Ikram 's Heart Surgery


Ikram Returns Home in Triumph

Posted on Wed, 11/11/2009 - 00:00 by Jonathan Miles

There was no clearer sign of Ikram's new life and health than the scene at the Amman airport this morning. Like many Iraqis Ikram is frightened by an escalator, so he instead bounded up an adjacent stairwell more quickly than the escalator, and pumped his arm in triumph at the top! 

Three carloads full of family were eagerly waiting for Ikram when he landed at the airport in northern Iraq, and his younger sister greeted him with a flower.

And when Ikram entered the family home, first stop was to greet his older brother Ikbar, paralyzed in a fall three years ago.

Let's pray for God's continued work of healing for this whole precious family.

Ikram Released to Return Home to Iraq

Posted on Mon, 11/09/2009 - 00:00 by Mary_Dailey

You could see Ikram's father was anxious today, and that he was praying intently. We received a wonderful surprise when Dr. Alona finished up with Ikram's echo. At first she said that he may have to stay until Monday for another echo because of the bleeding issue, however, after his echo she said he was fine, and that he was released to go back to Iraq. Donna looked at Ikram's father as they both smiled, and the father made a motion to let us know that he had been praying, thanking God.

Thank you so much for your prayers. When I consider how much God loves our children, and how He takes care of them I can't help but praise him. We all have a precious part in each child's life by praying for and serving our lovely families. Thank you again for all your prayers and support.

Ikram Returns Home

Posted on Sun, 11/01/2009 - 00:00 by Donna_Petrel

Ikram greeted me with a big smile and a long embrace when I arrived at the hospital today, and my feelings were the same when I saw him. I was thankful to see how well he looked, and hopeful that he might be able to come back to Jerusalem with us. When I inquired about whether he would be dismissed, the nurses said they were waiting on the results of a blood test. Later I found out the results came back and looked good, but that Dr. Tamir had to come to check his chart to give permission for his dismissal. While he waited for the news, Ikram played in the computer room, and took turns pushing and riding in a nearby wheelchair with another patient. 


As early evening approached I asked the staff again if Ikram could go home today, and after making sure Dr. Tamir had given his final word, they proclaimed 'Yes!' When Ikram heard that, his smile lit up the room. His father already had their luggage packed in hopeful anticipation, so Ikram found his clothes and was ready to leave within minutes. 

Back at the house, Ikram's little friend Shad was excited to see his big buddy, and we returned just in time to celebrate our friend Darrell's birthday.


The evening was topped off by a phone call from his family, so Ikram's father was able to let them know that Ikram had been released to come back to the house today. When the phone call was over, Ikram and his father said goodnight, and they went to get an early start on a good night's sleep. Ikram will continue to be monitored, and he will return again in a week for another checkup. We hope to get more details on the problem that caused the bleeding Ikram experienced last week. In the meantime, please keep praying for his speedy healing. Thank God with us that Ikram is well again and back with us at the house.

Ikram Still Being Observed

Posted on Thu, 10/29/2009 - 06:46 by
Ikram is now stabilized and out of the ICU. He continues to be observed in the children's ward with his father next to him day and night. Since his blood transfusion, brightness and life are beginning to return to his face. This ten year boy old now sits with a port on both his wrist and on one ankle to deliver blood and/or medication if the problem re-emerges. The doctors continue observing him, as they have not yet been able to determine what triggered the sudden and severe problem. Ikram's father has now spent days at a hospital bedside his son's bed as a loving and compassionate father. Please continue to lift the needs of these two "gentle-men" to the God.

Good News for Ikram, and His Father

Posted on Mon, 10/26/2009 - 00:00 by

I had the pleasure of driving Ikram and his father to Wolfson Hospital in Tel Aviv today for his echo exam. Ikram continues to receive good news and will be ready to return home soon, God willing. Over the last weeks, Ive noticed Ikrams energy level and mood dramatically improve. We pray that his energy will continue to improve and that he will lead a normal healthy life.

Ikram and I played a game of catch last night in the courtyard. And then I showed him how to juggle first two and then three objects. We had some good laughs as Ikram, then Mohammed and the others tried their hand(s) at juggling.

Although our communication is limited to a handful of words, weve become good friends over the three weeks Ive been at Shevet Achim. Ikram and his dad helped show me the ropes around the mens quarters as well as around Prophets Street.

But last week Abu Ikram also developed a health issue. Ikram ran up to me pointing to a trail of blood across the courtyard and told us that someone was having a serious nosebleed. We ran upstairs to find that it was Abu Ikram who had had a spontaneous nosebleed - his first one ever, we later found out. But then he had several more in the coming days followed by several trips to Augusta Victoria Hospital on the Mount of Olives, located in a beautiful stone palace first built by the German Kaiser.

