Hani's Heart Surgery

northern Iraq

Hani Admitted for Surgery

Posted on Wed, 07/04/2012 - 09:45 by Kristina Kayser

Our beautiful and charismatic Hani received a big surprise this afternoon when the hospital gave us an unexpected phone call. After being in Israel for nearly one month, two weeks still remained until her scheduled surgery date. Hani's mother has been tearful at times, but bearing the wait patiently for the sake of her daughter. All manner of sorrow dissipated when we learned that Hani was invited to come to Wolfson today for surgery tomorrow morning! Her mother breathed a sigh of relief and smiled as she quickly packed her things and combed Hani's unruly curls. Catherine, Ruth, our newest volunteer, and I joined them on their journey down to Tel Aviv. I'm not sure who entertained who more in the car. Songs, puppets, bubbles, whistling, and silly voices kept Hani amused, while her playful antics and expressions had the rest of us laughing for a long time. She eventually fell asleep with the countenance of blissful peace. 

All was well until Hani woke up to find herself in a place that aroused unpleasant memories. Her first sight of the nurses' station evoked terrified cries as she clung to her mother. While the medical staff carried on with other tasks, our team helped Hani calm down by escaping to a nearby playground. It didn't take long for this spunky toddler to forget her fears entirely. This girl loves to explore and is always on the move. I can't imagine her being any more active with a healed heart! During a game of peek-a-boo, Hani giggled again and again as I popped up from hiding to meet her face to face. What a joy she is to us all!

We said goodbye to Hani and her mother with the promise of being by their side tomorrow morning. As the sun was setting to the west during our ascent towards Jerusalem, I thought of how dawn's first light will find us on the road once more. Hope and anticipation find their place in my heart tonight. I believe that God delights in Hani and that He is preparing a beautiful gift for her. Will you please pray for her and her mother to experience His grace throughout tomorrow's surgery? Truly, as Messiah promised, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9

Hani Hits the Stage at Wolfson Hospital

Posted on Mon, 06/04/2012 - 21:58 by Kristina Kayser

Today was Hani's big debut at Wolfson Hospital, but if you asked her, she would have rather slept in a few more hours. She sat sleepy eyed on her mother

A Bright New Face in Jerusalem - Hani's

Posted on Fri, 06/01/2012 - 00:18 by Donna_Petrel

It was my pleasure to greet one and one-half year old Hani and her mother at the Amman airport yesterday when they arrived from Iraq. Hani is a bright little girl who is full of spunk and curiosity, loves people, and like most one-year-olds, adores getting her way. If she is happy, she clearly makes it known to everyone around, and the same is true when she is unhappy.

This morning we rose early to set out for the Jordan border, and a tired Hani was able to sleep most of the way. She and Mohammed played together at the customs terminals, where the officials moved us through quickly. 

As we were on the last leg of our trip to their new home away from home in Jerusalem, Hani sent us a clear message of dissatisfaction when we placed her securely in her car seat. We tried to settle her as we drove, but when her crying reached the level of near-hysterics, we pulled over so her mother could soothe her in her lap. My observation to that point of Hani's general condition was that she was in no danger of a cyanotic spell while we traveled, but because of my lack of medical training, I wanted to take no chances, and made a quick call to Dr. Alona while we were stopped. After explaining the situation, and citing Hani's diagnosis from her medical report, Dr. Alona assured me that crying would not cause her to have a cyanotic spell. Thus we assured Hani's mom, and explained that Hani must be in the car seat before we could resume our journey. Even with a crowd of encouragers, Hani was still unhappy for a little while, but when she realized she was not to be the victor, she gave up the fight for most of the trip. 

Please keep this little sweetie and her family in your prayers as she and her mother get settled in Jerusalem. Hani's first appointment at Wolfson Medical Center is Monday.

An Excellent Opportunity

Posted on Sun, 05/06/2012 - 22:56 by Jonathan Miles

One-year-old Hani was brought by her mother to a heart screening in northern Iraq in December, and our partner cardiologist Kirk Milhoan found that she is an excellent candidate for closure of the hole between the ventricles of her heart. If this surgery is done in time, Hani can go on to have a completely normal life. 

We hope to bring Hani to Israel in mid-May, with God's help.