Nazgol's Heart Surgery

Kurdistan, northern Iraq

Back to the ICU

Posted on Sun, 12/10/2017 - 16:06 by Elisa Kulla

Today Elwira and I went to the Wolfson hospital to see how Nazgol is doing. When we arrived, we didn't see Nazgol in the children ward. A doctor told us that she went yesterday in the afternoon back to the ICU with mom because her oxygen dropped lower.

The medical staff told us that they want to do an echo today. Let us pray for Nazgol and for the mother that she gets a lot of sleep, and that her health improves!

Nazgol Needs Prayer

Posted on Thu, 12/07/2017 - 21:55 by Coby van Wijhe

This morning Swain, Ana and I went to Wolfson to visit Nazgol. She was asleep when we arrived, but soon she woke up and didn't look happy. She cried a lot and it looked like she was in pain.

Her breathing sounded difficult. Mom stopped breast feeding her and tried to give her a special bottle of milk to strengthen her. But so far she is not eating so well.

When we picked her up and tried to comfort her, she was more peaceful and we even got a smile from her. I called for a doctor to do an extra check for Nazgol.

They said she has a little infection at the top of the surgical incision. Her lungs sounded clear but they will keep an extra eye on her. She is on oxygen, at a rate of 0.6 ltr/min. Mom is doing okay although she misses some company and is very pleased that we visit her regularly. Please pray for improvement of Nazgol's breathing and that the infection will be healed.

In the Ward!

Posted on Wed, 12/06/2017 - 00:42 by Ana Ruiz

Today I went to the hospital with Swain to see Nazgol and she is doing well. She's been transferred to the children's ward! She’s drinking milk (although sometimes spitting it up) but all is fine. Her mom told us that she is happy. While we are all together in the children’s ward, two clowns arrived and they sang some baby songs for her.

She will return to the Shevet home in a few days, according to the doctor! Thank you, Lord!

Awake Today

Posted on Sun, 12/03/2017 - 22:19 by Maxine Stuart

It was so good to see baby Nazgol awake today. She was looking around, and wriggling her arms. The nurses said she is doing well, and that they would try giving her some milk today, to see how she goes keeping it down. She didn't look completely herself, and seemed to be in a bit of pain, but it's good to see her awake again.

She was having an echocardiogram done when I arrived, and the technician reported that her heart looked good. We praise the Lord for this good news.

Quiet Whimpers

Posted on Fri, 12/01/2017 - 20:01 by Lindsay Martin

This morning we received the blessed news that Nazgol has been extubated! What wonderful news for her mother who has been anxiously waiting to see her daughter’s eyes and to speak words of love to her.

I am reminded in these beautiful moments what a gift it is to hear the quiet whimpers of your child. To know that hearing their cries means they have lived another day, that the Lord has granted this gift of life to your child after undergoing something so intense like open heart surgery.

I wonder about the thoughts that go through the parents’ minds as they watch their child pulled away by doctors before the surgery. Will they survive? Will I be able to kiss their face again? Hear their cries? Look into their eyes and tell them one more time how much I love them?

We do not take these moments for granted. God is providing for His precious children and He has granted precious Nazgol a gift of quiet whimpers. We pray these cries would be an encouragement to her mother of the great work God is doing in her daughter’s life. And a reminder to us all of the gift of each moment we are given.

We praise God for Nazgol and pray for continued healing and strength as her heart responds to these changes. We also pray for strength for her mother as she stands by her side and cares for her precious daughter.

Chest Closed

Posted on Thu, 11/30/2017 - 22:12 by Maxine Stuart

Nazgol had her chest closed this afternoon which is a positive step. She is still sedated and intubated, but the Wolfson team are hopeful that she will be well enough to be extubated sometime Saturday. It is a hard time for Nazgol’s Mum, not being able to do much or get a response from her baby, but the Wolfson staff have been very kind and caring towards her. She already has a lovely connection with them. Please pray for little Nazgol’s recovery; she is fighting right now.

