Lara's Heart Surgery

northern Iraq

Surgery Scheduled for This Wednesday

Posted on Sun, 01/13/2008 - 00:00 by Simantov_Allalouf

Lara will be admitted to the hospital on Tuesday, in preparation for her surgery on Wednesday.

Surgery Likely On Wednesday

Posted on Mon, 01/07/2008 - 00:00 by Donna_Petrel

I was thankful to have the opportunity to return to Haifa today to visit with Lara as she awaits surgery. I find it hard not to be able to visit all of the patients I have escorted from Jordan, but it has been best for me to be in Jerusalem and at Wolfson near Tel Aviv the last few weeks to visit and help patients here while Lamis and other brothers and sisters help the families at Rambam in Haifa. Yet because I will go to the US next week to welcome a new grandson and enjoy family time there, I set aside today for a Haifa trip. I could not leave these children and mothers without another visit and chance to thank God for what He has already done, and will yet do for their children because of His great love for them all.

Jane and I visited Lara's brother Mustafa. He is doing extremely well, and could be dismissed tomorrow as Lara is admitted for her surgery. It will be necessary for the doctors to check Lara's lungs first to be sure she is clear of all the pneumonia before we know whether she will be admitted. We will update you when we know more. She appeared to be doing very well. She has a spunky personality and was her lively self! Their mother too was very happy and doing well. The rest of us are overwhelmed at the thought of what it must be like to have two children both needing heart surgeries, far from home, without her family.... and when she first arrived, Lara's mother was overwhelmed too. Now however, after both children have gone through their catheterizations and Mustafa is recovering from surgery, she has a strength about her which is satisfying to see, and I thank God for that. I explained that I would be leaving next week, and bade them farewell as they will likely be home before I return to Israel. I assured them I would be praying for them, and I ask you to join me, praying especially for Lara's upcoming surgery.

May God continue to be glorified as His love permeates the lives of this family.

Catheterization A Success

Posted on Sun, 12/30/2007 - 00:00 by Lamis_Kanboura

Lara enjoyed a trip to the Haifa beach yesterday before her catheterization.

Lara's catheterization this morning was successful. Doctors discovered a large hole between the two chambers of her heart. Dr. Lorber says that once Lara gets through her upcoming surgery, he looks forward to being invited to her wedding in about 20 years!

Lara was finished with the catheterization by 9:00 a.m., so early that I wasn't able to be with her mother at the hospital, because I was watching over her sleeping brother Mustafa. But I was able to visit her later in the day. As of this afternoon, Lara was already in the children's ward, eating and drinking. She is expected to be discharged tomorrow (Monday) morning.

Last Thursday evening, I took Lara, her brother Mustafa, and their mother to a Christmas dinner at my church. They thoroughly enjoyed the company, the food and the gifts. They felt like they "belonged." And our beach trip yesterday was a big hit too.

Please pray that Lara will not have a recurrence of pneumonia, so that her recovery and treatment will go as planned.

Catheterization Scheduled for Sunday

Posted on Wed, 12/26/2007 - 00:00 by Martha_Berg

Lara's catheterization has been scheduled for this Sunday. Please remember her and her mother in your prayers. The mother has not one but two children undergoing heart treatment simultaneously (Lara and her big brother Mustafa).

Receiving Treatment for Pneumonia

Posted on Mon, 12/17/2007 - 00:00 by Donna_Petrel

We had a very good day in Haifa today. Little Lara was dismissed from the hospital to continue her treatment for pneumonia from the apartment.

Because Lara had to be admitted last night, and her brother Mustafa is also here for heart surgery, the hospital allowed us to use one of the rooms they have set aside for out of town family members so that the family would all be together there.

Upon our return from a trip to the beach with Sana and her mother, we were surprised but thankful to hear that Lara was going to be dismissed this afternoon! We showed Mustafa the pictures of our trip to the beach while Lara's dismissal was happening, and packed our little room upstairs so all of the children and both moms could go to the apartment. Lara's mother was very relieved to get to leave the hospital. Alex and I were also relieved that the mothers would be together tonight, because we both had to return to Jerusalem this evening. We do not yet know when they might schedule Lara's catheterization because it will depend on her recovery from pneumonia.

Please pray for Lara's mother. She has a challenge ahead with both children requiring surgeries... what patience, perseverance and assistance she will need! Pray that the believers in Haifa will come alongside this precious family to minister His lovingkindness to them. And thank God with us for His ability and desire to heal these children's hearts and use His children in ways that are a blessing as He works through them.

Hospitalized upon Arrival in Israel

Posted on Sun, 12/16/2007 - 00:00 by Alex_Pettett

The newest patients from Iraq--Lara, her brother Mustafa, and Sana--have arrived in Israel. However so far, the theme that already existed, and which has become more highlighted since our subsequent trip to Haifa, is... waiting!

Sana has been waiting since last years echocardiogram screening to be accepted by a center who could treat her very complicated heart condition. Mustafa and Lara have been waiting for word their visas were approved and they could be accepted together for surgery. Last night we all waited on opposite sides of the passport control area of the airport in Amman for over one and a half hours until immigration allowed our newest patients to officially enter Jordan. Today we had to wait while Israeli security went through an extremely intensive luggage search process. After arriving at Rambam Medical Center, each of the children went through initial exams and echocardiograms rather quickly, but little Lara required extra tests to determine whether she has pneumonia, and as I write, we have been waiting for about four hours for those results.

Thankfully the children have forgotten the unhappiness induced by lengthy tests after spending most of the waiting time in the hospital playroom area. When told we would have to wait longer, we also took a break to the kanyon (mall attached to the hospital) for some schwerma for dinner. Lara is pictured below, sitting on the table.

The children seem content; the mothers, on the other hand, are feeling the fatigue of the travel, the emotion of their childrens conditions and upcoming treatment, and the challenge of having to wait so long for these test results. But wait we must, in the event that Lara might need to be admitted this evening because of pneumonia.

And now we know, because the space between these paragraphs was another waiting spell while we tried to find a place to plug in the laptop after the battery died Lara is being admitted tonight for pnemonia. Here at Rambam there is a parents hostel on the top floor in which parents from out of town are allowed to stay. Currently the hospital is working to arrange one of these rooms for Laras mother and brother for the duration of her stay.

Please pray for the mother of Mustafa and Lara as she enters Israel and finds herself immediately overnighting in the hospital with two children. Pray for wisdom for the doctors as they seek the best course of treatment for Lara and determine how to schedule Mustafas heart surgery in these circumstances. We know that all three children will require a catheterization before the doctors know the best course of treatment for each childs heart. Earlier today the doctors determined that Mustafa would likely have his catheterization on Sunday this could change now that Lara is admitted. All of the family members need your prayers as the days unfold and God--who is always on time--does His work in the midst of every detail of these events.