Mohammed's Heart Surgery

northern Iraq

Dedicated Care and Love

Posted on Sun, 06/19/2016 - 22:48 by Philip Rasmussen

Mohammed was rushed to the hospital this week due to labored breathing and was immediately admitted to the ICU. Thus I was curious to get to see Mohammed and his mother and hear their latest updates.

It turned out to be a day that brought new perspectives to the work of Shevet and our amazing partners at the Wolfson Medical Center. I’ve been countless times to the hospital, but so far I have only been in the ICU for short visits around 10 minutes long. Today, I spent around an hour at Mohammed’s bedside and witnessed what dedicated care and love our families experience in this room. 

When I entered the ICU a medical team of six people stood around his bed discussing his condition. Two nurses remained by Mohammed’s side checking on him, controlling the medication etc. Mohammed wouldn’t stop crying, leaving his mother unsuccessful in comforting him. When the nurse decided that enough was enough she lifted Mohammed up from the bed, pressed him into herself and cradled him for 15 minutes while teasing him and speaking with him in Hebrew. The mother found the sight of the nurse cradling her son so memorable that she had to take a picture - that very picture is here below:

Later today Mohammed had another severe cyanotic spell, and was described as turning black. Doctors have placed him on a ventilator and will rush him in for his urgent open-heart surgery in the morning. A team of Shevites will be going to support his mother. Please join us in asking our Father’s presence to be tangible in the life of Mohammed and his mother tomorrow.

God's mercy during unexpected crisis

Posted on Fri, 06/17/2016 - 00:00 by Ruth Zellweger

What was meant to be a short hospital visit to admit baby Bawar for his surgery on Sunday, turned out to be a full day in which we could encounter God's love, help, protection and peace in a very special way. 

Because Mohammed's mother mentioned that her son seems to have an ear infection, we decided to bring him along to be checked at Wolfson Hospital. Before Juanita and I left for Tel Aviv, our Shevet family gathered to send Bawar and Mohammed off with prayer and a song of praise to the Lord. 

On our way to Tel Aviv, Mohammed didn't stop crying and his mother became very anxious. We stopped for a moment at a gas station to take Mohammed out of his car seat to calm him down. His mother handed him to me and what I saw concerned me deeply as his breathing was very labored. We continued to Wolfson hospital as fast as we could, asking our Shevet family to pray for the life of precious Mohammed. By God's grace we arrived safely at the hospital and Mohammed was admitted right away to the ICU.

An echo that was performed did not show that his heart condition had worsened, however, he was weak from having diarrhea and a possible infection. Mohammed is now being monitored in the ICU, receiving oxygen and a special diet. His sweet mother calmed down, but it was obvious that today's event had cost her a lot of strength and energy.

Looking back on this day, I can see so many things that I am thankful for. The Lord prompted Juanita to come with us to the hospital. And Juanita was such a big help and support - not only to the families but also to me personally. He allowed us to make it in time to the hospital where Mohammed was received right away and treated with much care. And the Lord gave us brothers and sisters, who took time to pray. 

It was an intense day and in between Juanita and I both had to rest for a while at the ward. However, it was definitely a day in which God poured out His blessings. He deserves the praise for sustaining baby Mohammed. 

"The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness" (Lamentations 3:22-23).


An Unexpected Call

Posted on Tue, 06/14/2016 - 20:42 by Alexa Bigl

We had a wonderful day visiting Mohammed at Wolfson today. His mom was very happy to see us when we arrived at the hospital, and I was happy to see both her and Mohammed again! Mohammed enjoyed playing with Alejandra at the beginning of the day. Later, I had the opportunity to carry him around the halls. We enjoyed looking at pretty pictures on the walls, but soon Mohammed became tired and fell asleep in my arms. His mom was worried I was tired and wanted me to place Mohammed on the bed. However, I found it hard to let the precious baby go. He is so sweet and cute! 

After he had struggled to overcome a fever, the doctors and nurses diagnosed a potential gastrointestinal virus. This is very minor and will finish running it's course without intervention necessary. However, it's nice to have an explanation for his fever. 
About 15 minutes after our team left Wolfson we got a phone call asking us to return. Dr. Alona had come down to see all the children and had decided Mohammed could come home! We quickly turned around and headed back to the hospital. 
After a final vital signs check, we got the medication information and were on our way! 

We are excited to have the cutie-pie, Mohammed, home with us in Jerusalem! Please pray for the perfect timing of his upcoming surgery, potentially next week.


Welcome to Israel

Posted on Wed, 06/08/2016 - 19:08 by Alexa Bigl

We had the distinct honor to welcome 5 month-old Mohammed and his mother last night at Ben Gurion Airport. After a delay to find their missing bags, mother and son were happy to come out and see us waiting. It was immediately obvious this beautiful duo will quickly become a special part of our Shevet family. Mohammed loves to smile, enjoys anyone who will pay attention to him, and is an adorable baby boy. His mom was very chatty from the first moments we met, and I feel like we are already friends (Mohammed's mother pictured left, Bawar's mother pictured right). 

After a late night arrival back to Jerusalem, we headed out early this morning to Wolfson Medical Center for Mohammed's initial assessment day. We managed to squeeze in all the exams and tests needed, by the grace of God. As the echo was completed, Dr Tamir told us Mohammed will need to be hospitalized until his surgery. He has a very severe and dangerous cardiac defect that needs the close monitoring and resources staying at the hospital will provide. We are not sure how long Mohammed will have to wait until it is his surgery day. So, please join us in praying for God's perfect timing. 

As Mohammed got settled into his bed, we let his mom know it was time for us to head back to Jerusalem. She had been so strong throughout the whole day, it surprised me when she started crying as we said goodbye. All the weariness from traveling and the very long day had caught up with her. Luckily, Zina's mom was immediately by her side. God is so good; I was touched by His provision in this situation. 
All thanks to God for Mohammed's arrival to Israel and all that transpired today!