Ikram's father eventually had to have an outpatient cauterization of an artery in his nostril. Donna and I accompanied Abu Ikram to the hospital this morning for his final checkup and release. Thanks be to God for the fine physicians here and for the good news received today by both Ikram and his father.

Check Up for Ikram

Posted on Thu, 10/22/2009 - 00:00 by

Today I had the opportunity to watch the healing process through the eyes of the child, Ikram age 10. Although Ikram's father never left his side, this bright and joyful boy watched intently as the doctors monitored the progress that was being made. Ikram watched the monitor, and even at one point handing Dr.Alona the tube of gel as she moved the probe from one position to another.

Although it may be several weeks before Ikram and his father may return home, the medications are being decreased steadily as the healing progresses. More monitoring will take place on a regular basis during this time, and we will remain blessed to have these "gentle-men" in our presence.

Wonderful News for Ikram

Posted on Mon, 10/12/2009 - 00:00 by Robin_Miller

Today we visited the hospital today with most of the children for their follow-up echocardiograms, and were greatly surprised to find out that Ikram was being released. After his successful surgery, he has been recovering so well that the doctors released him to come home to Jerusalem to the Shevet household.

The day went by pretty slowly, and by the end of the day Dr. Alona came to release Ikram. After one of the nurses took out his stitches, Ikram and his father were all ready to come home! Ikram will have his follow-up echocardiogram this coming Monday. We appreciate your prayers for our Ikram. He has such a kind nature and his father is also very nice. Please continue to pray for his complete healing!

Ikram In Pain With Fluid Build-up

Posted on Thu, 10/08/2009 - 06:46 by Donna_Petrel

Ikram is still in the intermediate ICU, but was less comfortable today than before because he'd just had another chest tube placed on his left side. While this is not unusual, it is not common either, and in Ikram's case was needed because of fluid which has formed around his heart. He now has three chest tubes, so is being given oxygen with a mask instead of a nasal canula. He was happy for visitors to stop in, but really didn't feel a lot like smiling or playing. His happiest moment came when we gave him some bubbles and his dad began to blow them about his bed. However the mother in the next bed was upset that the bubbles were floating to her side of the room and began to complain. I asked the nurse if there was a danger, or a problem with the bubbles (as I've taken countless bottles of bubbles into these rooms!) and she said no, it was just that mother's sensitivity. We paused blowing bubbles, and Justin snapped a quick picture (above) while Ikram was not wincing in pain.

After I spoke to the nurse about his condition, I called our friend Elan for translation to Kurdish for Ikram's father. He seemed to relax after he heard the update, understanding that it will just take some time for Ikram to improve. Will you please pray that this fluid will drain quickly as God heals Ikram's heart? His father is very patient, sitting with his son and caring for him non-stop. The mothers from the house sent a big pot of Kurdi food for him, which he received with appreciation. Pray that his strength will continue even as he is surely going without lots of sleep himself as he cares for Ikram. May they both know the nearness of God during this challenging time.

Ikram Leaves the ICU

Posted on Wed, 10/07/2009 - 00:00 by

Ikram was wide awake when we saw him today at the Wolfson Medical Center near Tel Aviv. Ikram is out of the main ICU but remains in the intermediate ICU because he still has a way to go in his recovery. As is typical with the heart problem for which Ikram received surgery, there remains a considerable amount of water around his heart, and this must dissipate before he can be moved to the ward. Ikram still has tubes in his chest to help drain out this water, so he remains immobile for the most part. Still, Ikram and his father's spirits are high and with other Kurdish families at the hospital and a regular stream of visitors they are doing fine.


Ikram Pleads for Water

Posted on Mon, 10/05/2009 - 00:00 by
Ikram was looking good the day after his open-heart surgery. He was extubated on schedule this morning without issue and afterward appeared to be much more aware of his surroundings. Ikram was mumbling something softly over and over before he was extubated, too quietly for his father to hear and not in a language any nurses could understand, but I recognized right away that he was saying "ow," 'water' in Kurdish. It is typical for children to feel extremely thirsty when they wake up for surgery, but as I told Ikram's father, it was not allowed until after he was extubated. While Ikram's father didn't enjoy witnessing his son's extubation, he was very happy to see Ikram wake up a little afterward and spoke some encouragement to him and patted him on the head.

Immediately after he was extubated Ikram began to receive an inhalation treatment which prompted him to begin begging for water again. I confirmed with the nurses that he would be ok to drink some, and a few minutes later they brought a small cup full of water and a syringe to get it into his mouth. Ikram was greatly relieved to finally be given some water, and after eagerly getting every drop he calmed down and returned to resting. Please be praying for Ikram as he continues on his path toward recovery.