Radhwan's Heart Surgery

Kurdistan, northern Iraq

Laughter, Lollipops and Love

Posted on Sun, 07/05/2015 - 21:39 by Laura Edwards

Every day that I spend playing with Radhwan I am reminded how much I have to be thankful for. Despite his condition and still waiting for his much needed surgery, he is full of laughter and smiles. He pretends to be shy but give him a little while and he is a loud, rambunctious little guy, full of life! This morning he went with his mother out shopping for a little while. They came back with bubble gum and lollipops to share with everybody :)

It’s heartwarming to see the bond between Radhwan and his mom. No one can make him laugh like she can. Please keep him in your prayers as they continue to wait for surgery.


Radhwan's Condition and Favor

Posted on Tue, 06/02/2015 - 20:11 by Jesse Tilman

Today we returned with Radhwan to Wolfson Hospital to check his PPD test and speak with the doctors about the upcoming surgery. Shay, a Kurdish Jew who knows their family, met us there for support and translation. He would also like to be a part of the surgery day.

The PPD check came back positive for Radwan but not his mother. Dr. Tamir sat down with us and explained the condition of Radwan's heart to his mother and their plan of action. Complicating the matter is Radwan's lung issues. The doctor showed the mother onscreen the cross-section scans of Radwan's chest and how the one lung has collapsed. With illustrative diagrams showing the heart, he told her how it is functioning now and how they hope to improve it.

It was a lot for her to take in and through the rest of the day she was contemplative as she considered the future and discussed it with her family. He's favored to be back on Saturday for admission and a surgery the next day. Thank you for your prayers for this precious child.

Step by Step

Posted on Mon, 06/01/2015 - 20:35 by Camilla Berg


When we took Talal to his echo at Wolson, we also visited Radhwan and his mother and brought them home. When we came, Radhwan was a bit shy and wanted to be with his mum, but soon after, I showed him an app with animal’s sounds. That cheered him up.

Radhwan's CT scan showed that he basically is living on one lung. His condition is serious; therefore, God willing, he will have his surgery this upcoming Sunday.

Pray for strength and comfort as Radhwan and his mother go to the meeting at the hospital tomorrow. The doctors will explain to Radhwan's mother the process of the surgery. To make sure Radhwan's mother understands everything, the hospital will have a Kurdish translator at the meeting, which is very thoughtful of the hospital. Thank God! 

Full of Character

Posted on Sun, 05/31/2015 - 22:01 by Sarah Powell

Today I met Radhwan and his mother for the first time. Radhwan is full of character and has quite a bit of energy, considering how low his oxygen level is right now.

His mother is very friendly, and in a mix of Kurdish and Arabic, she told Julia and I all about her family and showed us lots of pictures on her phone.

Radhwan had his CT scan today, and it was completed before we actually arrived at the hospital. We have no information about the results yet; however, Radhwan was asked to remain in the hospital for now, which means his condition is pretty serious.

In an effort to entertain Radhwan during our visit, we decided to pull out the bubbles. He was enamored – for a few minutes.

Once he tired of catching the floating globes, we headed out to the playground. There is where he really started to loosen up as he played peek-a-boo with Julia and got to take rides in a wheelchair that we found sitting around.

He also made friends with a little Palestinian boy his age, who kindly shared his chocolate and ice cream with Radhwan (a sure-fire way to make friends with anyone).

To finish off the day, we had fun posing for pictures with Radhwan atop the hospital's popular bull statue.

During his rodeo photo session, I learned that in Kurdistan cows actually say “Awoo” instead of “Moo.” You learn something new every day.

Please pray for peace and strength for Radhwan and his mother as they continue to adjust to their new surroundings. And pray that the doctors would have wisdom to know how to move forward in fixing this little boy's delicate heart.  

First Exams

Posted on Thu, 05/28/2015 - 11:23 by Rebekah Yang

After a short night of rest at our home on Prophets Street, we left Thursday morning with sweet Radhwan and his mother to begin his physical checkup at Wolfson hospital. When we reached the children’s ward, poor Radhwan saw many new faces dressed up in white uniforms surrounding him. He was scared and crying a lot. Eventually, a student nurse got all of Radhwan’s vital data by trying many different means, including: body temperature, blood pressure, body weight, and an EKG.

Around noon, we went to the echo room for the next step. Due to Radhwan’s uneasiness, it was difficult to perform the echo. Dr. Alona gave him some oral sedation medication to help with the echo.

When we finished there, we moved to the X-ray department for his chest X-ray.

Due to the results of his echo, Dr. Alona decided to admit Radhwan to arrange for a chest CT scan. The doctors wanted to make a further examination to be able to better plan for the surgery later on. After Radhwan settled down in the children’s ward, he was happy and enjoyed his first Israeli meal at the hospital.

Heavenly Father, please give Radhwan and his mum your peace as they wait at the hospital. Amen.

First Iraqi Child Via Turkey

Posted on Wed, 05/27/2015 - 17:16 by Agnes Bruna

Last night was an exciting adventure for Rebekah, Jesse, and me. We drove to Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv to receive Shevet Achim’s first ever Iraqi child to arrive on a flight from Turkey to Israel. In view of the recent problems receiving visas from the Jordanian government, it was decided that this was a good way to try and bypass the problem. And it worked. An Israeli co-passenger very kindly agreed to help Radhwan and his mother through passport control and baggage claim. I received only one call from passport control to verify the length of the requested visa, and shortly after that they came out – weary and tired, and very blue in Radhwan’s case, but happy to finally arrive. 

We took them to the hospital in Tel Aviv for a check-up. The doctor on call there gave Radhwan a little bit of his cola, and some medicine to calm down (he wasn’t very happy!), and the cardiologist did a thorough echo. Then they cleared him to come with us to Jerusalem for a short, but good night’s sleep.  

Coming Soon

Posted on Sun, 05/17/2015 - 15:59 by Sarah Powell

Radhwan is a two-year-old little boy from Kurdistan in northern Iraq. He was born with a heart defect called Transpostion of the Great Arteries (TGA), which means that his aorta and pulmonary artery are switched. This results in oxygenated blood going to the lungs while the de-oxygenated blood goes to the body. The only reason he is able to survive with this defect is because he also has a Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD), which means that there is a hole between the two chambers of his heart, allowing the oxygenated and de-oxygenated blood to mix. We hope to have Radhwan and his mother join us in Jerusalem soon so that Radhwan can get the medical treatment he needs.