Mary's Heart Surgery

Kurdistan, northern Iraq

Still needs $5500
Help Mary

You Can Go Home!

Posted on Fri, 09/07/2018 - 21:55 by Amber Roberts
Mary and her mother made what they hoped to be their final journey to Sheba Medical Center today. The prayer and goal of today's visit was that the doctor would give Mary permission to go home. 

Mary had several tests to undergo; but, with the love and entertainment of her mother, she was still and allowed the medical staff to attend to her. Mary passed all of her tests, so with a big smile, the doctor announced that Mary could finally go home. Her mother is thrilled to reunite her family. All praise to the Father for His healing through His love and tender mercies. 

Continue to keep Mary and her family in your prayers. Their immediate needs are obtaining quick flights and effortless passage through the airports and back to home. 

Mary’s Assessment

Posted on Wed, 08/29/2018 - 18:40 by Svea Conzelmann

Today, we received very good news for Mary!  At her second assessment the doctors were really satisfied with the results of the echo, the ICG, the oxygen saturation and the blood pressure. During the assessment we were busy entertaining our Mary, because she is alert, full of energy and always wanting to discover new things. She was looking so good. It was a pleasure to verify our impression by the assessment results.

Praise the Lord, she will be able to leave us in one week. Please pray that her condition will stay good and, that her parents have enough strength to hold on.


Posted on Tue, 08/07/2018 - 05:47 by Sophie Harvie

Mary lay resting in secondary ICU with her mother's precious cross next to her chest at our time of leaving Sheba hospital today. The colour in her cheeks, head and arms looking much better than when we had first arrived early in the day.

Mary had a catheterisation this morning to widen an area of stenosis following her second surgery. It is hoped that this will allow increased blood flow from the heart and subsequently around her body. Her doctors reported that the procedure went well.

Watching Mary's mum it is clear that she is repeatedly entrusting her into God's hands. This formed part of our prayers together as we waited for Mary. Mary's mother has an incredible story to share so far in her life and regardless of how she may label herself it is clear to me that she is an incredibly brave and deeply loving individual.

I was recently blessed by a worship song we sang during a short trip to Jordan and I was able to share this with Mary's mother. The song is in Arabic and reflects my exact prayer for Mary's family. Through Jesus may Mary and her family have peace, healing and freedom. Please continue to pray this with me over sweet little Mary.


Visit to Sheba

Posted on Mon, 08/06/2018 - 21:39 by Co-authored

Mary had been crying almost all night, her mother was tired, had not slept, and had a headache. When we were there her mother took the time to eat her breakfast and take a shower. According to her mother, Mary has a catheterization tomorrow. Mary's head looks red and bloated.

We spent time with them, when we left, she was more relaxed and Mary slept. Ana was better than yesterday according to her mother, had no fever anymore. She will get the other probe one of these days, hopefully increasing her weight. Her mother hopes that she can then come to Shevet A to get stronger.

Written by: George and Nelly Bekx


Positive Turnaround

Posted on Sun, 08/05/2018 - 23:52 by Jennifer Kellner

We were greeted by a much happier mom today, as Mary is starting to recover well from surgery. This was a bright turnaround!

Last Thursday, our visit was filled with tears as the doctors informed us that Mary has fluid buildup, which necessitates a drainage tube. This can often be a difficult waiting process and breeds the fear of further complications. The medical team also mentioned that Mary could need an additional catheterization or open heart surgery, which was unexpected.

It was difficult to see Mary’s mom so devastated but also beautiful to witness her faith and trust in God. Mary had a crucifix over her heart, placed there by her mom. We have prayed over the Shabbat that God would be faithful to this mother and child, reducing the liquid in her chest and overall healing this beautiful baby.

Proverbs 12:25 says, “Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.” This is often all we can do in receiving difficult news with the families. Just by standing alongside Mary’s mom and joining her in prayer, I hope that we can share those burdens with her.

Praise the Lord, however, for God’s faithfulness as we received much brighter news this morning! Mary’s fluid has gone down over the weekend and the doctors think they can remove the drainage tube within the next couple of days. She remains in the ICU but is breathing on her own and seems to be on the road to recovery. We will find out this week if she still needs an additional catheterization, surgery, or both.

Mary’s mom was in much better sprits, which I was elated to see. I genuinely felt great relief and joy for this mother and her baby, who I have grown very fond of during my stay here. “How good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity” – Psalm 133 – is feeling like more and more of a reality to me.

There is still a long journey ahead for Mary and her mother but also many victories to be won. Please pray that God would shine his glory on this family and strengthen Mary for the path ahead.