In His Hands

Posted on Wed, 11/29/2017 - 17:24 by Alexa Bigl

Nazgol remains intubated and sedated with a open chest today. Her mother visited her for some hours but has returned back to our Shevet house for the night again. Nazgol is doing well, although it is difficult for her mom to see her with so many tubes and monitors connected.

The ICU doctors are happy with Nazgol's situation and if things continue in the current progression her chest will hopefully be closed tomorrow. This first day after pulmonary banding is vital. We are praising God for His sustenance of Nazgol thusfar. Thank you for your joint prayers! 

Nazgol's Operation Day

Posted on Tue, 11/28/2017 - 23:28 by Coby van Wijhe
This morning, Elisa and I arrived at 6:45am at the hospital, and Nazgol was still asleep. At around 7:30 we walked to the pre-operation room.
Nazgol was doing well and we got a few happy smiles from her. Mom found it hard and shared some tears. They did some procedural checks and Nazgol fell asleep again. Around 8 they took her to the operation room.
It was hard for mom to see her little precious girl going. She cried and we comforted her.
Then the long waiting started. We did a little walk and went to the mall in the hospital to put her mind on something else. Around 2pm, the doctors brought Nazgol to the ICU and we saw a happy doctor. He said the operation went very well. They placed a shunt and ring from the heart to the pulmonary artery to increase the oxygen from 60% to about 80%. What a relief when you hear the good news!
Nazgol's chest is still open. But they expect to close it tomorrow. The first 24 hours are very important for the success of the operation. Nazgol will need another operation within one year to increase the oxygen up to 100%. She can then live a normal life.
After Nazgol was stabilized in the ICU we saw her for a few minutes. Then we took mom back to the Shevet house for a good sleep while Nazgol remains intubated overnight. She will be back to stay with Nazgol tomorrow morning. We thank our Messiah for the work He has done through the hands of the surgeons. Please pray that Nazgol's heart and lungs will adapt to the new situation.
"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up theirs wounds." Psalm 147:3

Admission for Surgery

Posted on Mon, 11/27/2017 - 21:00 by Alexa Bigl

We expected Nazgol to be admitted yesterday and have surgery today, but there was a one day delay. So this morning, little miss cutie, Nazgol, and her mom headed to Wolfson. The admission processes was a bit fragmented as Nazgol waited for a bed to become available. But she and her mother helped our new families (Daru, Maia, and Bawan) get comfortable at Wolfson and she helped with translation from Arabic to Kurdish. Nazgol's mom is an arabic teacher and she happily shares her gifts and skills with all those around her. 

I enjoyed holding Nazgol for a few minutes and loved staring into her precious face as she cooed away. She and her mom are both so precious but also fragile. They need lots of love, support, and prayers.
Tomorrow Nazgol is slated to undergo step one of her two-step surgery. Her parents have elected to go for the more difficult surgical option. The repair will require two surgeries, but it will give Nazgol a full life expectancy. Tomorrow's physical surgery is fairly simple, but children undergoing it often struggle in the immediate post-operative time period. So, please join us in beginning to pray over baby Nazgol. We are willingly trusting her into the Heavenly Father's hands. May He be preparing a beautiful story to unfold in the coming days!

First Echo

Posted on Tue, 11/14/2017 - 22:42 by Coby van Wijhe
This morning I met a happy mom who had a good sleep after a tiring day yesterday. Together with Suhail and Elwira we went to the hospital for Nazgol's echo. Because there was nobody yet in the echo room, we went to the nurse station, and then back to the echo room.
The doctor had arrived and gave her sedation so she would be still during the exam. Although she slept quickly, we had to wait almost an hour because the department was very busy. The echo went okay, and the doctor explained to mom about her heart problem called d-TGA and explained information about the operation that is needed.

There are two possibilities: an Arterial Switch or an Atrium Switch. The parents need to decide which operation they want for Nazgol. The Arterial Switch is a major operation but will last a lifetime. The Artrium Swich is less complicated but will give serious problems at the age of 20 years. It's always hard for the parents to make the right decision in this. Please pray for wisdom and that the right decision will be made.