Rand's Heart Surgery

northern Iraq

Rand Reaches Wolfson

Posted on Mon, 03/04/2013 - 23:02 by Kristina Kayser

The first thing to strike me about Rand were his gentle chocolate brown eyes looking out beneath a thick fringe of lashes. Now that we've been acquainted for a few days, I can see he has a gentle spirit to match. Perhaps the greatest influence of this boy's nature is his mother. She carries herself with grace and has yet to lose her cool after an arduous two day journey from Kurdistan to Israel. I think her profession as a first grade teacher is a perfect fit. Moreover, the love this mother has for her son is undeniable and beautiful to witness. This morning, I had the privilege of walking Rand and his mother through their first day at Wolfson Hospital in Tel Aviv.

Because Rand is a new patient, a series of initial exams were required to get a full plan of care in place. His docile temperament was immediately tested when the nurse came in to check vital signs and perform an electrocardiogram. Though perfectly painless, a blood pressure cough, thermometer, and colorful electrodes appeared as menacing objects to Rand. Finding comfort in his mother's arms, he soothed just in time to have his arm poked several times unsuccessfully for blood work. It looked as though his mother would have given anything to bear her son's pain.

With the unpleasant anticipation of more tears, we were then sent to the echo department to meet Dr. Alona. Thankfully for Rand, this assessment was accompanied by a mild sedative that put him in a euphoric mood straightaway. As Dr. Alona moved the ultrasound probe over his heart, he carried on a full conversation with himself in a dialect known only to babies. This brought a smile to his mother's face and entertained us all. After careful study, the echo results confirmed that Rand has a large VSD in addition to a hypertrophied right ventricle and stenotic (narrowed) pulmonary valve. Wolfson's surgeon will work to correct his heart by closing the breach between the heart's lower chambers, removing the excess muscle in the right ventricle, and repairing the malfunctioning valve. And while every heart surgery is a great undertaking, Dr. Alona believes that this repair should be a simpler one on the spectrum of complexity. This was music to his mother's ears and provided a degree of comfort.

The clock crept closer to 5pm as Rand succumbed to two more attempts of drawing a blood sample. The third time was a charm, as the saying goes, and we were on the road again just in time to see a magnificent sunset. A wearied mother and baby fell asleep soon after and remained so until the city lights of Jerusalem welcomed us home. As we wait for Rand's surgery to be scheduled, our community is sure to be blessed by this gentle duo.

Along for the Ride to Israel

Posted on Sun, 03/03/2013 - 20:57 by Kelsey Cannon

Rand is a thirteen-month-old with an incredible set of eyelashes and a large hole between the ventricles of his heart. In his current stage of life, he seems to be more concerned with grabbing things that come into range of his adorable little hands - including my hair - than with his current state of health. However, his mother carries much of the burden of worrying for her son and his heart. As she boarded the plane to leave their home country, she cried softly while holding her son tight. Meanwhile, Rand has been charming everyone and seems to be along for the ride. 

Please pray for peace for Rand