Second Surgery for Mary

Posted on Thu, 08/02/2018 - 18:56 by Robyn Stuart

We were the second team to support Mary's mother today. George and Nelly came early antisipating an early surgery. But Mary was second in line today. With a full schedule in our community they had to return to the Jaffa house. Mary's mother knew the process and the way that today would proceed, but it did not relieve her from being unsettled during the long wait. A visit from another of our mothers who had a cup of tea and some baking together with her helped to distract and support her. 

Knowing her little girl was being operated on for the second time in a few short weeks has taxed her. She has been feeding her often over those weeks to try to get her to gain weight before this surgery. Confident that she has done all she could to prepare for today, she shared with me that she trusts God take care of Mary in surgery. When the surgeon walked through the doors of the OR to delivered the good news that the surgery was successful  tears of relief flowed. The surgeons were able to correct the arterial transposition. We left mother and baby in the intensive care unit for what will be a long night. Please join us in asking our Heavenly Father to continue healing little Mary's heart and giving her mother endurance to last through the long days and nights to come. 

Preparing for Second Surgery

Posted on Tue, 07/31/2018 - 18:47 by Georgia Willcocks
It was a long day for Mary and her mum, waiting at the hospital for Mary to be admitted, ahead of her next surgery tomorrow morning. 
Mary has grown strong enough now to be able to have her second surgery, a Glenn procedure, which was thoroughly explained to mum by a doctor today. Mum has already researched and read about Mary's condition and surgeries. 
Mary was happy and smiling throughout her ECG and throughout the long hours waiting for news of where her bed would be allocated. She became upset during her blood test, towards the end of the day, which was difficult and emotional for her mum to watch. 
The doctor explained how little cardiac babies can be tricky to find an accessible vein to get blood from. 
We left Mary in the capable hands of her mum and the hospital staff. 
Please pray that Mary's surgery will go well tomorrow, and that her mum is strengthened as she watches and waits. 

Returning Home to Jaffa

Posted on Wed, 07/25/2018 - 18:16 by Jesse Tilman
"I exhort therefore, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and givings of thanks be made for all men: for kings and all who are in high places, that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and reverence." 1 Timothy 2
Sweet Mary is healthy enough and being discharged home. She had a blood test today that they said was all in order. She had no temperature, but if a fever comes then they said to bring her back. 
When we saw them we found her kicking and active.  She is very aware and engaging in the world around her. We believe the best for her future! She is still on track for a surgery in a week after another echo. 
Please pray for her mom to not be nervous about this. 

There’s Nothing Like a Mother’s Love

Posted on Wed, 07/25/2018 - 01:01 by Jennifer Kellner

Today was a long day for Mary and her mom. It began early this morning when Mary was taken in as the first catherization patient of the day at Sheba Hospital.

Mary’s mom was very nervous, understandably, thus we did our best to comfort her while Mary was under the doctor’s care. We both prayed for God’s favor over Mary during the procedure, that she could safely undergo further operations despite her tiny body. We know that the Lord hears us and I continue to pray that God honors this mother’s faithfulness, as she trusts in Him. It is a wonderful privilege to witness the love between God, Mary and her mom. May they continue to have success along this difficult but potentially glorious journey.

Fortunately, the team brought Mary out after about two hours as promised and provided the results. This can be challenging for all parties with Arabic, Hebrew, English and Kurdish languages floating around the room, but everyone is very patient with each other!

The doctors informed us that the catherization was completely diagnostic (sometimes the doctors can repair issues they see during the procedure). Mary’s heart is in a good place to move on to her next surgery, which should be scheduled within the next several weeks. They very kindly informed us to watch out for any bleeding on her leg at the insertion site, which is very common following catherization surgeries.

The next hour or so I got to spend chatting with Mary’s mom, which I very much enjoyed, while trying to keep Mary’s leg still so she can recover. It’s been an extremely long day for her and her mother. But every time Mary gazes into her mother’s eyes, I see the relief and comfort it gives to her. Even amidst these circumstances, this is a beautiful thing to see.

All in all, Mary is as well as can be expected and is tracking to the doctor’s plan towards a healthy heart. The next surgery date will soon be determined. Please continue to pray for Mary’s mom and her baby as they persist in this very difficult but blessed journey ahead.  

Visit to Sheba

Posted on Mon, 07/23/2018 - 20:54 by George Bekx

Today Mary went to Sheba hospital for an ultrasound, ECG, and an x-ray. She slept most of the time during the ultrasound. During the ECG she looked around quietly and that helped her mother feel relaxed. 

Tomorrow a catheterization will be done for her, so she stayed behind with her mother in the hospital. The outcome will determine when her surgery will be scheduled. Please keep praying for little Mary!