Noor's Heart Surgery

Kurdistan, northern Iraq

Visiting Noor

Posted on Tue, 02/28/2017 - 00:28 by Camila Buitrago
This afternoon we made a short visit to Noor. Her grandmother was very happy because the hospital has taken good care of her granddaughter, and Noor's room is very comfortable and beautiful.
In the morning Noor had the CT angiogram, but the doctors didn't have the results as of this afternoon. Possibly the hospital will have the results tonight, and after that we will know the next steps in Noor's journey. 
Little Noor was asleep during our visit. The nurse brought a special lamp to keep the room warm and comfortable, and showed us a place in the hospital for parents to rest. During the visit, we made some new friends that will accompany our family in the coming days. What a gift when God shows us his work in this part of the world - like the Arab people and the Jewish people that can change the lives of these babies. It is time to ask: where are the borders? Inside the ICU the borders are broken.   
We continue praying for Noor, and also we continue to be grateful to God because He opened the gates of the hospital. God has the medical team in his hands and every worker and each of the patients. We are confident that he will continue to help us. he is our Creator, and King, but above all our Father.  

Great is His Faithfulness

Posted on Sun, 02/26/2017 - 23:16 by Ruth Zellweger

Sometimes it is hard to comprehend all the things that happen in 24 hours at Shevet. So many encounters, challenges, mercies... That little Noor is with us in Israel tonight and alive is only by God's grace. He is faithfully watching over this little one. 

We heard about Noor two months ago, and due to her heart defect approached Sheba hospital with her echo report, asking for acceptance. We haven't had a Kurdish patient at Sheba hospital for the past two years. The head surgeon, Dr. Mishaly, replied that same day and let us know that she is accepted. Two weeks ago Noor's visa was approved. We knew that she needed to come as soon as possible, but we had not really discussed her joining our group of four new children who were scheduled to arrive this morning in Israel. However, we are so thankuful for our faithful God Who is orchestrating everything according to His will. He made sure that Noor was not forgotten and brought her to Jonathan's attention a few days ago. Even though at this point it was almost too late to prepare her for travel, he asked the family to fill out a medical form needed for the airline so we would better understand how Noor was doing. After receiving the form, we discussed her travel date, and eventually concluded that it might be okay to wait a little bit longer. However, in the meantime our co-worker Agnes submitted her medical form for urgent approval for this morning. We thought that it was too late, but what a surprise when we heard Saturday that Noor was approved to fly early the next day.

Noor's family was ready to send their precious baby and her grandmother this morning, and a few hours later we welcomed them at Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv. We saw another provision of our heavenly Father, as we had a medical escort, Nelly, for one of the other four children, Halat, as her oxygen saturation was low and she needed oxygen during travel. Halat was doing well during the travel, but little Noor's saturation dropped drastically on the plane. Nelly, who is a respiratory therapist, administered oxygen and changed her position a few times which quickly improved her condition. By God's grace Noor was stable by the time they came into the arrival hall, and she remained that way during our journey to our Jaffa home.

Since Noor's travel was planned on Shabbat, we had no time to inform the hospital about her imminent arrival until we were on our way home. The next hours were very busy, and at times we were not sure if they would be willing to see Noor today due to administration issues. However, by 1.30 p.m. this afternoon, the issues were resolved and Noor was carefully examined by a team of cardiologists. After discussing their findings, they told us that Noor would be admitted. They confirmed the diagnosis given by the Kurdish cardiologists, but also told us that with what they had seen, or more accurately, not seen, Noor should not be alive. While she previously had a patent opening hat that connected her pulmonary artery with the aorta (PDA) and helped with the oxygenation of her body, this PDA was not visible anymore today. There were only small collaterals that seemed to provide some oxygen. 

Noor's life is a gift from God. Her family cannot take any credit, Shevet cannot take any credit. We can try and do everything possible, but He is the sovereign One, who orchestrates everything beautifully despite our sometimes incorrect assessments and misinterpretation of situations. It is only because of Him that Noor is still alive and now being treated by some of the best medical professionals in the world.

Noor is scheduled to have a CT-angiogram of her heart tomorrow, and should be on the surgery schedule soon. Less than 24 hours after they departed their home in Kurdistan, Noor and her grandmother are resting in the ICU in an Israeli hospital. It would not have been possible if it wasn't for God's faithfulness.

"Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22-23