had her smiling and laughing as they ran the echo wand over her abdomen and chest. It looks promising Halat's final echo could be next week! 
She had her chest tube-site sutures taken out down at the ward and then was ready to head home. On our way out, Halat stood on the scale and we are happy to report she is almost back up to her pre-surgery weight. She had lost about a kilogram during her recovery period in the hospital, so we are excited the number is rising again. 
Halat's mom was overjoyed with the good news both about how well Halat's heart is doing and about her increase in weight. But there was also a difficult situation in explaining to her Halat will very likely need surgery in the future. The procedure they did to correct Halat's heart used a conduit, a small tube, that will need to be replaced as she grows. It is an appropriate size for Halat now, but as she gets big it will need to be replaced with an appropriately larger tube. Overall, we can certainly praise God, the Healer, for the works He has done and is doing in Halat. And we will continue to remember Him as the Healer as Halat finishes her recovery and even after as she grows and the need for a follow-up surgery comes around. He is good and we praise Him for Halat. 

Echo Day for Halat

Posted on Mon, 05/15/2017 - 22:03 by Simone Escalante

Our little Halat was with the other children who had echoes today. Like Mimi, Halat felt the fear and discomfort of lying on the bed to begin the exam. But little by little between a joke or two with everyone in the room, she began to allow the examination to be completed.

The doctor saw that things are going well with Halat but it will still be necessary for 3 more echoes in the future before she is released to go home. We expect the Lord will bring full restoration, and we pray that the Lord will continue working in the life of this mother and daughter together. Let's continue praying!

Finally Home

Posted on Thu, 05/11/2017 - 19:09 by Debbie Sturm
After two weeks in the hospital, our little Halat was finally discharged today. Our whole community was excited about this news that we will have this precious girl back in our home. The doctors are very satisfied with her condition and on Monday she will have her follow-up echo. As Halat came home with her mother, they were welcomed by the other families and had some food together. Halat was still a bit shy but also enjoyed being in a familiar surrounding.

We are thankful to our mighty God who was and is in control of her life.

Joyful Halat

Posted on Thu, 05/11/2017 - 00:41 by Debbie Sturm

This morning I visited Halat in the secondary ICU. She was really joyful and smiling a lot. We sang some songs together and after a while I was told that Halat will be finally transferred to the children's ward.

Mother and daughter were happy, and as they entered the children's ward they were lovingly welcomed by the other families.

Halat stayed happy and enjoyed meeting some of the other children she knows from Shevet Achim.

Also the father of Aveen came for a visit, and brought some delicious food for the mothers. The nurses told us that Halat is now allowed to play outside as well. We had a wonderful time together at the playground, enjoying the delicious food and the warm sun and watching little joyful Halat explore the playground.

As Eva and I had to leave, she broke into tears. We are so thankful to God that Halat is recovering and really joyful again. Would you continue to pray for Halat and her mother? May Halat recover soon completely.

Chest Tube Removed

Posted on Tue, 05/09/2017 - 23:51 by Simone Escalante

Today I was visiting some of the Shevet families and one of them was Halat and her mother. Things seem to be going very well thanks to the Lord. Today there was a new improvement in the treatment of dear Halat that was the fact that her chest tube was removed. She is already communicating much better even though her voice is a bit weak and low. Today I could see satisfaction stamped on the face of both mother and daughter. All we have to do is keep praying and waiting for our dear ones to come home soon.

Brave Halat

Posted on Sun, 05/07/2017 - 21:36 by Dany Escalante

I thank the Lord for giving me this day to spend some time with the brave Halat. I was able to pray for her and at the same time I could see the grace and strength that the Lord has given her and her mother. The doctor who is in charge of her decided to insert a drainage tube to remove the fluid from her lungs. This caused her some discomfort and pain which she expressed with some tears. But this was only for a moment and after that she fell asleep, waking up some time later feeling more calm. We wish that she will recover quickly. Let us continue praying for that, please!

Update on Halat's Speech

Posted on Thu, 05/04/2017 - 02:05 by Simone Escalante

When we visited Halat today, she was more active and interacting better. She had a great interest in playing despite getting tired easily. An endoscopy was performed to find the reason for Halat's speech being compromised and paralysis was seen on one side of the vocal cords. But another endoscopy will be needed in 2-3 weeks for the doctors to follow up on this case.

We spent a good time together. At the end, my husband and I prayed for her and tried to encourage her mother to stand firm. Keep praying for them, please.