Havan 's Heart Surgery


Havan Strugging with Viral Infection

Posted on Tue, 12/30/2008 - 00:00 by Justina

We found little Havan under an oxygen tent when arrived at the hospital this morning. The doctor told us that he had contracted a viral infection, which is very dangerous for babies with heart defects. The infection is causing his surgery to be delayed. Ask Father to fight this infection so that Havan can have the life-saving surgery that he needs.

Havan Slightly Better, But Needs Surgery

Posted on Mon, 12/29/2008 - 00:00 by Dorothy_Finlay

Havan was breathing easier this morning when I visited, but his mother said he had a restless night. Removal of mucous from his respiratory tract was met with fierce resistance but it did improve his colour. Please uphold this little one before our Heavenly Father who calls all little children to Himself.

There was talk today of possible surgery soon but nothing definite. The doctors again repeated that his condition would not noticeably improve until he received surgery. Pray for his mother who is worn out and very worried about her little man.


Hospitalized with Chest Congestion

Posted on Sun, 12/28/2008 - 00:00 by Dorothy_Finlay

The past weekend has been very difficult for Havan and his mother as he has had a cold which caused congestion in his chest. Fluctuating from high temperature to below normal, he cried continually. Every effort to calm him failed. We prayed fervently as the weather was wet and cold and we did not have a driver available to take him to the hospital. We were able to give him oxygen and this helped his colour.

This morning, Monday, Havan and his mother went to Wolfson for assessment of his chest and was readmitted for stabilisation. The doctor admitting him agreed that there was little to be done for him until he has his surgery. This is being fast tracked and we are hoping the cardiologist Dr. Tamir will keep him in hospital until they are able to operate. X-rays today showed no detrioration in his chest which is a comfort but his oxygen saturation remains poor.

Please pray for this delightful little boy who, from this photo taken in the ward today, shows of distress. Thank you for caring; heavenly father loves Havan and we are believing soon for his heart to be like new.


Havan Is Operable!

Posted on Wed, 12/17/2008 - 00:00 by Donna_Petrel

The news Havan's mother got today was worth waiting for. The heart catheterization Havan had showed that he is operable. Praise God! This sweet baby was able to remain amazingly content today even though he was fasting until his afternoon catheterization. After about one and a half hours, Dr. Alona came and gave us the results: "Havan can have a surgery." It is likely that Havan's surgery will be in about 10 days due to scheduling for several newborns with TGAs (transposition of great arteries) which must be repaired very early in life.

We expect Havan to be released tomorrow back to Jerusalem to wait until the call to come for surgery. Please be praying for him as he waits, that he will remain well and get as strong as possible. Pray that his mother will remain calm and able to persevere during this waiting period.

Cath To Reveal If Havan Is A Candidate For Surgery

Posted on Tue, 12/16/2008 - 00:00 by Justina


We left the house in Jerusalem around 10:00 this morning to take Havan and his mother to Wolfson Medical Center near Tel Aviv. Havan was scheduled to be admitted to the hospital today for another echocardiogram, followed by a diagnostic catheterization the next day. We arrived at the hospital and stopped by to visit Elaf and her mother while we waited for the nurses to finish the admission process for Havan.

Donna, who had been with Wahaj's mother during his early morning surgery, came and gave us an update on his condition. We were all very thankful for the good news that the surgery had been quick and Wahaj was doing well.

Just after receiving the news about Wahaj, a nurse stuck her head in the door and told us that it was time for Havan to have his echo. It took some time for this active little fellow to calm down and fall asleep so that Dr. Tamir could start the long, thorough echocardiogram.

Havan will undergo diagnostic catheterization tomorrow morning. The result of this cath will determine whether or not he is a candidate for surgery.

Catheterization Scheduled For Wednesday

Posted on Fri, 12/12/2008 - 00:00 by Donna_Petrel


After being scheduled for his catheterization the week before last, then sent home when an emergency catheterization was done on another child during Havan's 'slot', his mother was asking us, "When? When?" Last week we were told that they could not do the catheterization because the surgeon should be nearby in case they need to do another procedure during the catheterization, and the surgeon was out of town. We have been hopeful that we would get the call saying to come to the hospital on Tuesday, for Wednesday is the day catheterizations are done - and this evening we got the call directly from the doctor. She told us to bring Havan for his cath on Wednesday, and I had the joy of telling his mother. Actually when Dr. Alona called, she gave me the news that all three of the babies which Save A Child's Heart is helping will begin their treatment in the next few days, praise God! Earlier today we got the news that Rasan will also go for his long-awaited cleft palate surgery at another hospital, so all the mothers in the house got good news today.

This evening the mothers baked a cake to celebrate their thankfulness over what is about to happen for their children. Although they were all filled with joy about the surgery times being confirmed, I could tell they were each beginning to shift into deep thought over what is ahead for their precious children. Havan's mother seemed particularly quiet and didn't have an appetite for her cake.

