Hawraz 's Heart Surgery

northern Iraq

To Surgery With a Happy Heart

Posted on Sun, 04/24/2011 - 14:34 by Jonathan Miles
The call came today to bring Hawraz in to the hospital tomorrow (Monday) night, as soon as the sun sets on the Passover holiday, in preparation for surgery Tuesday morning. A benefit concert this week at the historic Christ Church in Jerusalem was the perfect send-off for Hawraz; click the play arrow below to share in the joyful finale of "Hava Nagila."

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The lyrics couldn't be more fitting:

Let's rejoice and be happy
Let's sing and be happy
Awake, awake brothers with a happy heart.

Let's pray that Hawraz will indeed awake from her surgery with a happy heart.

Ein starkes Team (A Strong Team)

Posted on Fri, 04/01/2011 - 00:00 by Verena Leithner
Als wir heute Frueh zu unserer Fahrt ins Krankenhaus aufbrachen wartete im Innenhof schon ungeduldig eine kleine Prinzessin mit ihrer Mama auf uns: Hawraz, gekleidet mit einem neuen lila Kleid, dass ihre Mutter ihr erst vor ein paar Tagen gekauft hatte und in der Hand eine neue silberne Handtasche, mit der sie geradewegs ins Auto stieg, um endlich ins Krankenhaus zu fahren.

(This morning we went to the hospital for Hawrazs first echo after surgery. Because we were a little late, Hawraz was already waiting for us in the Shevet courtyard, dressed like a little princess a new purple dress, which her mother bought a few days ago, and in her hands a new silver purse.)

Dort kaum angekommen nahm sich Hawraz Stifte und die mitgebrachten Ausmalbilder und begann zu malen.Waehrend sie so auf ihrem Stuhl sass und malte, wirkte sie sehr ruhig und in sich gekehrt, ganz anders als die froehliche, umher springende Hawraz, die wir normalerweise kennen.

(Having barely arrived in the hospital, Hawraz took some crayons and a coloring page and started to draw. As she sat in her chair coloring, she seemed very calm and withdrawn in herself; different from the joyful girl we usually know.)

Nach einer kurzen Zeit des Wartens war sie dann auch schon an der Reihe fuer ihr Echokardiogramm. Zu Beginn, als ihre Mutter sie auszog wirkte sie aengstlich und wimmerte leise vor sich hin. Aber Hawraz und ihre Mutter sind wirklich ein gutes Team und die Mutter von Hawraz weiss genau was es braucht, ihre Tochter aufzuheitern und so zeigte sie einfach auf ein lustiges Bild ueber ihr, das sofort ein Laecheln auf Hawrazes Gesicht zauberte! Diese kleine Ermunterung gab Hawraz ihre Staerke zurueck und waehrend des gesamten Echos war sie wieder die ruhige und nicht unterzukriegende kleine Frau wie vorher. Immer wieder versuchte sie einen Blick auf den Bildschirm zu ergattern, auf den auch ihre Mutter wie gebannt starrte, um zu erfahren wie das Herz ihrer Tochter nach der Operation heilt.

(After a short time of waiting, it was her turn for the echo. At the beginning Hawraz seemed anxious and I heard a few whimpers. But she and her mother are a good team and her mother knows what is needed to cheer her daughter up. She pointed to a funny picture in the room and this make Hawraz immediately smile. This encouragement gave Hawraz new strength and during the whole echo she was again this brave little princess like earlier. Hawraz tried again and again to look at the screen, where also her mother was looking, in order to get to know how the heart of her daughter is healing.)

Und es waren gute Nachrichten auf die wir warteten: Hawraz erholt sich sehr gut von ihrer Operation und ihr Herz funktioniert nun perfekt. Ihr naechstes Echokradiogramm wird naechste Woche sein und wir alle hoffen, dass Hawrazes Heilung weiter so gut voran schreitet und dieses starke Mutter-Tochter-Team bald in ihr geliebtes Kurdistan, zu ihrer Familie zurueck keheren kann.

(And the doctor had good news for us: Hawraz is recovering very well from surgery and her heart works properly. Her next echo is scheduled for next week and we all hope that this wonderful mother-daughter-team is soon able to go home to their beloved family!)

Hawraz Working An Infectious Charm

Posted on Thu, 03/31/2011 - 00:00 by Kristina Kayser

The Shevet Achim office has coined a new word to describe Hawraz: splucky. It's a combination of "spunky" and "plucky." In the few days since her arrival, we've realized that this brown-haired fountain of antics deserves her very own word. Now she's got one. Keep an eye on Webster's next edition due in 2015. She may have a sick heart, but what is really contagious is her charisma.

This morning was Hawraz's first echocardiogram at Wolfson Hospital to confirm her diagnosis of Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD). This condition causes oxygenated and deoxygenated blood to mix due to a hole between her right and left ventricles. I would have never guessed this lively girl had a serious heart defect if not for the very pronounced murmur I heard while listening through my stethescope. Her mother notes that she is able to run and play like other girls her age but sometimes becomes short of breath.

Nothing today seemed to disrupt Hawraz's cheerful spirit as we made our way through exams. The waiting room, in her eyes, was simply another place to create masterful artwork. When Dr. Alona walked into the room, Hawraz shook her hand confidently, and she smiled right through her echocardiogram.

The last order of the day was to check her PPD skin test for tuberculosis. It was determined that Hawraz has latent tuberculosis. This means that she has been exposed to the disease but is not infectious at this time. However, if left untreated, she could develop tuberculosis at a later stage in life. Medications to manage the tuberculosis begin tomorrow, and her surgery is scheduled for the near future.

I praise God for bringing Hawraz to Israel to repair what could not be done in Iraq and for allowing us to become childlike once again as we share in her simple joy.

Tackling Her First Hospital Day With Smiles

Posted on Tue, 03/29/2011 - 00:00 by Loni Heavener
A courageous seven-year-old Hawraz took on the hospital today with a strong smile and a trusting attitude. She and her mother arrived in Jerusalem yesterday evening with a flood of smiles and evident thankfulness.

The wait in the hospital was a bit lengthy, but the playroom proved to be more than sufficient for Hawraz. We painted butterflies together, airplanes, dinosaurs, roses, and giraffes, content to wait for the doctors examination.

I marveled at Hawraz's bravery when she smiled at me as wires were being attached to adhesive patches on her chest by the nurse.

Tears were only shed as her blood was being drawn, and even then they were not shed without a fight to hold them back.

Hawraz has Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD), a hole in the lower chambers of her heart causing it to ineffectively pump oxygenated and deoxygenated blood. Surgical intervention needs to be done within the next year, and I am thankful to Jesus that this remarkably brave child is able to begin the journey to health now, here in Israel.

Hope for a New Heart as Hawraz Reaches Israel

Posted on Sun, 03/27/2011 - 00:00 by Jonathan Miles
Pretty seven-year-old Hawraz and her mother flew into Amman this week from their home in northern Iraq. It's been a full year since Hawraz was first diagnosed by cardiologist Kirk Milhoan at a screening in Iraq in March 2010.

Today Hawraz and mother traveled with us from Jordan to Israel, accompanied by our German coworker Verena in the photo below.

Hawraz looks like the picture of health below as she follows after her fellow heart patient Fatima (click the play arrow):

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But a hole between the ventricles of her heart threatens to shorten her life if it is not surgically repaired.

We reached our Jerusalem center after nightfall where a warm meal and warm greetings were waiting.

Hawraz will have her first examinations at the Wolfson Medical Center near Tel Aviv tomorrow morning, Lord willing, in preparation for her surgery.