Hamza's Heart Surgery

northern Iraq

Hamza Returns Again to Iraq

Posted on Fri, 01/29/2010 - 06:45 by Jonathan Miles
After celebrating Hamza's release last night (along with Hardeen) with a party at the Shevet Center in Jerusalem, we set out this morning for Jordan and the flight home to his family in Iraq. Last stop in Jerusalem was the Garden Tomb, just down the hill from us, for a vivid illustration of the truth that Messiah lives!

Hamza is cheerful and loving, but still seems a little disoriented and confused after all he has been through, and needs our prayer for continued healing in body, soul and spirit.

It was nightfall by the time I passed him off to our coworker Dirk by the shore of the Dead Sea in Jordan; the next day Hamza and grandmother flew back to Iraq, where we trust God's grace will continue to work in the life of this very special young man.

Hamza Freed to Return Home

Posted on Sun, 01/24/2010 - 06:45 by Donna_West
 January 24, 2010

Hamza (pictured here saying goodbye to Josh) has been released by the team of doctors who have been responsible for his care over these last eight months. Finally, the homecoming is in sight! Plans are being made for his return home. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement over all these months.

Hamza Himself Again

Posted on Thu, 01/07/2010 - 06:45 by Donna_West
January 7, 2010

The ever optimistic Hamza is on his way back to being himself. We were delighted to see him today disconnected from bedside monitors and tubes, once again allowing him the freedom to spread his good cheer and comfort throughout the children's ward of the hospital. It really is only the power of your prayers and grace of God that enable this 12 year old boy to spend six out of the last eight months separated from all his family (except his grandmother) in as good of spirits as he has continually displayed. Please don't stop praying for him because it has been so long. Pray even more, because it has been so long.

Hamza Encouraging Others Again

Posted on Mon, 01/04/2010 - 06:45 by Mary_Dailey
 January 4, 2010

Hamza is doing much better today. He still is connected to two drainage tubes running from his chest. Our main concern (and his) is that there is a good bit of blood running through the tubes. He has gotten his voice back, though it's a little softer than usual. He was encouraging Hardeen's mother today while she was waiting for her son's surgery to be completed.

Later in the afternoon the moms and children brought some Dorma (a Kurdish dish) to him and his grandmother. Hamza was so happy to see them all. You could tell this was good therapy for him even though the nurses were upset and told us we had to take the children out!

Thanks for your prayers; Hamza is improving every day. We would appreciate it if you would help us pray about the blood that is draining from this last surgery. Let's pray for a total healing, God can do it.

Hamza Back In Jerusalem

Posted on Sun, 01/03/2010 - 06:45 by Donna_West

January 3, 2010

Hamza is returning to the Shevet family today with very few medications and no antibiotics. Praise God!! This is such a good indication of his continued healing.

As many of the other children will soon be returning home, please pray that Hamza and his grandmother will be among them, completely healed and forever changed by the time they have spent in "The City of Our God."

Hamza Not Like Himself

Posted on Thu, 12/31/2009 - 06:45 by Mary_Dailey
 December 31, 2009

We really need you to pray for Hamza, it seems that he has developed pneumonia in his heart and lung area. He is not like himself. He's very weak and sleeps most of the time and will not eat although he is drinking water.

His grandmother is very concerned about him. His therapist came in while Donna and I were sitting with him and she said she could not give him therapy until she got instructions from the doctors. She tried to get him to cough but he was too weak so she said she'd come back tomorrow.

I know God loves our children and is taking care of them but He does tell us to pray for them and when they are too weak we are supposed to hold them up in prayer. It says in His word that when we are weak He is strong. So let's pray that God will send his angels to strengthen Hamza.

Hamza's Sixth Surgery

Posted on Mon, 12/28/2009 - 06:45 by Donna_West
 December 28, 2009

Also please continue to pray for Hamza's grandmother. She is a strong woman with a very tender heart for her grandson and all that she sees him going through. We appreciate how faithfully you have kept these two lifted in prayer. Let's see it through until it is completed.

Hamza Back in the Hospital

Posted on Tue, 12/15/2009 - 06:45 by Mary_Dailey

December 15, 2009

Hamza returned to Wolfson Hospital shortly after coming back to the house in Jerusalem. It was totally unexpected, as we took him in for what we figured would be his last echocardiogram, we found out that he and his grandma would have to stay at the hospital for a few more days. Fortunately, they were prepared in case they would have to stay. Hamza had been with us in Jerusalem for around two weeks before his echo. During this time Hanukkah had started and we came across a celebration downtown where they were lighting a big Menorah.

Please pray for Hamza, he was very discouraged when he found out he had to stay at the hospital. I heard the doctors say something about maybe another A'maliya (which is surgery in Arabic). Hamza has had five surgeries, and he is dreading having another one. It seems like the longer he is in Israel, the more he keeps amazing all of us with all his hidden talents and virtues. So I know that God has him here for a reason! Pray that God will completely heal Hamza so that he can go home to his family.

Last Day At the Hospital

Posted on Sat, 12/05/2009 - 06:45 by Justin_Strong

October 5, 2009

Hamza received good news today when we took him for what we hoped would be his final check up on the infection that developed in his chest incision. The leaking wound he came here with, now almost exactly a month ago, is nothing more than a small raw spot a centimeter in length. While he was being looked at Hamza had no less than 4 doctors gathered around him, who were as interested in his personality as his incisions progress.

After they examined him they declared what all the other doctors have concluded for the past few weeks, that the infection is no longer a problem, and he is now cleared to return to Iraq! Furthermore, Hamza no longer needs to take the heart medication, CAPOTEN , which he has been on since he came for his surgery, he must only continue two antibiotics until the end of November. Hamza and his grandmother were very excited at this news.

At this point it was already around lunch time and Hamza was beginning to pick food off the passing lunch carts, so we decided it would be a good idea to visit the cafeteria before we left. We all enjoyed a nice meal together, in the typical Hamza style he piled enough food on his plate for two, and gave us his colorful commentary on how each food item tasted. After lunch Hamza returned to the ward to say goodbye to all the doctors, nurses, and the numerous other patients he befriended during his season in Israel. He shouted, "Goodbye!" into every room and down every hall acknowledging everyone he could. If everything works out smoothly, Hamza may travel to Jordan, and onto Iraq, by the end of this week.

Hamza Takes Charge

Posted on Tue, 11/24/2009 - 06:45 by Donna_West

November 24, 2009


Appearing at the hospital with Hamza is like following behind a celebrity. "Hi Hamza. You back again? Hamza, good to see!" Everybody knows Hamza. And as you know celebrities are supposed get "preferential treatment." Needless to say our friend Hamza was very unhappy when his doctor of choice was in surgery upon his arrival today. And then instead of immediately rushing to find Hamza, the surgeon went to the ICU to follow up on the children who had just returned from surgery. Periodically Hamza checked at the nurses' station to inquire as to the whereabouts of his doctor. One of the nurses specifically told Hamza NOT to go to ICU to look for him. The next thing I knew Hamza was on the phone in the nurses' station and the doctor was there within the next five minutes.

Once more Hamza will have the opportunity to learn patience. The verdict was: "We will treat the infection for two more weeks, cleaning the incision 2-3 times a day." You know they always say the more you pray for patience the more opportunity you get to develop it. Let's just pray for healing at this point!