Payveen's Heart Surgery

Northern Iraq

The Impact of "Thank You"

Posted on Tue, 12/31/2013 - 17:21 by Ruth Zellweger

Early in the morning, Shevet volunteer Eilin and I headed towards Tel Aviv to be with Payveen and her mother during the CT scan of Payveen's heart. When we reached the hospital ward, Payveen spotted us right away, came running to us, and embraced us tightly. It was a heartwarming welcome.

The next hour we spent together waiting for the scan. Payveen's thirst grew with each minute, and even though she asked almost constantly for water, we managed to convince her to wait. Finally the moment came for Payveen to go into the examination room. The doctor and radiology technician were waiting for us. The first thing Payveen did was greet them, thank them warmly, and tell them how beautiful they both were. The technician was touched. She told me it was the first thank you she had heard today. It meant a lot to her and made her smile. Payveen truly has the gift of cheering people up and making them feel special and appreciated. 

During the CT-scan, which took around three minutes, Payveen lay completely still.

I was so proud of her, as was her mother who was standing beside her the whole time.

After the scan was completed, we said our goodbyes to the smiling technician and went back to the ward. We waited there for another two hours until we were finally cleared to return home. 

The cardiologists will evaluate the results of the CT scan in the next couple of days and hopefully decide on a surgery date soon. In the meantime we are thankful to have Payveen back with us in Jerusalem. Thank you very much for interceding for this precious girl and her mother. 

Joy in the Waiting

Posted on Mon, 12/30/2013 - 21:46 by Kristina Kayser

If you were to look up the word "endearing" in the dictionary, you just might see a picture of Payveen beside the definition. She is indomitably cheerful and complimentary. The women in our community have been the recipients of her adoring words, "To zor jwana!" ("You are so beautiful!") on a daily basis. Needless to say, we have all benefited by her warm spirit. Her mother is likewise kind and gracious, particularly in dealing with an uncertain surgery schedule. 

Yesterday, several children in our home were called in for their surgeries this week. Payveen, however, was not on the roster. Payveen's mother was disappointed, but she looked forward in hope to when she too would receive good news. I encouraged her to keep trusting the Lord day by day as we waited together. Then early this morning I received a phone call from Dr. Alona requesting that Payveen be admitted for a CT scan tomorrow and heart surgery on Wednesday! Her mother responded by throwing her arms around me, tears streaming down her cheeks, and hugging me as hard as she could. When one hug finished, she would ask me to repeat the good news, and then hug me again and again. Her tears of joy were beautiful to witness. 

Payveen's admission to the children's department at Wolfson was a smooth one.

Although it took several tries to secure an IV line, she dried her tears quickly and told the nurse, "To zor jwana!" When I translated her words to the nurse, she looked both surprised and flattered. "I'm blushing!" she said. Once Payveen was clad in oversized hospital pajamas and settled in her room, we received an update from the doctor. Payveen's CT scan would be completed as planned tomorrow morning, but her surgery is postponed until next week. In fact, all surgeries were cancelled this week due to an infection control issue in the ICU. 

Being her gracious self, Payveen's mother nodded quietly and expressed her relief that at least the final step towards surgery would soon be completed. Please pray that tomorrow's diagnostic test would provide all the necessary data the doctors need to best prepare for Payveen’s heart surgery. May the Lord continue to fill this little girl and her mother with His joy! 

A Ray of Sunshine

Posted on Mon, 12/23/2013 - 21:24 by Eilin Midtbo

I first met Payveen a couple days ago when she arrived at the house. I walked into the office, and she greeted me with the biggest smile. I came to learn this was not a special incident but rather a constant attitude with her. Wherever she goes, she spreads joy with her beautiful smile and her sweet personality. 

Today we traveled to the hospital for her first assessment. During our time there, she kept her positive and joyful attitude during both the examination times and the waiting times.

She told the nurses how beautiful they were and thanked everyone for everything. She is a spontaneous child, and during our time at the hospital she was not afraid to walk around and explore. She was always first around the corner, dancing down the corridors. Her mother remained calm and patient during the whole day, smiling and attending to her beautiful daughter. 

Payveen's diagnosis is Aortic Stenosis. The main vessel to her heart is too narrow, and as a result her heart works harder than it has to. The doctors will need to open up the vessel via surgery. Today Payveen's initial assessments included an x-ray, blood work, and an EKG. All these tests are standard for new patients and are the first step toward surgery. 

Our prayer for Payveen is that her time here at Shevet Achim will be filled with joy and peace as she waits for her surgery day. Please pray with us that the light of Christ will be a ray of sunshine upon her life, much like she herself is to all of us here at the house. Also pray for her mother to stay strong during this time away from their family.

A New Treasure Arrives at Shevet

Posted on Fri, 12/20/2013 - 14:29 by Elizabeth Foley
Eight-year-old Payveen arrived with her mother Wednesday night in Amman. It was immediately clear to me that Payveen possesses a very outgoing and sweet, unique personality. She makes friends quickly, and it's impossible not to fall in love with her. 
Many of Payveen's physical characteristics and aspects of her personality are due to her disorder: William's Syndrome. Her high-level sociability, love of music (already evident), strong vocabulary skills (she has already picked up many English words), and high level of empathy are all characteristic of William's Syndrome. 
She and her mother were very patient and helped keep the mood light during our long border crossing into Israel. Even though I've only known her for a night or two, it's evident she is a special and beautiful little girl, whose life God treasures. 

Coming Soon

Posted on Mon, 11/25/2013 - 14:58 by Kelsey Cannon

More often than not, it is unknown what specific genetic or environmental factors induce congenital heart disease. But for eight-year-old Payveen, her heart’s narrowed aortic valve, also known as aortic valve stenosis (AS), has a clear cause. Payveen is the possessor of a rare genetic disorder occurring in only 1 of 7,500 to 1 of 20,000 births. This disorder, called William’s Syndrome, is caused by the deletion of certain genes off of a specific chromosome. The result of William’s Syndrome (WS) is a distinct set of facial characteristics, social behaviors, developmental delays, and cardiovascular problems. And while there is no cure for Payveen’s WS itself, the AS which is a result of it can be treated surgically. We are expecting this sweet little girl to arrive in Israel before the end of the year for corrective heart surgery which is not yet available in her home country of northern Iraq.