Ikram 's Heart Surgery


Ikram To Surgery At Last

Posted on Sun, 10/04/2009 - 00:00 by Donna_Petrel
Ikram was nervous when we arrived this morning, lying in bed staring at the ceiling with his mother's headscarf lying beside him. His father was sitting nearby, staring at his son and then out the window. We had a few minutes to visit and managed to play a little bit, which lightened Ikram's mood. The staff arrived to take him down to the operating room, and his father walked quietly behind his bed as they went. Once we entered the pre-op waiting room, the medical staff turned on the television, and we had a perfect combination: a ten-year-old boy who needed distracting, and major soccer playoffs to do the job.

Although I offered Ikram a few toys which he played with intermittently, he was really enjoying the soccer game! So we waited and watched while the staff came in to check final details. Ikram remained calm, as did his father, even as they said goodbye to one another, but it was clear Ikram's father was fighting back tears as we walked back upstairs. Throughout the morning he sat outside and waited, only occasionally coming inside to sit with other parents. When Justin arrived he persuaded Ikram's father to share some lunch in the cafeteria.

Justin picks up the story:
After waiting a short while, Ikram's father and I went to get lunch in the hospital cafeteria, a good sign that he was calm, since many parents can't to eat because of their nerves. We were both sure to eat our food as quickly as possible in the off chance Ikram would be wheeled from surgery while we were eating. He and I sat in the hall for about an hour after we finished eating before we saw Ikram being wheeled down the hall toward us. 

We followed Ikram's bed as far as the ICU where we needed to wait outside for the hospital staff to hook him up to all the post surgery equipment and monitors. Ikram's father became a little emotional when he wasn't able to follow Ikram into the ICU but it was clear he was glad the worst was over. The doctors emerged from the ICU several minutes later and told us the surgery went "fantastic," and that Ikram had a full repair and will not need a second surgery. After waiting about another hour Ikram's father was allowed inside to see his son . 

Ikram's father remained calm in the ICU; he had heard from the doctors that everything was ok, so he was more interested in what all the machines were doing. Ikram's bed is right next to Noor's so he had a conversation with Noor's mother about how Ikram was doing. When I left Ikram was resting peacefully with his father by his side.

Safely through Catheterization

Posted on Fri, 09/11/2009 - 01:00 by Donna_Petrel
Ikram was the third catheterization of the day, and was brought upstairs to the waiting room just before Mohammed exited the cath lab. Ikram was clearly nervous and since he's ten years old he understood well what was about to happen.

His father was by his side comforting him and encouraging him that tomorrow he would be able to return to Jerusalem. Ikram was very quiet, and managed to remain brave about the procedure even as he walked alone into the cath lab after saying farewell to his father at the doorway.

Ikram's father was quiet and pensive during the two-hour wait, keeping his eyes on the hallway where he knew Ikram would exit the catheterization. As soon as he saw part of the medical team moving Ikram's bed he nearly leapt from his chair to wait by the cath lab door. Within a few minutes Dr. Alona came to tell us that the catheterization went well, but the situation was just as they suspected, and Ikram's body was compensating for the narrow pulmonary artery by oxygenating his left lung from a vessel off the aorta. These results will be presented to the medical team and a decision will be made about Ikram's surgery; she was hopeful that the doctors can make a successful repair.

Ikram was taken back to his room, still sleeping, and instructions were given that he could not sit or walk for six hours. He was given IV fluids to keep his body hydrated until he woke up and could eat on his own.

Our friend Elan was able to translate all the information I'd gleaned from the staff into Kurdish for Abu Ikram. He napped beside his son until Ikram woke up about one and a half hours later. Ikram, unlike the younger boys, understood he needed to lie still for a long time, and he cooperated well with his father and the nurses. I left him still groggy, but looking forward to returning to the house tomorrow. Let's pray together for God to give the doctor's perfect wisdom in their strategy to repair Ikram's heart as we thank Him for bringing them here for the healing he needs.

Admitted for Catheterization

Posted on Wed, 09/09/2009 - 07:46 by Donna_Petrel

Today Ikram was admitted for his catheterization, the first step in the healing of his heart. Ikram seemed to be venturing out further and further from his room during the course of the afternoon, both to visit the TV room, and simply to satisfy his boyish curiousity. Our visit was rather brief today, but we assured Abu Ikram we'd be there tomorrow to sit with him during his son's catheterization. Please pray for both of them during the procedure.


First Hospital Visit for Ikram

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

Today Ikram and the other new Iraqi patients went to Wolfson Hospital for their initial echo exam. Because of an emergency in the ICU, Intensive Care Unit, we had to wait a long time to be admitted for the tests.

Ikram found various ways to pass the time, and he did not seem to mind the wait. He's the oldest among the new group, and is like a big brother to them. He has a playful attitude like most 10 year old boys. Also he is respectful and fun to be around. Thank you for praying for Ikram and his father as they the wait for his surgery.

Ikram Arrives in Israel

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

10 year old Ikram together with four other Kurdish Iraqi boys traveled across the Jordan River today for his lifesaving heart surgery in Israel. The trip was unexpectedly extended by a three-hour delay at a Jordanian military checkpoint in the sweltering Jordan Valley.

Thankfully the air conditioning was working and the boys proved to be patient. 

Our house in Jerusalem has been extra busy the last day or two as we made preparations for the next group of Iraqi children coming over for surgeries -- this time we have five boys ranging in age from 2 1/2 to 10 years old. We still have good memories of them from the echocardiogram clinic held in Amman in June, and knew that several of the children were urgent cases, so we were anxious to get them here. After a very long day getting across the Jordan border, they all arrived tired and hungry last evening. 

Um Deya and Um Hawar spent their day anticipating the arrival of their new friends-to-be by working in the kitchen to have a meal ready for them. In fact, Deya was at the same screening, so the families had met briefly in Amman and this was a reunion for them. This was a great time to reunite for some families, and a time to continue the bonding process as they begin this miraculoud journey of healing and faith.

Please pray for Mohammed Faraydoon, Mohammed Burhan, Noor Khalid, Bilal, and Ikram as they head to the hospital in the morning for their initial admission examinations. We look forward to how God will touch the lives of these children and their families as He provides all that is needed in this opportunity for their heart surgery here.