Nardeen's Heart Surgery


A Lot of Joy!

Posted on Sun, 02/28/2016 - 11:26 by Christelle Fonjallaz
During these past few days, we had a lot of joy with Nardeen and her mother! 

Firstly, because they lived with us in the volunteer house for a few days before they left. It was wonderful to share this with them and to see Nardeen walking around the house and exploring everything she could. We played a lot of "Where is Nardeen?" with her! 
We also had a lot of joy with them during the farewell party. Nardeen's aunt is a nun in Bethlehem and she came with others nuns for the party. They had prepared plenty of food for us--dolma (rice-stuffed vegetables), salad and other delicious things. We had enough leftoevers to eat for a week! 

Besides this beautiful meal, we spent time singing songs, giving them some gifts, and sharing some encouraging words. During the whole evening, we could feel a lot of happiness and love! Nardeen was well-dressed for the occasion; she was really pretty in her little dress. 
Finally, we had a lot of joy seeing them be able to go back home--even if we will miss them! We're so happy that everything is fine for Nardeen now and that she can see all her family again. 
Let's give praise to God for this wonderful little girl and her beautiful mother! Goodbye, Nardeen; we love you. 

We Got the News!

Posted on Mon, 02/22/2016 - 19:07 by Miriam Svensson
When we left Jerusalem this morning, we had high expectations. We were hoping that this would be Nardeen's final echo.
Nardeen was a bit grumpy in the car, but when we reached the hospital it had passed. She was in an excellent mood while we waited at the echo departement. She played, went in and out of the little playhouse, played peekaboo with Alexa's scarf, and tried to walk away with her mother's handbag. It was easy to see that she enjoied having our attention.
When the echo was done, under loud protests from Nardeen, we got the news we had hoped for. Her mother's face lit up with joy when she heard it. Nardeen's heart looked very good and she could be discharged to go home to Iraq!
Praise God from whom all blessings flow! We thank our heavenly Father for His love and care in all ups and downs during Nardeen's time here, and for His healing hand in her life.

Having Fun at the Beach

Posted on Mon, 02/15/2016 - 22:39 by Brenda Hofer

Nardeen was dressed up in her pink jacket and furry white boots, ready to go today, when we departed for the hospital. She was scheduled for her first echocardiogram which she passed with flying colors. The hospital said the test results were good as no sign of fluid around the heart or the lungs was present.  As far as hospital visits go, this was the fastest appointment I have experienced as of yet.

So, we decided to check out the beach which is only 5 minutes away from the hospital since it was beautiful weather today--why not.  We were all excited to take our shoes off to enjoy the sand and surf.  The water was a little cool at first, but tolerable for the middle of February. Nardeen had a touch of the Mediterranean’s clear, blue water firsthand, or first-feet as the case might be. Nardeen’s mother took off Nardeen’s tights and boots gently placing her child’s feet into the sea. She grinned and laughed at the flowing water between her toes.  We were all delighted to spend some extra time walking and playing on the beach today even if it was for short time.

Oh Happy Day!

Posted on Mon, 02/08/2016 - 22:17 by Brenda Hofer

Today was an especially joyous day as Nardeen was discharged from the hospital and came home to Shevet!  Alexa, Jesse, and I were able to exchange warm hellos with a very pleased mom and lively daughter when we first arrived.  Mom already had her bags packed and was ready to go.  Alexa and I then went to the nurses station to get any information about medicines that Nardeen will still need to take.  As we waited, Nardeen walked out of the room and motioned for me to pick her up.  It was a sweet moment that Nardeen felt comfortable enough to be held by me.  She continued to smile and laugh throughout the morning as she and Alexa played with a toy flashlight.  The paperwork was not quite finished, so we went for lunch in the cafeteria. Eventually in the early afternoon though, we were able to get the van packed and Nardeen loaded into her carseat. Nardeen was very content on the drive back to Jerusalem.  She fell asleep pretty quickly and only woke up a few minutes before we arrived to our destination.  It was a happy day! 


A Good Day

Posted on Sun, 02/07/2016 - 21:40 by Christelle Fonjallaz

There was good news today about Nardeen's health. It seems like everything is OK and the doctor said that she could probably come back to Jerusalem tomorrow! It made her mother really happy. If they are discharged tomorrow, maybe they could even go back home to Iraq in a few weeks! 

Nardeen is now staying with her mother in a room with two other families. As we arrived, Nardeen's aunt (who came with us) gave her some snacks. It was great to see Nardeen happy with all this food around her. 

It was my first time meeting Nardeen, and she seemed to be a happy little girl with energy. As difficult it was the last time to make her smile, she smiled quite often today. We even had a walk with her around the hospital. 

We continue to pray for her, that everything will keep going well.  Thanks to the Lord for this good news. 


