Maryam's Heart Surgery

Kurdistan, northern Iraq

Surgery Day!

Posted on Tue, 05/09/2017 - 23:53 by Camila Buitrago
God has blessed our community with the presence of another little princess. Mimi is a beautiful little girl, and today was her time for surgery. Simone and I went to the hospital early in the morning, but the doctors confirmed that the surgery was on schedule for the afternoon, so we returned to our Jaffa house.
After our lunch time, we went to the hospital again. We spent time with our other beautiful families that are now in the hospital while we waited for the start of Mimi's surgery. 
After one hour, we walked to the pre-op room. Mimi was quiet but on her face we could see her question, "where I'm going now?" Finally, Mimi and her mother crossed the gate toward the surgery room. When her mother came out she was crying, so Simone and I spent time praying with her and after that we went for a coffee.
After three hours of waiting, finally Mimi was finished and moved to the ICU. We were very excited and happy! Praise the Lord, the surgery was successful! It was so gratifying to see the smile on the face of Mimi's mom at the moment when Mimi was wheeled out toward the ICU.
Mimi was already extubated, she is breathing on her own, and that is a really good sign. Thank you, Lord, for this surgery day!

Admitted for Surgery

Posted on Mon, 05/08/2017 - 20:54 by Debbie Sturm

This morning I went with Maryam (who we call Mimi) to the hospital. She will have surgery tomorrow and was admitted today in preparation of this. When we arrived, she and her mum first stayed in the room with Dima and her mother. We brought playdough with us and it kept Mimi busy for a while. She also was very curious about the other children in her room and how they were doing.

During the examinations, Mimi was really calm and smiling a lot until the nurses wanted to cannulate Mimi and to do a blood test. First I had to wait outside, but I could hear Mimi crying and after a while even screaming. Her mother called me in because Mimi was really upset. We tried to quiet her down and also the nurses tried, but Mimi did not stop moving around and screaming. The nurses tried several times to cannulate, but they gave in. Mimi spent some time with the other families and stayed calm. Eventually, she was cannulated later. Will you join us in prayer for Mimi and her mother? May they get some rest tonight and may God bless the doctors with wisdom for the surgery tomorrow.

The Decision for Surgery

Posted on Thu, 05/04/2017 - 23:01 by Alexa Bigl

Mimi headed into Wolfson early this morning for a trans esophageal echocardiogram. This is where they perform a sonogram of the heart via the esophagus (the 'tube' we swallow our food down). The test allows better visualization of the heart. It requires sedation and close monitoring. So, we arrived early for Mimi to be prepared. After waiting a while, we headed into the procedure room off the ICU. Mimi got an IV cannula and an oxygen mask. She fought very hard, but once the cannula was placed she was calm and quiet. Soon after, she received the sedation medication and she very quickly fell asleep. We then waited for about 20 minutes until the doctors called us back in; they were finished. The hole in Mimi's heart cannot be repaired in the cath lab, she needs open heart surgery. While this was difficult for her mother, we were also happy to learn Mimi's surgery is scheduled for next Tuesday already! 

As Mimi slowly woke up from the medication-induced sleep, she was upset and crying. Her mom, although she had been crying a few times throughout the morning, was now strong during her daughter's time of need. Luckily, Mimi was allowed to walk around after 15 minutes more. And an hour later was released to return to our Jaffa home. If the surgical schedule remains as is, Mimi will be admitted on Monday and have a repaired heart by Tuesday afternoon! 

PPD Reading Day

Posted on Thu, 04/27/2017 - 23:46 by Simone Escalante

Mimi (pictured left) spending time with Ayleen and her mother at the hospital

Today was the day to take Mimi to read her PPD test. Dany and I left with Mimi and her mother arround 10:30am and had a pleasant walk to the hospital. We are blessed to live so close!

When we arrived, we met with nurse Rachel who read the test - it showed a 15mm change that in her opinion is not anything related to something serious because Mimi has the BCG vaccine. Usually, patients who have had the BCG vaccine have large skin reactions, even when they are not infected by the bacteria. Just to be safe, it was recommended that the results be interpreted by a pulmonologist to make the correct diagnosis.

Now Mimi must wait to have an appointment with the specialist. Interpreting these results accurately is important to ensure the medical team can move forward safely with Mimi's treatment. 

May God bless Mimi and the other children here in all their needs.


Mimi's First Assessments

Posted on Tue, 04/25/2017 - 00:16 by Alexa Bigl

Maryam, who goes by Mimi, had a big day today. She and her lovely mother handled it well. As Mimi began the exams and tests, I was surprised how well she did. She smiled at the doctor and easily capitulated with the nurses' requests.

She even formed a quick connection with one of the nurses and followed her all around the childrens' ward. 

The blood test was harder and Mimi squirmed and wiggled all around as she cried, causing the doctor to have to stick her a few times before successfully drawing all the blood. Mimi's tears were joined by some from her mother too as her sweet girl was in pain. It was soon over and Mimi was happy again. After X-ray and ppd, we headed into the echo room.
Dr. Alona did a thorough examination and the doctors will come together tomorrow morning and discuss the findings. Perhaps Mimi's ASD can be fixed in the cath lab. We hope and pray the hole in her heart can indeed be fixed without having to open her chest. 
It was so fun spending the day with Mimi and her mom. They are outgoing and welcome everyone as their friend. They are going to be a wonderful addition to our Shevet family. We are praising God for their arrival to Israel and successful initial assessments day!   

Welcoming Maryam

Posted on Fri, 04/21/2017 - 21:57 by Virginia Birss

Sweet three year-old Maryam and her mom, along with 12 year-old Adam and his father, joined our Shevet community today after their night journey from Kurdistan. Ruth, David, and I welcomed them at the airport, and in spite of the long journey, Maryam had a lovely smile and readily climbed into my arms. She enjoyed the ride on the luggage trolley, but was unhappy with the car restraint - an unknown element for her.

On entering our Jaffa home, she quickly made friends with exuberant Halat, who invited Maryam to play with her toys. Please keep Maryam in your prayers as she prepares for her initial assessments. I noticed she has a cough, so please do pray for complete healing, as any sickness could delay her surgery. May Maryam and her mom be blessed and experience God's love for them in a special way during their stay here with our Shevet family.