Lawan's Heart Surgery

Kurdistan, northern Iraq

Lawan Update

Posted on Wed, 10/11/2017 - 21:34 by Lindsay Martin
This morning we went again to Wolfson hopsital to visit Lawan and his mother. Lawan has been improving more each day and the doctors are encouraged to see that he is still responding to antiobiotics. However, due to his infection they are being cautious and keeping him in a separate room within the ICU. This is good news for Lawan as he has constant care from the doctors and nurses. He is still experiencing some rapid breathing which the doctors want to continue to observe. As we mentioned before, this may be associated with his fear of strangers. 
When we first arrived at the hospital, little Lawan was still sleeping so we talked to his mother and she is doing well. She is always hopeful for good news and looks forward to the day that they can move out of the ICU and have a bit more freedom. She always keeps a positive attitude and cares for the other mothers as well. 
A little bit later, Lawan woke up and cried a bit until he saw his mother's face. She began making silly faces and soon he was full of smiles. It's beautiful to see how his mother cares for him with such deep attention, even thinking about his littlest and greatest needs. Right after he woke up, she was already feeding him water to keep him hydrated. After he was finished, he enjoyed playing with the spoon his mother had fed him with. 
It is encouraging to see Lawan interacting more with his surroundings and we are looking forward to God's continued healing for Lawan. 

Making Improvements

Posted on Sun, 10/08/2017 - 23:12 by Lindsay Martin
Lawan has improved more since last week, when they had to insert a chest tube due to excess fluid around his lungs. Three days ago they were able to remove the chest tubes and are already seeing a great improvement in his healing. He does still have an infection for which they have been providing antibiotics, and thankfully the infection has been responding and is making its way out of his bloodstream. 
The doctors are keeping Lawan on a special milk diet to keep the fluid down and are hopeful that as they do this and after the infection has run its course, they will see great improvements for Lawan. 
Lawan is still responding in fear to many of the doctors and nurses, and even several of our staff. However, he finds peace and joy knowing his mother is by his side. Please pray for his continued recovery and also for peace so he can rest in knowing he is in good hands. It can be very scary for such a young child to go through so many things, but we ask our Father to give Lawan and his mother exactly what they need during this time. 

Facing Some Hurdles

Posted on Mon, 10/02/2017 - 21:50 by Lindsay Martin
When I went into the secondary ICU this morning to visit Nahla and Lawan, I found Lawan's mother peacefully sleeping with her little boy by her side. However, the peacefulness did not last long because soon after the doctors came in to perform an echo.
The doctor found that there is some fluid around his lungs and they are planning to insert a new chest tube sometime today. This was difficult news for his mother as she patiently waited and watched the doctors look over his little body. 
Lawan is also still recovering from an infection in his sutures and is on three different antibiotics to combat it. 
The doctors are encouraged that after doing a ultrasound scan on his brain it shows that his neurological state is the same as before his surgery. However, it will still be a long road of recovery as he fights this infection and waits for the fluid to drain and the accompanied fever to drop.
His mother is constantly by his side as well as helping the other mothers in the hospital when they have different questions. 
Please pray for little Lawan as he and his mother can find it very overwhelming to have so many doctors and nurses coming in and out each day as they watch over his recovery. We are thankful for the special care the doctors take to watch over all of our children and pray for God's hand to heal this little one. 

Day By Day

Posted on Sun, 10/01/2017 - 22:52 by Lindsay Martin
We received good news for Lawan today as he was moved to the secondary ICU over the weekend. He is doing much better and responding more to his surroundings. Today, his mother had many questions about his progress, including his neurological state. We encouraged her that he is progressing more each day and the doctors will continue to monitor his recovery. 
The doctors took a CT scan of his sutures today to see about an infection that he has in his chest. He is currently on antibiotics and the doctors will know more about the depth of the infection after the results of the CT scan are available. 
Please pray for continued rest and healing for Lawan and peace for his mother as she sits by his side each day. Please also pray for swift healing from this infection and that it will not hinder his recovery. We praise God for His hand over Lawan.

The Healing Hand of God

Posted on Tue, 09/26/2017 - 18:34 by Alexa Bigl

We have good news for baby Lawan and his beautiful mother; Lawan has finally woken up! After Lawan continued to be extremely drowsy and basically not awakening all day yesterday, concern was mounting. However, this afternoon the neurology team came by the ICU and Lawan seemed to be starting to wake up. They asked his mother to come join us and did some assessments. At the end, they asked him mom to talk to him and engage some with him; and Lawan was quite responsive. It's clear to see he is still quite drowsy and not completely back to himself, but he opened his eyes to look at his mom, rubbed his eyes with his chubby little hands, and even sucked his pacifier. Mom was so relieved to see this big improvement, she was soon crying tears of relief and joy. 

Lawan had his final chest tube removed this morning, so he had received some sedation medication for that and the ICU doctors were hopeful by tonight Lawan's left-over drowsiness would dissipate as this final dose of medication wore off. 
The team was happy to report Lawan's cardiac situation is fantastic, the surgery a success. It will be important to continue monitoring Lawan's neurological status these coming days; may the Lord's hand of healing continue to reign over Lawan. Lawan's mom got set up in a comfy recliner and is so happy to have a purpose in being beside Lawan's bed now that he is waking up, responding, and needing his mom. Please also be praying for her. After many days already in the hospital, the most demanding time is just now starting. We have complete faith in the Lord's sustaining strength; amen! 

