Hawar 's Heart Surgery

northern Iraq

Tears Flow as Hawar Heads Home

Posted on Tue, 09/08/2009 - 07:45 by Donna_Petrel

It was a poignant farewell today as our staff bade farewell to Hawar and her mother. Donna is pictured with them above just before they boarded the bus to cross the Jordan River for tomorrow's flight home to Iraq. Earlier Mom's tears were evident as she said goodbye to the team in Jerusalem. Follow this link to see.

Hawar has been supported every step of the way by a visiting team from California and they were also on hand to show the love of the Father one more time to this precious young lady. See in this video.

And it was my privilege finally to escort Hawar and mother over to Amman, Jordan, for a drop-in at my birthday party and a farewell to my lovely wife Michelle before heading to Dirk's house overnight and then the airport. 

We give thanks to God -- He was there for us, so we could be there for Hawar. God bless you Hawar in your new life!


Double-checking Before Hawar Leaves

Posted on Thu, 09/03/2009 - 01:00 by Donna_Petrel

In the last few days Hawar has been having some chest pain and we've been checking with the hospital about treating it. Their recommendation was to check her temperature, and give some pain meds, with the advice that it is likely normal pain from the healing process. However after taking a minimal amount of medicine without relief, and the thought of going home without resolution to a possible problem, Um (mother of)Hawar came to me again this morning about Hawar's pain asking if we could see the doctor. I called the hospital again and conferred with them, and they said to bring her in. We saw Dr. Manor first for a physical check on the scar to rule out infection there, and to check her breathing and her heart. Then we were directed upstairs to the heart center for another ECG and echocardiogram. The news was very good - there was no evidence of any problem anywhere at all, praise God! We were all happy to hear that simply taking a little stronger dose of over-the-counter pain medication is the only thing needed for the situation. Hawar and her mom had purchased some flowers to give the doctor when we finished today, and were pleased to give them to Dr. Manor when she gave us the final word of dismissal. They were also excited to use Hawar's new camera to record the event.

They left the hospital relieved and delighted, planning to leave for Jordan tomorrow and Iraq the next day. However the news once we got home was not as good: the Jordanian entry permission had not come through yet, so the travel date had to be postponed. This put a damper on our dinner tonight, but they understand it is beyond our control. We are hopeful that the visa will be completed the first of next week so they can travel very soon.

Join us in thanking God for Hawar's excellent report. We continue to believe God's timing is perfect, and ask you to pray with us for the days she has left here to be used to the fullest measure to show them His gracious love.


Hawar is Cleared to Go Home!

Posted on Sun, 08/30/2009 - 01:00 by Donna_Petrel

This morning we headed down to Schneider Children's Hospital for Hawar's final echo. The doctor finished his check-up, and gave a good report saying her heart looks good and is functioning normally, there were no residual holes, and she would be free to travel home by the week's end! He further commented that she is under no restrictions from activities, and she should have a normal adulthood and full life. Praise God! This wonderful news was translated by our new Kurdish friend Elan. The mother and daughter were beaming with joy once they heard the report.

We had one more stop in the hospital to remove a large stitch from the incision on her chest so the drainage tube could be removed. As we waited for the nurse to remove the stitch we had a little time to play around. Once it was time for the stitch to be removed it came out quick and easy, although it was a little painful for Hawar, she was very glad when it was over.
Then we went to the beach to celebrate Hawars dismissal. She was captivated by the ocean as soon as she saw it. When Hawar entered the water, she walked out toward the oncoming waves without any fear. Click the play arrow below to have a look!

Soon she was in the water nearly to her waist; her mother feeling nervous sent Tim to go alongside her as an "anchor".

After that we had a quick snack on the beach, and headed back to Jerusalem. We have only a few more days with Hawar and her mother until they head back home, and I want to fill each day with the blessings God has sent them here for. Please pray with us as we enjoy Hawar and her mom during these final days of healing in Jerusalem.

Hawar is On Her Way Home!

Posted on Mon, 08/24/2009 - 07:45 by Donna_Petrel

This morning we received a call saying that Hawar would be released today! We were hoping this would be the case after yesterday's good report, and we were excited to welcome her back to the house. It was such a blessing to have a Kurdish Jew named, Elan, who came to the Hospital, and translated the doctors report to Hawar and her mother. Um Hawar (Hawars mother) felt close to home having another Iraqi to assist them.

Hawar thanked the doctor, and said goodbye! Then we were our way back to Jerusalem with Hawar and her mother who were filled with joy. Thank you for joining us in prayer that her strength and health will return completely.

Click to send an e-mail message to Hawar and her mother.

