Hiba's Heart Surgery


One Step Forward

Posted on Wed, 03/11/2015 - 22:08 by Kyle Carlson

Hiba's condition has remained critical these last days, with doctors looking for enough progress to reattempt closing her chest. And today, doctors finally felt confident to do just that. She is currently stable; however, doctors are standing by because the hours immediately following this procedure are critical. As of now, she is doing well and no complications have arisen. 

Her mother has been on an emotional roller coaster lately, and you can see it on her face. It is a good sign that the doctors closed her chest today, but this beautiful little girl still needs our prayers and support. 

Sleeping Beauty

Posted on Sun, 03/08/2015 - 21:51 by Kristina Kayser

Life is so fragile--like a flower of the field, the Scriptures say. And Hiba's life has certainly reminded our community of this truth. Over the weekend, we learned that Hiba's chest had been reopened and doctors were considering pacemaker surgery. But little did we know how dangerous Hiba's situation really was until today. At first glance, her mother appeared discouraged and exhausted after twelve arduous days and nights in hospital. Her tears fell freely today. What a brave woman and devoted mother she is, I thought.

When I entered ICU, the surgeon, Dr. Sasson, was standing at Hiba’s bedside. Both he and Chief of ICU, Dr. Houri, described Hiba's alarming decline last Thursday. Roughly six hours after Hiba's chest was closed, her body began to rapidly deteriorate and go into shock. Only after opening her chest and administering some resuscitative measures, did Hiba stabilize again. Dr. Sasson further explained that he believes her heart was not prepared to handle the pressure that ensued when they closed her chest. Now that several days have passed, however, the plan is to reattempt closing Hiba's chest tomorrow. Dr. Sasson feels optimistic that this time, they will see better results. 

Furthermore, Hiba's artificial valve has created a unique arrhythmia (irregular heart rhythm) that has continued until now. Doctors are still weighing the possibility of inserting a permanent pacemaker. Observing Hiba in the ICU and thinking of the many battles she has fought and continues to fight, I remembered how much I love this beautiful girl. She slumbers now, but she will soon wake! I believe in faith that the Lord can raise her up. Her eyes began to open today, and she is beginning to show slight muscle movements in her hands. This encouraged my heart so much, and I will continue to put my trust in the One who holds Hiba's every breath and heartbeat.

Hiba Continuing to Progress

Posted on Thu, 03/05/2015 - 21:12 by Jesse Tilman

Hiba is continuing to recover in the ICU. The nurses told us that she is on track for being extubated tomorrow, and possibly receiving food orally from her anxious mother. IV feed lines are not a mother’s most trusted apparatus when it comes to food! Another great piece of news was that her chest cavity, which had been opened during surgery for drainage and easy access to the heart, was closed this morning. It’s a sign that the doctors feel comfortable again that she is on the way to health.

Her mother is distressed for her daughter and anxious to hear how she is doing. We relayed her questions to the hospital staff, and translated their messages for her. We are committing Hiba to God’s hands, asking for His help for this child in a serious condition. Matthew 25:40 reminds us, “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” May our King be glorified in Hiba's healing!

Video Update from ICU Doctor

Posted on Wed, 03/04/2015 - 21:08 by Kyle Carlson

Here is a video of an ICU doctor updating us on all three children at Wolfson Hospital. This includes Inas, Hiba and Arwa. 

A Huge Milestone

Posted on Tue, 03/03/2015 - 22:21 by Ruth Zellweger

Hiba was taken off the ECMO (heart-lung machine) today, and so far, her heart has been handling it very well! This is a huge milestone for her, and we are rejoicing with her mother, who is supported not only by our Shevet community but also by many other families at the hospital. 

Hiba's condition remains serious, and she still has a long way ahead of her. So we appreciate your continued prayers for this precious little girl. Our heavenly Father is perfectly able to take care of all of her needs, and we praise Him for His mercy in Hiba's life. 

Praying For A Miracle

Posted on Sun, 03/01/2015 - 23:47 by Kristina Kayser

Our Shevet team arrived at Wolfson this morning expecting a full day, but we certainly didn't expect to hear the following news: Hiba was in surgery! Her mother told us she had been transferred to the OR three hours prior and her status was unknown. Ruth and I had understood that the doctors hoped to take Hiba off the ECMO machine today, but nothing more. To make matters more intense, no one could give us any information, and so we waited...and waited.

