Kawyar's Heart Surgery

nothern Iraq

Sweet and Fearless

Posted on Tue, 04/30/2013 - 23:39 by Ruth Zellweger

I can only imagine how intense, exciting, and interesting this past week must have been for Kawyar and her mother. First they had to fly into Jordan, then travel by car across the border to Israel (one day later than planned due to delayed visas). Now they find themselves in a new country, living in a new place, surrounded by many new faces.

Kawyar and her mother arrived in Jerusalem at 9:30 last night. But these weary travelers did not get to take things slow and settle in. They did not get to familiarize themselves with their new surroundings and the many people serving with Shevet Achim.  Instead they had to leave early this morning for the first round of assessments at Wolfson Hospital.

Kawyar entered the hospital with a calm and fearless demeanor. Throughout the day this young girl surprised me many times. On one hand she seemed very understanding of all the tests (vital signs, EKG, blood test, etc.) that had to be done and faced each with an inner strength beyond her years. On the other hand she was just a sweet young girl, who enjoyed blowing bubbles or playing on the playground. During the waiting times between each test, Kawyar remained patient and played with her new friend Yasna.

It was a very busy day at the hospital

Five Years Old and Ready for Surgery

Posted on Thu, 04/25/2013 - 15:50 by Awapuhi Dancil

If you are reading this and are of sound health, it may be safe assume you have a healthy heart. Your body is sending blood that is low in oxygen to the right atrium of your heart, and this blood is sent to your lungs.  This oxygen-rich blood is then sent to the left atrium, and eventually, to your entire body.  For five year old Kawyar, however, this cicuit is interrupted by an Atrial Septal Defect (ASD); most commonly known as a 'hole in the heart.'  This hole is in the thin wall that separates the atria.  Since the left side of the heart has a higher pressure gradiant, some of that oxygen-rich blood of the left atrium is being pumped back into the right atrium through this hole - which means more blood is being sent to her lungs.  This can lead to pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the lungs), and other respiratory issues.

Thankfully for Kawyar, an ASD is corrected with a surgical operation that is often carried out with no complications.  And according to the doctor, she is a solid candidate for surgery.  We await expectantly for her arrival, which may be this coming Sunday.