Improving, But With Setbacks

Posted on Tue, 02/02/2016 - 21:44 by Miriam Svensson
During our hospital visit today I had a chance to check how Nardeen is doing. She is now in the secondary ICU, and the chest tube that she had has been taken out.
The doctor told me that Nardeen has pneumonia, probably due to the influenza that initially caused her fever. It is possible that she also has bacteria in her blood. Because of this, new blood tests will be taken today. Nardeen's heart is improving, though. The latest echo shows good results of the surgery and only a little fluid around the heart.
I watched Nardeen for a little while so her mother could get a short break. She was playing with a rattle & trying to pull off her oxygen tube. I could see that she didn't feel completely well--she didn't want to smile though I tried hard to persuade her.
We will continue to lift up Nardeen to the Lord of healing. Please pray with us that the infection will cease and that we will soon see her sweet smile again. 

Back to the ICU

Posted on Sun, 01/31/2016 - 19:29 by Miriam Svensson

Nardeen's aunt came with us to visit her little niece at the hospital today. When we arrived, Nardeen was just about to be transfered to the ICU. The reason was that she had some fluid around one of her lungs and needed a new chest tube. I followed her and her mother there.
Nardeen's mother was very worried, wondering if something dangerous had happened. It didn't seem like she had understood the explanation she had been given in the children's ward. I talked to the doctor in the ICU about this. Later the secretary from the children's ward came to help with translating, so Nardeen's mother could get answers to her questions. The doctor told us that Nardeen's heart is doing well, and the lung fluid is not a big problem. She still has treatment for the virus that caused her fever, but seems to be getting better as she didn't have any fever today.
When we left in the afternoon, Nardeen's aunt stayed to keep her sister company a while longer. It is a blessing that she is able to support her sister during this time.
Thank you for praying with us for Nardeen and her mother! We know they are both in the hands of our loving Father.

His Healing Hand

Posted on Wed, 01/27/2016 - 17:24 by Alexa Bigl

Nardeen had her chest tubes removed today and then was transferred to the children's ward! It's awesome she is recovering so quickly, praise God! Before surgery, the doctors were concerned Nardeen's initial recovery would be very difficult and long due to pulmonary hypertension. God's healing touch is certainly upon Nardeen! Only two days in the ICU; it's truly amazing!

Nardeen is still experiencing some irregularity with her breathing. The doctors believe this is due to pain from the recent removal of her chest tubes and are thinking it will resolve itself with time. While she continues to recover, Nardeen is receiving some supplemental oxygen.

Please join us in praying for Nardeen's temperature to go down too. The nurses in the children's ward diligently checked on Nardeen and are working to reduce her high fever. She is on antibiotics and other symptomatic treatments. Her mom is doing a wonderful job caring for her.

Nardeen's aunt also came to visit again today and will spend the night at the hospital to help her sister. 

It is so beautiful to see the relationship between the three family members!

Doing Well in the ICU

Posted on Mon, 01/25/2016 - 19:56 by Melanie Burciaga
When we first attempted to visit Nardeen this morning, we couldn't find her in the room that we were told she was in. Fortunately, a woman we had befriended before in the waiting room came to our rescue and pushed back the doors of the ICU to point us in the right direction.
We found Nardeen still fast asleep with her mother at her bedside. So we decided to come back later after lunch in the chance she might be more active a couple hours later. But even after lunch, she was still sleeping. 
The medical staff informed us that she is doing better than before. She is no longer incubated, however they still want to keep her in the ICU until she gets better. It could be a matter of a few days, however the doctors are unsure precisely when she will be released. 
We visited the mother and did our best to communicate with the little language we both knew (plus a little help from Google translate). Although Nardeen never woke up while we were visiting her, she was such a precious-looking sleeper--I don't think any of us minded!

A Beautiful Surgery Day

Posted on Sun, 01/24/2016 - 21:44 by Miriam Svensson
Nardeen, after her surgery
When I entered the children's ward early this morning, I heard Nardeen crying before I even got to her room. She was unhappy and hungry due to fasting for the surgery. Her mother did her best to comfort her without giving her anything to eat or drink.
She calmed down just before we had to leave the ward. Her mother took her in her arms and carried her while we walked beside the bed. In the preparation room we found some toys and books that kept Nardeen quite happy while we waited. But she liked best when her mother held her, standing in the corridor and watching the surgery staff pass by.
When it was time for them to go in, Nardeen started crying again. The nurse motioned to her mother to get on the bed and hold her while they wheeled them both into the OR. Some minutes later the mother came out again. She had tears in her eyes but remained calm. The two of us went back to the waiting area outside the children's ward to start our time of waiting. We prayed together and Nardeen's mother took up her Bible to read. Then we looked at the pictures I had taken of Nardeen. After a while her sister (who is part of a convent here in Jerusalem) came together with her friends to spend the day with us. It was so sweet to see their love and support for the worried mother. 
By lunchtime the three nuns took the mother to get something to eat. Just as they came back, Nardeen was wheeled by to the ICU. Her mother was very relieved that the surgery was over--her worried face changed to a bright smile. We had to wait some more before we could go in and see Nardeen. When we finally did, we found her sleeping peacefully in the big bed. We were told that the surgery had been successful and that her condition was stable. 
Praise God for His beautiful work in Nardeen's life today! Please join us in praying for a smooth recovery, and for peace for the mother as she stays by her daughter's side.