Ranj's Heart Surgery

northern Iraq

A Healthy Ranj Leaves Us for Iraq

Posted on Sun, 07/13/2008 - 01:00 by Dirk

Ranj and three other children and their mothers flew back to Iraq today after spending three days with us in Jordan following their heart surgeries in Israel.
We still remember the long waiting time in Jordan before the surgeries. Everybody was very tense then, and it used to take a while before we could cheer them up and make them smile.

Now, what a difference! These last three days have been relaxed and happy, and the families joined with our family in our evening worship times.

It's so nice to release happy mothers and children home to their families. Thank you Lord for all of your grace.

Ranj Bids Farewell to Israel

Posted on Thu, 07/10/2008 - 01:00 by Amy_Denney
Ranj together with Shaima, Zhino, and Arina and all their mothers came to Jerusalem Wednesday morning in preparation for their return trip to Iraq. Their last request was to see Jerusalem before they left Israel. Hank drove them all over the city, showing them the most popular sights, including the Old City above, and the Church of the Nativity and the Garden Tomb below.

They arrived back at the Shevet house just before sunset. Once they arrived they prepared a nice dinner as part of the celebration that would take place that evening.

Keleigh: "There was tremendous joy as all prepared to go back home. Around 11:00 p.m. dinner was served. Shortly after, Kurdish music was turned on and the real party began. All five of the children (Nari was among them, although he's not yet returning to Iraq) sang and danced for hours. Little Ali, waiting with us for his second surgery, loved watching the older children sing and dance, trying to imitate them as best he could. Their mothers also joined in intermittently encouraging the kids to continue on. I left the party around midnight and the children were still energetically singing and dancing."

Amy: "The next morning we weren't going to let them leave for Iraq without praying. So we gathered and prayed for those traveling. I said a tearful goodbye to all those that were leaving. They will surely be missed, but I am grateful to the Lord that they will be healthy upon returning to Iraq."

Hank then drove them to the border crossing, and there was time on the descent to the Dead Sea for Ranj to (at first reluctantly) try a camel ride.

At the border, Keleigh reports: "They checked out on the Israeli side and loaded their luggage onto the bus. Each mother and child gave us a hug goodbye and with it, the tears began to run down their cheeks. Shaimas mother hugged me and as I began to pull away, I felt her hold on. Through tears, the continual words out of each mothers mouth was, thank you, thank you!"

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In High Spirits

Posted on Mon, 06/23/2008 - 01:00 by Amy_Denney

Although Ranj was being looked at by the nurses today, he was still in pretty high spirits. He had a great attitude in the ward having his echo and still had a smile on his face. He was playing in the children's playroom at the hospital when Andrew, Keleigh, and I were about to leave, and seemed to have a bit of energy.

Waving, Just Hours After Surgery

Posted on Thu, 06/19/2008 - 01:00 by Andrew_Peck

Ranj had his heart surgery today. The doctor told me that the operation went fine, and he is doing very well.

Just hours after his operation, this energetic little guy woke up just long enough to smile and wave at the nurses, as they cared for him. He was quickly sedated again, and he was sleeping soundly when I left him.

Ranj's mother was in very good spirits during our visit. She enjoyed chatting with the other mothers and some Kurdish visitors, but she was obviously worried about her son.

Surgery Tomorrow

Posted on Wed, 06/18/2008 - 01:00 by Andrew_Peck

Ranj was admitted to the hospital today for his surgery tomorrow. He is obviously nervous, but not too nervous to enjoy playing with Nari. This is the first time in a few weeks that the two of them have been together.

Ranj's mother is also nervous but seems to be doing well.

Full of Life and Energy

Posted on Sun, 05/18/2008 - 01:00 by Andrew_Peck

Today, Ranj and Nari were tested for tuberculosis. Ranjs results returned negative, but Nari tested positive. He has been given some medication that should clear the problem up in a week or two.

Although there were times that they wanted to be carried, both Ranj and Nari showed a surprising amount of energy today as we walked around the hospital. We had lots of fun looking at the fish in the waiting room, and the boys enjoyed some Pepsi later in the day. Both of these boys are so full of life and energy now; I look forward to seeing the change in them after their surgeries.

Ranj Arrives in Israel

Posted on Thu, 05/15/2008 - 01:00 by Keleigh_Glisson

Ranj (the little boy in the picture) and Nari crossed over the Israel-Jordan border Wednesday evening and arrived to the Shevet house late Wednesday night.

Thursday morning we hit the ground running, arriving to the hospital early for blood work, PPD tests for tuberculosis, and echocardiograms. Both boys have been diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot, which requires only one operation. However, Nari will need a second echocardiogram on Sunday in order for the doctors to fully understand the complexity of his situation.

These boys and their mothers spent a good amount of time in Jordan with the mothers of Zhino, Aros, Cheya, and Shaima, so it has been a great time for these mothers as they were reunited once again. As Autumn and I drove from the hospital in Tel Aviv back to Jerusalem this evening with the mothers of Nari, Ranj, Aros and Shaima we couldn't help but notice the continual Kurdish chatter in the back seat. It appeared that they had a lot to catch up on. Even though we had no idea what was being said, it was apparent that at this time, these women are one another's strength; they are a family. Please pray for them as they begin to embark on this very scary, but exciting time in their lives, and in the lives of the children.