Lawan's Further Progress

Posted on Sun, 09/24/2017 - 21:06 by Deborah Burke
This afternoon we arrived at the intensive care unit not long after Lawan had been extubated. He is now breathing on his own. Hallelujah. We were unable to take a photograph because Lawan was still surrounded by the medical team.
Two days ago they closed Lawan's chest. The medical team will continue to be vigilant as Lawan has not woken up yet. The head of the ICU thinks that this could be related to the amount of pain relief they have had to give him since surgery. Lawan still has one drainage tube in his chest which is not draining anything. A good sign. The tube may be left in for another day or 2 just to be sure.
Meanwhile Lawan's mother is hanging out with the other Kurdish mother's in the children's ward, having a rest and a break from the intensity of keeping watch in the ICU.
Please continue to pray for Lawan's steady progress of healing and that he will soon open his eyes and respond to his mother.

First Day Post-op

Posted on Tue, 09/19/2017 - 22:02 by Alexa Bigl

After Lawan's big surgery yesterday his body is recovering well. The ICU doctor had good reports today. Lawan has remained stable since they got his blood pressure at a good place yesterday afternoon. The surgery was a success and Lawan's heart is looking very well. Due to Lawan's previously unstable blood pressure and how big the surgery was, the doctors feel it is best for Lawan's chest to remain open. Perhaps on Thursday they will close his chest. Although Lawan needs to remain intubated and sedated while his chest is open, the Wolfson team has been able to begin decreasing his medicines. 

Lawan's mom was happy and upbeat today. She was grateful for a report from the doctors and to hear how her son was doing. And it was a good report. The surgical results are looking very good and Lawan's progressing. We are thankful for the good news we received today and pray for Lawan's mom; that she can rest well and be encouraged by today's report. 

A Long, But Good Surgery

Posted on Mon, 09/18/2017 - 23:25 by Mary Hannah Dolan

Beautiful Lawan could not stop smiling this morning as he was brought into surgery. Mom was very tearful as we donned gowns and caps to go into the pre-operative area. Doctors diligently worked on his heart, and it was a long wait - almost 7 hours as mom and I looked at pictures of Lawan, his sisters, and his twin! Around 3:15pm, however, Lawan rolled by us in the waiting room accompanied by all of the doctors who performed the surgery. Though his surgery went very well, Lawan's little body had some difficulty adjusting to the new heart vascular system; after transferring to the intensive care unit, the doctors and nurses worked very hard to get Lawan stable. His chest was left open, but the surgeons were very confident that Lawan would heal wonderfully as his echocardiogram post surgery was perfect. After his chest is closed, the surgeons think that Lawan will be done with surgery for good: the hole in his heart is closed, the big blood vessel going to his lungs from his heart is wide open now, and our God has worked a miracle again!

There is Good News

Posted on Mon, 09/18/2017 - 00:20 by Deborah Burke

"The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim GOOD NEWS to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners..." Isaiah 61:1

Today we arrived at Wolfson to find Lawan being nursed by his mother with a cloth over his eyes. This poor little one is not only very blue from greatly reduced oxygen saturation but has also had irritability to his eyes with some discharge. The discharge has stopped with salt water treatment but his eyes are still a little sensitive. His eye problems seem minor compared to his damaged heart. There is good news, though: after a CT scan of his brain revealed no problems from poor oxygen levels, Lawan is off to surgery tomorrow. This means that not only will his eyes get a rest but also his little body.
The really good news is that Yeshua came to save us and heal us. By the blood of Yeshua we believe that Lawan will tomorrow begin a major healing process of his physical body. Join us in prayer for a successful surgery that will breathe life back into this little Kurdish boy whose mother proudly told us that Lawan's father is a member of the very proud Peshmerga Army.

First Assessment Day

Posted on Thu, 09/14/2017 - 21:55 by Alexa Bigl

Today was a big day for Lawan. He and his mother headed over to Wolfson with our team today for Lawan's initial assessments. After some time waiting in the garden area of the children's ward, Lawan was called in for the tests to begin. The nurses took vital signs, weighed and measured Lawan, and did an ECG.

The doctor then came to examine Lawan, ask questions, and inserted an IV to take a blood test. While Lawan cried for the ECG and blood test, he was otherwise a happy baby! His cute smile made all the nurses happy and many came around to see what a cutie he is. 

It was then time to head up for Lawan's echo. The doctors had to give two doses of sedation medication and even then Lawan woke up as soon as his mom laid him on the examination table. Luckily, he didn't cry for the vast majority of the test though. The doctors were able to get a full picture of what Lawan's heart looks like. His condition can cause him to have spells of very low oxygen in his blood and Lawan's specific anatomy puts him at risk for these spells to be quite severe. Due to this, Lawan was admitted to the hospital. They will observe him overnight and assess how severe his spells are and then determine if it will be safe for him to be discharged to our house until his surgery day or if it will be better for him to stay admitted at Wolfson. 
As our final steps of the long assessment day, Lawan and his mom had PPD tests to check for antigens against tuberculosis and Lawan had a chest x-ray. Both mother and son were tired at the end of it all as we got Lawan set up in a bed with hospital pjs. We hope and pray they can rest some tonight in the unfamiliar setting of the hospital. Praise God for His faithfulness and how He is working. We are very thankful for our wonderful partners at Wolfson; we know Lawan and mother are in the best hands tonight!