Hiba's Heart Surgery


Hiba to Hospital for Catheterization Tomorrow

Posted on Tue, 05/25/2010 - 01:00 by Taylor_Wilmering

Today Chip and I took Hiba and little Aram from Iraq to Wolfson Hospital for admission; Aram for surgery and Hiba for a heart catheterization tomorrow. As usual, Hiba was a terrific patient! She seemed more anxious and upset this time, but we did get to see a lot of her gorgeous smile and hear her sweet laughter. We had quite a long wait, but she took it all in stride - just part of the hospital routine. Aram was afraid of the clown statue in the fish room, so Hiba and her mother Malika posed with it and made faces to make him laugh. Hiba also had fun pretending to dial numbers and talk on the phone to me, her mother, and imaginary callers. (I stood by and watched to make sure that she didn't accidentally dial any real numbers, which Malika thought was very funny!)

Once we were in their hospital room, Hiba and Malika quickly made friends with their roommate and her mother.

The two mothers talked about home and family, while the two girls played with toys and munched on some chips. Hiba really seems to get along well with Chip (the person, that is), and she enjoyed drawing pictures with him in his notebook.

She handled the standard hospital tests (blood pressure, pulse oximeter on finger, and temperature) easily, displaying her lovely smile for the nurse.

She wasn't so happy about the blood draw and placement of her IV port and line, however. She didn't know what to expect with the IV, and I think it scared and surprised her. I explained that it would help the doctors give her medicine and draw blood, so that she shouldn't have to have as many needle pokes. Of course, that made her happy! Once again, her tears were brief, and soon she was smiling and laughing again.

Hiba and Mom Celebrate Jerusalem Day

Posted on Wed, 05/12/2010 - 01:00 by Taylor_Wilmering

For most of the day today, the sounds of chanting and clapping could be heard through our windows as people streamed through the streets, waving flags and singing songs to celebrate Jerusalem Day. At night, Manuela, Mary, Sally, and I took little Hiba and her mother Malika to the Western Wall to join in the celebration. We had a long delay, thanks to an encounter between a stroller wheel and a tangled scarf, but we took it all in stride. Hiba smiled and laughed as she sat patiently in the stroller, watching us. Finally we continued on our way, laughing and taking pictures as we went. The streets were fairly quiet, but the Western Wall was far from it! Feet tapped and hands clapped as joyful songs and waving flags filled the air.

At first, we worried that Malika would be frightened of the crowds, or they of her, but that was not the case. She was fearless, wide-eyed and beaming as she made her way through the huge crowd and took pictures of everything in sight. Hiba covered her ears for a few minutes, but soon decided that all this noise was FUN! She held our hands and danced with us, giggling and grinning. Even after we had placed her back into her stroller, she leaned as far forward as she could and tried to stand up as she stomped her feet, clapped her hands, and bounced up and down in her seat.

The player will show in this paragraph

Hiba and Malika made many friends among the people standing around us, and we took the opportunity to tell them about Shevet Achim's work. Nearly all of them were touched and impressed. They all loved the bright-eyed little girl with the big smile, as well as her mother with the camera and equally big smile.

We were all tired by the time we returned to the Shevet center, but even that was fun. Hiba was still wide awake, taking everything in. She watched as we danced, skipped, played on the steps, and laughed together.

I have a feeling that last night is one that this precious mother and child will remember for a long time - the pictures, the laughter, the memories, and the fun made this a wonderful experience for all involved!

Hiba's First Day at the Hospital

Posted on Mon, 05/10/2010 - 01:00 by Taylor_Wilmering

Hiba was a wonderful patient today. Donna, short-term volunteers Amanda and Ruth, and I went with little Hiba and her mother to the Wolfson Hospital for her echo, PPD test, and other pre-surgery things. The only procedure that brought tears was the PPD test at the end of the day - she was quite afraid and crying. She didn't flinch during the blood test, and we all praised her with applause and thumbs-up. I told her "Mumtaaza, habibti!" ("Well done, sweetheart" in Arabic) and got beautiful smiles from both her and her mother.

She was a little anxious during the echo, holding her mother's hand tightly and crying briefly, but again finished with a smile.

Between tests, we spent some time playing together in the waiting room playhouse, climbing in and out and waving through the windows. Hiba met the hospital's clowns, who made all of us laugh and gave her a balloon dog to play with. We also played with the toy doctor's kit that I had brought with me, and she enjoyed using me and her mother as her patients! We both pretended to cry and be afraid when she gave us our "shots", and she responded by grinning, giggling, and poking us again.

She really seemed to bond well with Amanda, who did a wonderful job of playing and joking with her and making us all laugh!

On the way back to the Shevet house, we listened to a Kurdish worship CD. The Iraqi child Arina and her mother happily sang along, smiling and clapping. I only know a few Kurdish words, but I was able to pronounce the words and sing along to the songs anyway (despite not having any idea what I was saying!) The spirit of the Lord really does reach beyond any and all language and cultural barriers!

Smiling Hiba Arrives at Ben Gurion Airport

Posted on Fri, 05/07/2010 - 01:00 by Jonathan Miles

Early this morning five-year-old Hiba and her mother flew into Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv, the first to come to Israel for heart surgery from Morocco. I was concerned what kind of greeting they would receive from the passport authorities at Ben Gurion, but Donna Jo reported "they arrived safely, made friends on the plane, and had an airport employee push a smiling Hiba all the way to the parking lot and put her in the car."

It was 2:30 am when Hiba and mother reached the Shevet Achim center in Jerusalem, where they are now resting pending their first hospital visit Monday.