We know that Havan's case is complicated and his surgery is expected to be difficult. For this reason another hospital chose to reject the case. The catheterization will be diagnostic in that it will help the surgeon know exactly how to treat Havan's heart once he sees the inside. Sometimes during catheterizations procedures are done which help prepare the heart for the main surgery. This is why it is important for the surgeon to be on hand in Havan's case. The last time I asked Dr. Tamir about the timing of it, he said he thought that the surgery would be possible and that Havan will be okay. All of the volunteers here at the house have commented that we are surprised Havan has done as well as he has, and perhaps his healing has already begun by God's touch as we have been praying all this time. May it be so!

Keep praying with us for peace and hope for Havan's mother in the coming days while the other mothers are admitted for their surgeries. God has sustained Havan, and we trust Him to complete what He has begun in his life.

Waiting for His Bottle

Posted on Wed, 11/26/2008 - 00:00 by Donna_Petrel


Mary and I set out very early this morning in order to be at the hospital in time to see Havan before he left for his catheterization, and to sit with his mother while she waited. We made very good time today, and were at Havan's bedside before he was scheduled to go. After only a few minutes, Havan's mother told us that the baby whose bed was beside theirs had already gone for his catheterization, so I knew right away that Havan would be in the room for several more hours. This is challenging for a baby and parent because the child must fast before their surgery, and Havan was already tired of fasting! Between the three of us, some clowns with bubbles, and Abu Ali coming to visit, we kept Havan distracted from his hunger most of the time.

Dr. Tamir told us yesterday that he would try to do the catheterization today, but it was possible that it would have to wait. As it turned out, one of the patients we worked hard to help come out from Gaza yesterday was more urgent than Havan, so after the first catheterization proved difficult and took a long time, the Gaza baby was the next case who needed attention. At around 11 a.m. we were told that Havan would be dismissed to return to Jerusalem because the doctors would not have time to do all three of the catheterizations. The good thing about that news was it meant he could eat something and have his bottle again.

Um Havan was disappointed to hear this news, although the evidence beside her when the baby in the next bed returned proved how difficult his cath was. The staff was with him constantly for the several hours we remained there, and still working with him when we left. Havan was oblivious to all these details of course, but very happy to be given his bottle after waiting for so many hours. Both he and his mother fell asleep in the car on the way home, and returned to glad greetings from the other mothers and children.

Please pray with us for Havan and his mother in the coming days. She is still very tired from the days in the hospital in Amman, and the strain of the circumstances she faces as she seeks help and life for her helpless child. God is attuned to the cries of the weak and helpless, and loves to show forth His compassion and kindness to those in need.


Accepted By Wolfson; Cath Tomorrow

Posted on Tue, 11/25/2008 - 00:00 by Donna_Petrel

Schneider Children's Hospital decided they could not accept Havan's difficult case. However, Havan has been accepted at Wolfson Medical Center, was admitted there today, and will have a catheterization Wednesday morning.

Havan's Surgery May Be Too Difficult

Posted on Mon, 11/24/2008 - 00:00 by Donna_Petrel

Friday Alex got a call saying that when we came to pick Lawk up for dismissal, we could also bring Havan back to Jerusalem. He had done well enough through the night to come back to us until a decision was made about his surgery. We were told we'd hear from the hospital either Sunday or Monday about when they would do a catheterization to determine whether Havan was operable. Even as we spent the day together waiting for dismissal, one of the nurses who was leaving at shift change came to me and said they didn't know yet what to do because they just were not sure he was able to be operated on. We left feeling thankful that Havan was well enough to be dismissed, and expecting the call to come in a few days about the catheterization appointment. He was sent home on four different medications--three for his heart and an antibiotic to treat the pneumonia.

Havan has been doing okay here at the house. Although he is small for his age, in some ways it is hard to believe how very sick he is when you are around him. He has a sweet and happy disposition most of the time, and enjoys watching the other children play. Tarza and Rezhin enjoy doting on him when they get a chance, and Lawk likes to come over to pat him from time to time. Everyone who sees him is captured by his adorable smile. We all enjoy taking turns holding him when his mother needs an extra hand, or when he gets a little fussy while his bottle is being prepared. Most of the time he is happy to observe what is going on around him, or nap in his mother's lap or on their bed.

When yesterday passed without hearing from the hospital about the catheterization, I expected to get the call this morning. As the hours went by today without a call, I'd decided to go ahead and call the hospital. Instead, Alex decided to call since he had another matter to discuss with the doctor who was making the decision. The news we received was not what we expected. The doctor said they did not feel they could offer Havan the surgery he needs because of the difficulty of his case. Therefore they did not schedule him for a catheterization so far. Alex will call again in the morning to see if this is the final decision on the case. If so, we will immediately seek help at another hospital in the area to see if Havan's case can be accepted there.