Hiba's mother was emotionally and physically fatigued. She had already spent several hours in the emergency room yesterday for anxiety-induced chest pain. Praise God, she was feeling better today but still needed rest. After sharing some lunch together, she laid down in the sunshine outside, while I took my post outside of the ICU. For the remainder of the day, she continued resting while Ruth and I watched and prayed and sought out updates from the OR. We asked God for His mercy to be shown to Hiba, for His perfect healing in her heart, and we praised Him in the midst of all our fears. It's times like these that walking by faith and not by sight is so vital. Mid afternoon, we learned that the purpose of the surgery today was to either repair or replace Hiba's mitral valve. The long hours of silence from the OR began to indicate that the repair wasn't going as planned.

Eleven hours after Hiba went downstairs for surgery, she finally appeared again with a team of five medical staff pushing her gurney. And directly behind her gurney was the ECMO machine in tow. Once Hiba was in the ICU, Dr. Yayu asked us to wait for him to give her mother a full explanation of the repair. The environment was tense, and everyone seemed lost in their own thoughts. My mind raced with different scenarios as I prepared myself for the worse, yet hoped for the best. 

Dr. Yayu invited Hiba's mother to sit down in the ICU as he shared her daughter's current condition. Without surgery today, he began, Hiba would not have survived being taken off of the ECMO machine. Addressing the mitral valve was critical to her survival. Dr. Sasson tried all day to repair the valve, which is the ideal outcome especially for a growing child. Unfortunately, the repair was not successful. It was then decided to replace her own valve with a mechanical valve, which will require lifelong medication and a future surgery. Nevertheless, the post-surgery echo showed that the new valve is functioning properly. For this, we thank God! 

Hiba will continue on the ECMO machine for several days to give her heart time to rest and adjust to the valve replacement. She is in critical condition with many potential risks and dangers, but stable with the ECMO machine. Every hour is important for her life, and the doctors and nurses are standing by to care for her as best they can. We were unable to be at Hiba's bedside tonight, due to their diligent and untiring work, for which we are inexpressibly thankful. Please continue to intercede for the medical team and for Hiba's precious life! We trust that God can work wonders and do greater things than we can ask or imagine. 

The One Who Holds Her Heart

Posted on Fri, 02/27/2015 - 01:45 by Lindsay Martin

It was a beautiful morning with Hiba as we arrived at the hospital and found she was full of smiles and joy. As we waited in the pre-op, she happily showed us pictures of her brothers and sisters, kissing each one of them as they showed up on her phone screen.

As they pulled her into the operating room, it was like God´s angels were leading the way for her. Nothing could take away her peace in that moment.

We met with Dr. Sasson on the way out of the pre-op and he said it would be a difficult surgery, lasting around 6-7 hours. There were two problems with Hiba's heart that needed to be addressed. The first is that there were holes between the atria and the ventricles on both the left and right sides of the heart. The second problem was damaged valves. Specifically, the Mitral valve needed to be fixed in order for her heart to function properly.

We waited with Hiba's mother throughout the day, encouraged that she found time to get some rest and eat lunch with Inas' grandmother. (Inas is currently recovering from surgery and you can read more about her healing process here). After about 6 hours, we heard word from the doctors that it had been a difficult surgery and they were struggling to keep Hiba stable. The reason for this is that the doctors were not able to fix the Mitral valve and it caused complications for the rest of her heart and lungs to function properly.

Hiba was brought into the ICU three hours after the surgery had finished, as the doctors struggled to keep her body stable. They ended up needing to use an ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) machine in order to keep her heart and lungs functioning.

The doctor is unable to give us a prognosis at this time. All we can do is watch and pray for each day. There is hope that as her heart rests while on the ECMO, there is a possibility that the valve could heal on its own.

Our precious Hiba needs a miracle and our God is a miracle worker. Please pray with us for Hiba and her mother. We know that Hiba's heart is in God´s hands. It reminds me of a song that I learned when I was a young child and is a comfort to us now as we look to Him to heal little Hiba's heart.

“He's got the whole world in His hands, He's got the tiny little baby in His hands, He's got the whole world in His hands.”

