Kosar 's Heart Surgery

Kurdistan, northern Iraq

Kosar's First Day At Israeli Hospital

Posted on Thu, 05/19/2011 - 01:00 by Donna_West
Today was the first appointment at an Israeli hospital for Kosar, a quiet little Kurdish boy who stays very close to his mother. After a little time, space and the gift of an orange and lunch, we entered into a little game of peek-a-boo. It was a good ice-breaker before he had to lie on the table with his chest exposed for strangers to touch him with strange things that look like they may cause pain.

Sheba Hospital in Tel-Hashomer usually doesn't do blood work or tests that cause pain on the first consultation visit. When the opportunity arises to "play" with the ECG clamps on a stuffed toy it really is a great substitute for telling a child, This won't hurt" in a language they can't understand. Kosar's mother was so grateful for us making the experience fun that she gave me a big hug and kiss.

By the time the echo was finished the suspense of if and when Kosar would have surgery had begun to overwhelm his mother's mind once more. Through the help of our Kurdish translator, Jeng, we explained that Kosar's heart defect (transitional AV canal) had not produced the liver damage normally seen in these cases. This damage is usually the result of too much blood flow to the lungs. In order to be certain that no lung issues will make Kosar a high surgical risk, an exploratory heart catheterization will soon be performed.

Kosar's cooperative spirit was rewarded with chocolate on his way to the car to return to Jerusalem. The matching expression worn by mother and son reflect the concerns of the day as we move toward receiving the long awaited answer for Kosar's heart repair.

Landlocked Kosar Meets the Sea

Posted on Tue, 05/10/2011 - 01:00 by Natalie Wisely

Sometimes kids just need to be kids to play, to laugh, and to romp around outside. So to give the kids and their mothers a break from the stress and pressure of the hospital, we went to the beach in Tel Aviv for a few hours on Tuesday, which was Israeli Independence Day. When we first got down to the water, the children approached the sea timidly. Since they all come from a landlocked area, they had never seen so much water in one place before and the whole thing was a bit overwhelming! They clung tightly to our hands and slowly walked with us until the water was just past their ankles; however, they quickly became more and more comfortable and started happily splashing anyone who came within range. By the end of the water war, everyone was wet but very happy. Later, we enjoyed a picnic lunch, collected sea shells, made sand castles, and played around with a beach ball. It was wonderful to see everyone having such a good time!

A Little Gentleman Reaches Israel

Posted on Sun, 05/08/2011 - 01:00 by Jonathan Miles

Almost three-year-old Kosar traveled with us across the Jordan River today enroute to a new life, God willing, through heart surgery in Israel. Kosar was quiet and well-behaved throughout the long day of travel. When he wanted out of his car seat, I never heard a sound until his mother drew my attention to the tears steaming down his cheeks.

It must all be a bit overwhelming for this little man from a quiet mountain village in northern Iraq, for by the time we reached Jerusalem late tonight Kosar was hiding his face from any attention.

Before reporting to the hospital Wednesday Kosar will rest with us the next couple of days as Israelis mark both Memorial and Independence days. We'll update this page again with results of his first examinations.