Through the day Havan's mother had been waiting expectantly for word about the timing of Havan's catheterization. After we finally got the news, Alex and I went in to the sitting room to talk with her together. The news, of course, was very disappointing, even though it is not the final word. As Alex prepared to leave, Havan's mom began to cry as the reality settled in for her. I talked with her for a few minutes and then she went back into the other part of the house and the other mothers surrounded her. I felt this was good for a time, but later went back to her again. She was crying off and on, and received several phone calls from her family. I prayed for her and felt the Lord did bring some comfort to her. We sat together for a while, and then a relative called who could help translate between us so that there was no confusion about what she understood or what she wanted to know. I am so thankful to be able to talk with family and have clarity of communication in times like these. We now have an open line with each other for whatever we need to discuss. I assured the relative that we are not giving up... even if Schneider deems the case inoperable, we will immediately pursue help with another hospital. I shared with him that those of us here as well as people all over the world are praying for Havan and his mother and family.

Please do join us in prayer for Havan and his brokenhearted mother. For the moment it is hard for her to hear anything beyond the bad news she got this evening. But with God there is hope, and with Him nothing is impossible. At the moment, Havan seems to be another case in need of a miracle. Will you join me in praying for one?

First Day At The Hospital In Israel

Posted on Thu, 11/20/2008 - 00:00 by Donna_Petrel

Keleigh and I received Havan and his mother at the border late this morning and headed straight for Schneider Children's Hospital in Petach Tikva. I was relieved to see that Havan looked better than he had when I left Amman last week after the echo screening. Havan's mom said she was tired from having stayed the past week in the hospital in Amman, and once in the car, after long enough for Havan to take a bottle, they both fell asleep.

We were all thankful that Lawk and his mother are at the same hospital so they can keep each other company during Havan's stay. Havan and his mother were given a room next door to Lawk's, and once Havan's mother settled in for a few minutes, everyone gathered in Havan's room for the evening. Before long though, we found out that Lawk may be dismissed tomorrow back to Jerusalem! This is great news for Lawk as he continues to improve, but disappointing news for Havan's mom.

We also found out right away that these two families are from different areas of northern Iraq, and speak different dialects of Kurdish. They can communicate, but not totally. Next we called Mazal and found that she too speaks a different dialect than Havan's mother. Thankfully, Havan's mother does speak Arabic, and we are confident she will be able to have adequate translation for understanding the results of all the tests, and the decisions resulting from what the doctors find.

We were rushed upstairs so the doctors could do the echocardiogram in the late afternoon. They were not able to tell us much afterwards. Havan has both VSD and TGA, and the doctors said they would have to speak with Dr. Vidne, the head of the department, to know the options and come to a decision. He had left for the day so we must wait to know more. We were told that initial results show they are not sure there can be a full repair and that a catheterization may be needed first. Please be in prayer for God's healing touch for Havan's complicated heart problems.

Once back in the room, the normal admission examination was continued, and Havan's oxygen level was around 77%. However they wanted to monitor it for a short time since he was agitated and crying during the initial exam. After he quieted down some, the oxygenation rose to the mid-80% range. Even though he looks happy in all of his pictures from today, he did spend a lot of time crying, including during most of the echocardiogram. Part of the reason was because he was hungry but can only drink a little at a time without coughing from difficulty breathing. Part of the reason was because he was over-tired, and part of the reason of course is that he is so sick. He was somewhat more content when he was propped up on a pillow rather than lying flat on the bed. He definitely seems to have figured out that nurses usually mean something uncomfortable is going to happe
n, and is happiest when his mother is by his side. He enjoyed watching Lawk as he played nearby, or when Lawk came to comfort him for a few minutes. Lawk was sweet and gentle with Havan and seemed concerned with his new friend's situation.

Havan is taking a medi
cation prescribed in Iraq which the doctors here are very concerned about monitoring. A doctor was to come in and check on what to do about the situation, but had not come by about 7:20, so I left for the evening. The medication is to lower the blood pressure, and the nurse I spoke to instructed me to ask Havan's mother not to give any more of this medication - she gave it to him and then told me about it, so I reported it to the nurses so they would be aware of this along with his dismissal report from the Amman hospital.

Havan's mom was exhausted and anxious to know something specific about her son, but understands that the doctors will meet first and talk with her later. We tried but were unable to reach her family in Iraq, which was also distressing to her. Please pray that she will be able to rest tonight knowing she is near the time for Havan's longed-for help to repair his heart. We can ask for miracles that will surprise the doctors when they go forward with Havan's treatment since we know we have a God for whom nothing is impossible. Let's seek Him earnestly on Havan's behalf.