God is surrounding Hiba with His angels and we know that she is resting with them now.

Will you pray with us that God would use His healing power on Hiba and heal her precious heart? There is nothing more beautiful than knowing that brothers and sisters around the world are lifting up these children with one heart to the One, true God.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

Good Morning

Posted on Wed, 02/25/2015 - 23:06 by Dafe Smith

It was a good morning in the life of Hiba and her mum; Hiba was admitted today for surgery tomorrow! Jesse and I (Dafe) accompanied them to Wolfson hospital in Tel Aviv. We started our journey with prayer in preparation for the operation tomorrow.

We had the best sun shining beautifully through the clouds. I could sense God’s presence was among us. Praise God that all is well! When we arrived at the hospital, Hiba began her first examinations, which included some blood tests and an X-ray test too. It was a hard day for the nurse who had to take Hiba's blood sample. Hiba got irritated and declared war on the doctors, crying and resisting all through the blood draw.

However, we thank God for His love and peace when all of the tests were finished. We hope to receive good news of a successful surgery tomorrow!

Blessing in the Waiting

Posted on Fri, 01/23/2015 - 14:49 by Lindsay Martin

Yesterday, Julia and I had the pleasure of spending some time with the kids. Our house is full of joy at the moment with four happy, energetic girls, and one beautiful, smiling boy. However, one girl stands out among the others: little Hiba. Hiba is pretty shy, but if you spend some time sitting next to her, you will become her best friend; Hiba loves quality time.

We started the morning with face painting for the girls who wanted it. Hiba was shy at first, but then got very excited about the idea of having a butterfly painted on her face. And as the day went on, I discovered that she loves to close doors. If she sees an open door, she will close it. 

She is a unique creation made in God's image and we are blessed to have her with us!

Please join us in prayer as we continue to wait for Hiba to receive surgery. The doctor is currently out of town, so the soonest she will receive surgery is in three weeks. Please pray for her and her mom as they continue to wait. We pray that God's steadfast love would reach their hearts as they stay here with us.

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12

"What A Precious Sunny Doll Hiba Is!"

Posted on Tue, 12/02/2014 - 23:40 by Rebakah Yang

As Konrad was driving to Wolfson in Tel-Aviv, Kristina and I accompanied him with two new little girls from Kurdistan: Hiba and her mum, and Inas and her grandmother. As we started our journey, I saw the Sun shining beautifully through the clouds. I could sense God’s presence was among us. Praise God!

Right after we have arrived at the hospital, Hiba began her first big day of examinations by getting her general vital signs taken, such as BW, BP, BT, O2, etc. At this point she was continually smiling without any fear at all. However, she did not like it when the doctor and nurse tried to put an IV line in her arm for blood tests. Our little Hiba became irritated and started to cry and fight with them. Praise God, a few minutes later she again showed her beautiful smile and calmed down. When Hiba finished her blood test in the Children’s Ward, we then moved to the Cardio-echo room for her echo by Dr. Alona.

Unfortunately, Hiba did not respond well to the echo and her mum had to feed a mild sedative medication to her for an echo later. After that, the Cardio- echo was very peaceful and smooth. Thank you God! When Hiba eventually woke up, we then moved to the x-ray department for her chest x-ray.

According to Dr. Alona, Hiba’s cardio- echo report determined her case was a bit more complicated. The report showed two conditions needing treatment. The first, Tetralogy of Fallot, is a 4-part heart defect. The second, Atrioventricular canal, involves a particular area of the heart that is not fully developed. She will need to wait a few weeks to get on the schedule for her operation.

During the waiting period, Konrad took Hiba to the playground. She was like a little angel, laughing and playing with Konrad. When the nurse informed us that Hiba could be discharged, Kristina and I brought her to the nurse’s station to remove her IV line. It was an incredible moment to see Hiba just smile and stretch her two little arms towards the nurse and doctor without any hesitation. The nurse made a special comment towards Hiba saying, ” She is a brave and cheerful sunny doll.”

I praise God for this wonderful little Hiba that God has put into our Shevet family. I Pray God uses us as His instruments to show His love and mercy through our daily life. My prayer for Hiba is, “Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in his way.”(Psalm 128:1)