Kale's Heart Surgery

northern Iraq

Concerns Prove Unfounded; Kale on Verge of Release

Posted on Thu, 02/28/2008 - 00:00 by Philip_Saa

I took Kale to the hospital clinic today for an echocardiogram exam, and doctors saw something in the right chamber of her heart which looked like an accumulation of thickened blood. Since a clot like this could travel through her body and cause a stroke, they immediately arranged further investigation. Kale was put to sleep and a camera put through her mouth down into her heart. To their relief doctors found it was only a surgical stitch they were looking at!

Kale recovered and was released tonight with the assurance of her doctors that she is all right. If she passes her final echo on Sunday morning she will then be cleared to go home to Iraq.

Kale Leaves the Hospital

Posted on Tue, 02/26/2008 - 00:00 by Simantov_Allalouf

Kale was released from hospital today, and is very happy and looking forward to going home. She has one more echocardiogram on Thursday. If all is well, she may be headed home to Iraq on Sunday.

Last Friday, when we arrived in the hospital we went first to ICU to see Kale. We found she was no longer in ICU but in the children's ward on the first floor. This said a lot for the rapid recovery. When we got to Kale's room, she was asleep.

Her mother told us that Kale was having trouble keeping anything other than water down in her stomach.

It is amazing to see the quick way in which Kale has recovered!

Kale Wakes Up Smiling

Posted on Thu, 02/21/2008 - 00:00 by Shevet Volunteer

I want to praise the Lord for the recovery of Kale. I would like us all to thank God for the staff at Rambam Medical Center, who are doing a great job as they operate on the Iraqi children, and care for the mothers who stay with their precious children day and night.

This morning two of the other Iraqi ladies joined me during my visit to Kale and her mother.

I went in first to the ICU to get a full report from the doctor. Kale was still asleep, because of the sedatives which she takes for pain. She looked good. I laid a hand on her and while I was praying she woke up and smiled.

Her saturation is very good but she still had some pain because of the drainage tube. They are supposed to remove it this evening, which will definitely decrease the pain she has.

Let us continue to pray for this jwana (beautiful) girl. Please pray for the mother, who struggles with her daughter's cerebral palsy. Pray for me, for wisdom and grace to be able to minister to the mother and teach her about the love of God for these special children.

It was really a great encouragement to Kale's mother to have the other two Iraqi ladies visiting Kale and to spend time with the mother. The visit to the hospital, especially to the ICU, was an educational experience for them as they get ready for their two daughters' admission.

Kale Comes Through Surgery Today

Posted on Wed, 02/20/2008 - 00:00 by Shevet Volunteer


This morning Kale had her open heart surgery, to close a VSD, a large hole between the two ventricles of the heart. It was relatively a short surgery. During the waiting time Um Kale, the worried mother, was encouraged by the Word of God and the prayers of the saints of the Haifa Baptist Church.

After two and half hours Kale was taken to the ICU, and there Um Kale was very much concerned for her daughter who was still under the anesthesia. The doctor assured her that it is normal after the surgery and she does not have to worry, Kale's condition was stable and after 3 hours she, God willing, will be able to breath on her own. Um Kale took the key for her new room and went to have some rest while Kale was still asleep.

Tomorrow the other Iraqi mothers and I will visit Kale and her mother. We appreciate your prayers and support for these precious children and their parents.


First Echo Promises Straightforward Surgery

Posted on Tue, 02/12/2008 - 00:00 by Alex_Pettett

Kale smiled at the staff and ate cookies as she waited this morning for her first echo in Israel. The pediatric cardiologist who accepted her for surgery in Israel, Dr. Avraham Lorber, introduced himself with a handshake and warm smile before bringing her into the examination room.

Kale lay quietly as she was examined. Her smile filled the room.

Kales mother was excited to learn that her daughters condition is what they expected it to be. Kale has a large hole, 2.5 centimeters, in her upper ventricle. Closing this will require surgery as expected.

After the echos were finished we all wandered down to the mall in the hospital for their first taste of Israeli shopping. The mothers exchanged money and had Israeli schwarma (a pita pocket full of meat and salads). Kale sat mesmerized by the bright lights and sounds of the mall. The families called home and let them know all was well. It was a good first morning in Haifa.

From Jordan to Israel

Posted on Mon, 02/11/2008 - 00:00 by Jean_Calvani

Today Kale and Karim started their journey to Israel. We were blessed with perfect weather and enjoyed the beautiful scenery of the Jordan valley as we made our way down from Amman. Thankfully the one and a half hour drive went by quickly, and before we knew it we were at the border. After getting our exit stamp on the Jordan side, we sat on the benches waiting for the bus to carry us over to Israel. Kale's and Karim's mothers were very hopeful for their children's surgery, yet nervous about what lay ahead in the coming days and weeks. I continued to reassure them that God was with them and would carry them through a successful surgery and recovery. Pray that the Lord would fill them with his peace. Once we were in Israel, the time came for me to say good-bye and let Alex take them the rest of the way. Even though they were disappointed that I wouldn't be traveling the entire way with them, they were content to know that I'd be waiting for their return.

Alex Pettett picks up the story:

Kale's mother sat timidly waiting for me to show. Today, Shevet's staff did a family swap. We said goodbye to two Iraqi families who successfully came through the heart program in Rambam hospital in Haifa and we brought two more Iraqi families into Israel for surgeries in Haifa. The transition happened at the Beit Shean border which stands between Israel and Jordan. Though I do not believe the border staffs read the blogs, I would like to especially give thanks to today's duty manager. I will omit his real name and call him Yosi (one of the most common names in Israel). Though you do not see him featured in any pictures, he is the artist who snapped the shot above of the new families and myself in this blog. So, a big thanks to Yosi who constantly helps us cut through the red tape and also offered soft words of assurance to these new families today, "It's ok, we'll take care of you in Israel."

Once Kale's mother left the terminal she let out a deep sigh, only to have her worry for travel replaced with worry for her daughter, Kale. On the ride to Haifa I reassured her with the only words I could say with conviction, "We must trust the Lord."

Kale is mentally challenged and constantly has a huge smile. It is wonderful to me to see a mom put so much concern into her daughter in a culture where the mentally challenged are often abandoned.

Upon arriving in Haifa they began to make their beds and move into their new home for the next several weeks. Please pray for Kale's mom's worry, a smooth transition into Israel, and praise the Lord for wonderful people like Yosi.