Great to See Her Smile Again

Posted on Sun, 08/23/2009 - 01:00 by Robin_Miller

Today I visited Hawar at Schneider hospital. A couple of days ago I went with Donna to visit Hawar and she was very sick and in so much pain from the surgery, which I guess is very common the day following heart surgery. But it was such a blessing to see her smiling and actually eating a little today and laughing with her mom. Donna was feeling ill so I went alone, but I had a good time visiting. The doctor came in while I was there and really wanted Hawar to eat more and drink more water. Because of nausea due to a reaction to the pain medication, Hawar was a little hesitant to eat and drink. I'm sure tomorrow she will be ready to eat more. She had not taken any pain medication while I was there and that was a good sign. She is in very good spirits and it's great to see her smile. Please continue to join with us in prayer for this precious young lady for her healing and for her to see the love of the Lord in all that is being done for her.

Bravely Heading to Surgery

Posted on Thu, 08/20/2009 - 01:00 by Donna_Petrel

A very brave Hawar and her tearful mother walked together to the
surgical waiting room this morning just a few minutes after 8 AM.

Hawar was in good spirits, becoming emotional for only a minute when she had a lengthy conversation by telphone with her father back in Iraq, just before leaving for the operating room.

Her mother became very emotional after being allowed to walk with Hawar into the pre-operation area, and stay with her until she fell asleep. After she spoke to family a few times, we spent a little time walking outside on the nice hospital grounds. She asked to return upstairs after sitting quietly a little while, and I was able to convince her to rest a little since it would be several hours before Hawar would come up from her surgery. She did get a little sleep, and woke up just before the doctor came in to tell us that the surgery was over, and Hawar was doing well. Hawar's mother was very happy and thankful, and began to get phone calls from home sharing the good report. We waited a little longer for Hawar to be brought upstairs to the ICU, where Um Hawar got her first look at her daughter after the surgery--her breathing done for her by a portable handbag during the transition to the ICU.

When all the appropriate medication and mechanical ventilator had been set in place, Hawar's mother was able to go in and spend time with Hawar while the ICU nurse explained to our translator by telephone the details of the surgery.

As soon as Um Hawar heard the details she shared it with her family at home. She was visibly relaxed and thankful for how well Hawar is doing. As I left Um Hawar this afternoon, Hawar was just beginning to awaken. The nurse explained that if all continued to go well, Hawar would be extubated after a few more hours.

Praise God for such a blessing to this young woman and her family. Keep praying with us for a supernatural recovery, and a continual awareness of God's hand on this special girl's life.

Puzzles and Frogs on Surgery's Eve

Posted on Wed, 08/19/2009 - 01:00 by Jonathan Miles

Hawar was admitted today for her heart surgery early tomorrow morning.
A new friend from the UK, 13-year-old Ruth, is here volunteering with
her family, and spent much of the morning being a friend for Hawar. Here is Ruth's perspective of the day:

"Today we went to the hospital, it's a nice hospital, but I'm glad I don't have to face staying there for heart surgery. When we arrived they showed us to the room and we went to look at the fishtank outside.

Then we did a puzzle which was good because we could work together even though we don't know each other's language. Then we played a frog game and took it in turns to work it out.

Hawar's probably nervous about her operation tomorrow and so's her mum, so pray that everything will go well and both of them can stay calm and she will make a good recovery."

Hawar Approved for Surgery

Posted on Sun, 08/16/2009 - 01:00 by Jonathan Miles

Today Hawar and her mother came to the beautiful Schneider Children's Medical Center in Petah Tikva, where a lengthy echocardiogram confirmed that Hawar is an excellent candidate for open-heart surgery. She is invited to admission on Wednesday for surgery on Thursday morning.

A Fun Day on the Mount ofOlives

Posted on Sat, 08/15/2009 - 07:45 by Jonathan Miles

We set out with the new families this afternoon for a worship meeting in East Jerusalem, but spontaneously headed to the Mount of Olives when we found the congregation was meeting elsewhere today. There we saw a camel giving rides, and Hawar and Donna spontaneously rose to the challenge!

New Hope as Hawar Reaches Israel

Posted on Fri, 08/14/2009 - 01:00 by Jonathan Miles

13-year-old Hawar (together here with another Iraqi heart patient, baby Awand) reached Jerusalem tonight after a nine-hour trip across the Jordan River from Amman, after delays of a few hours at Jordanian security checkpoints. They were joyfully greeted by the Iraqi families already here for their own children's heart surgeries. A delicious Iraqi meal of chicken and rice was waiting for us and we enjoyed good fellowship around the table.

After a day of rest on the Sabbath we will go to the hospital Sunday morning for Hawar's first examinations.