Mustafa's Heart Surgery

northern Iraq

Back to Their Future

Posted on Tue, 02/12/2008 - 00:00 by Dirk_Kleinloh
When they arrived at our house last night, everybody was very eager to speak to Bestoon's father and Lara and Mustafa's mother. The six families waiting here in Jordan for their turn for surgery were very encouraged by the reports of the parents. And now would all prefer to go to Haifa!

They talked for a long time, we heard Bestoon and Ali's fathers still talking at 02:00 in the night. This morning we drove to the airport (pictured above), leaving our house at 09:00, and their flight to Iraq left on time at 12:00.

Already Bestoon's father has called us from his hometown in northern Iraq to let us know the families arrived safely. All his family say thank you, his father, brothers, sisters etc. Abu Bestoon said that they would slaughter at least two sheep on arrival back home. I wish I were there!

This concludes the story of Mustafa's journey to Israel for a new heart and new life.


A Joyful Return to Jordan

Posted on Mon, 02/11/2008 - 00:00 by Jean_Calvani

Mustafa (pictured in center), his sister Lara, and Bestoon returned to Jordan today with smiling faces. Bestoon's father was so full of joy and thankfulness for his son's successful heart surgery, and happy to be finally going home. Mustafa chased his little sister Lara around as we waiting for the bus that would transport us to Jordan. I could see the relief in their mother's eyes that both of her children now had healthy hearts and were so full of energy. After entering Jordan we piled into two taxis and headed for Amman. Dirk (our Jordan coordinator) was waiting there to take them to his house where they'd stay until their flights back to Iraq. Both of these precious families are scheduled to flight back home on Tuesday.

Good News!

Posted on Sat, 02/09/2008 - 00:00 by Lamis_Kanboura

Good news! Sing praises to the Lord. Finally, Mustafa's little sister Lara is out of the hospital, and so both Mustafa and Lara can go home to Iraq. What a relief this was for their mother, that soon she will be back home with two healthy angels.

Bestoon and his father also celebrated the good news. When we left the hosptial, we all went together to the sea shore.

It was really a happy weekend celebrating two occasions. Not only are they going home, but it's also Lara's second birthday. We celebrated with singing, dancing, balloons, and sharing a very tasty cake with neighbors and kids from my church.

Strong Enough to Blow Up a Balloon

Posted on Fri, 02/01/2008 - 00:00 by Simantov_Allalouf

Mustafa is doing very well after his surgery, but insists on staying in hospital where sister Lara is being treated for pneumonia, refusing to leave his mom and go to his hosts (Lamis and family). Lamis is concerned that he'll pick up a hospital infection, and asks us to pray for Lara's quick healing.

Good Old Normal Children

Posted on Thu, 01/24/2008 - 00:00 by Simantov_Allalouf

When we visited Mustafa and his little sister Lara today both were very happy children playing with their toys and looking and behaving like good old normal children--not like two who've just been through open-heart surgery!

Mom hopes the final okay is near at hand so that they can head on back home to Iraq. Lara is scheduled for another echo and check-up on Sunday which very well could be the first steps to their release to begin their journey back home.

His Favorite Spot

Posted on Sun, 01/20/2008 - 00:00 by Simantov_Allalouf

Mustafa was in the hospital today visiting his sister Lara and helping to eat lunch. He seems happy-go-lucky. He enjoyed spending time at the aquarium--his favorite spot in the hospital.

Ready for Take-Off

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 Mustafa as he recovers from 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.

Arriving in the children's surgical ward, Jane and I found Mustafa sleeping, and his mother was out of the room. It was wonderful to see him with no oxygen needed, and no tubes or monitors attached, resting peacefully! After a little time, his mother returned and we had a special reunion, rejoicing over Mustafa's progress. He awoke when his mother spoke, and even though still sleepy, greeted me with a smile. He remembered that he'd refused a trip to the beach the last time I was there, and wanted to let me know he had seen the sea. A few minutes later, Lamis arrived with Lara, who has been staying with her family since Mustafa was hospitalized last week.

To see the smiles on all their faces as they were reunited for the afternoon was beautiful. Once Mustafa was fully awake he got out of bed and began to walk around and play with an airplane his mother brought him. He is doing extremely well, and could be dismissed tomorrow as his sister is admitted for her surgery. 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, Mustafa'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.

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

Hands Once Cold, Now Warm

Posted on Wed, 01/02/2008 - 00:00 by Alex_Pettett

It's always amazing to touch warm hands that once felt cold and lifeless. Such was my experience today when my fingers met those of Mustafa. He underwent surgery to repair a ventricular septal defect (hole in his ventricular chambers) and pulmonary stenosis (narrowing of the arteries).

According to the surgeon, Dr. Mishal, all went well.

Though Mustafa is now running a slight fever, his tubes may be removed tonight.

Mustafa's mother greeted us today with tired but bright eyes. Like so many mothers, she does not understand why all the tubes are inserted into her son, but she has begun to trust both the fine physicians and nurses of Rambam Hospital. Life for Mustafa's mother is doubly difficult, since her nearly two-year-old daughter Lara, also here for surgery, waits at the house of one of our precious volunteers, Lamis. Lara cries quite a bit at night missing her mother but is often entertained by Lamis's husband Michelle.

This surgery is taking the heart, time, and lives of our volunteers and patients. Lamis commented that she has had little sleep in helping so much, but it fills her with such joy that she would not trade it for anything.

Please pray for Lara missing her mother, the energy of Mustafa's mother, Lamis and Michelle, and the life of precious Mustafa now on the road to recovery.

Blessings from Haifa.

Visiting the Zoo and the Beach

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

Today my son and daughter took Mustafa to the zoo, which he greatly enjoyed. Sorry there are no pictures of that--the camera wasn't working for some reason. Yesterday Mustafa, his sister Lara, and their mother had a fun time at the beach, standing on the shore and playing in the sand.

Last Thursday evening, I took Mustafa to a Christmas dinner at my church. He liked the food and the gifts.

Mustafa is scheduled to be admitted to the hospital Tuesday morning, with surgery on Wednesday.

Photos and Prayers

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

Here's a photo of Dr. Lorber with Mustafa in the catheterization lab:

And a photo of Mustafa and his mother shortly after the catheterization:

Now Mustafa is back at his temporary apartment near the hospital, waiting for his heart surgery which may happen next Wednesday, though it's not 100% certain. Mustafa's baby sister Lara's catheterization is scheduled for this Sunday, so your prayers for their mother are appreciated.