Rawand's Heart Surgery

northern Iraq

Rawand Returns to Primary ICU

Posted on Thu, 01/17/2013 - 23:24 by Ruth Zellweger

Our hospital visitation team today did not find Rawand as expected in Secondary ICU, but instead back in ICU. Rawand has developed fluid in his chest cavity and a chest tube was reinserted to drain the fluid. His mother did not seem to understand what was going on and was crying when Kristina, Johanna and Linn first met her. Kristina talked with her and explained the reason for the chest tube. The companionship plus the explanation in her own language helped her to calm down. Please pray with us that Rawand will improve soon and that his mother will endure the time at the hospital as long as it is necessary.

Rawand In Secondary ICU

Posted on Wed, 01/16/2013 - 19:27 by Ruth Zellweger

When I entered the ICU of Wolfson Hospital early in the morning I came just in time to see Rawand being wheeled out into Secondary ICU. He has continued to recover well, and is in a stable condition that allows him to be transferred. Rawand was most of the time asleep when I saw him, and still needs some supplementary oxygen. His mother looked happy but tired, and expressed her gratitude for her son

Rawand Recovering Well

Posted on Tue, 01/15/2013 - 21:55 by Kelsey Cannon

A follow up with Rawand one day after his heart operation found him recovering extremely well. Dr. Alona performed an echocardiogram on him in the ICU today and afterwards thought it safe to extubate him. He is currently sedated with only a small nasal cannula supplying him with oxygen. We are thanking God for His perfect timing in Rawand

At Long Last

Posted on Mon, 01/14/2013 - 23:05 by Kelsey Cannon

By all accounts this is a boring picture, right? Not exactly an image which jumps off the page to grab hold of your attention and shake it into submission. Just an empty bed. In fact, it could be seen as rather sad. Where is the bed

Rawand On Deck, For The Seventh Time

Posted on Sun, 01/13/2013 - 22:00 by Kristina Kayser

Our dear Rawand was admitted once again to Wolfson Hospital this afternoon. This marks the seventh time a surgery has been scheduled for him, and hopes are high. The last few days have been particularly emotional for Rawand's mother. She misses her home, her family, and especially her six-year-old daughter. Dr. Alona called early this morning to say that Rawand would have his surgery tomorrow, and I couldn't wait to share the good news. While Rawand babbled happily, his mother gave me her full attention as I relayed Dr. Alona's message. Silent tears filled her eyes and rolled down her cheeks. I rushed to hug her, presuming her to be overwhelmed, apprehensive, or doubtful. She responded with, "I'm crying because I'm happy!" I was both surprised and warmed by this response. An additional blessing of the day was that Sara was also invited to Wolfson for admission this afternoon. The two mothers were thankful to be accompanying one another, having developed a close friendship over the past month. 

After a pleasant drive down to Tel Aviv, the nurses were ready and waiting for us upon arrival. Both Rawand and Sara were promptly attended to, with vital sign checks and assessments soon completed. Unfortunately, one final requisite was still needed: an IV start. This was most vexing to poor Rawand, who up until this point had been perfectly amiable. Two needle pokes and a quick blood sample were enough to make him miserable. His mother's arms, however, provided all the comfort he needed. I was so impressed by the composure she demonstrated today. Not jaded by previous deja vu experiences, Rawand's mother remains hopeful. I prayed with her before leaving, praising God this day had come. As I kissed Rawand goodbye, I realized how much I have come to adore this sweet boy and how much I long for him to be well. It is a beautiful reality to know that my affection for him pales in comparison to that of God's. May tomorrow bring the fulfillment of all our prayers for Rawand's mended heart.  

Perfect Timing For Rawand

Posted on Wed, 01/09/2013 - 11:45 by Kristina Kayser

Sometimes, the purpose of waiting or the disappointment that comes when things turn out differently than we expect is hard to understand. Rawand's mother  arrived nearly two months ago with her son looking for an expedient surgery. Through each cancellation, she has borne it as graciously and patiently as one could expect. Our community, likewise, has continued to pray and trust God for His perfect timing for Rawand, encouraging his mother to do the same. We look to Him once again this morning as word arrived that Rawand's operation was further postponed. An emergency case from the West Bank took precedence in the OR theater, changing the schedule for apparent reasons. Rawand and his mother will return to Jerusalem today and wait until a new surgery date has been arranged. Would you please pray for them in the wake of this most recent anticlimax. Rawand's mother is undoubtedly in need of fresh grace, patience, and strength in the coming days. Surely, there is hope for a beautifully mended heart for her son. Also, please pray for the child from the West Bank receiving urgent intervention for his heart today. May we find grace to trust God in greater ways and be a conduit of that grace to each family we serve.

Sixth Time's the Charm

Posted on Tue, 01/08/2013 - 18:59 by Kelsey Cannon

Amid a blustery, stormy day, Shaida, Sara, and Rawand made their way to Wolfson Hospital for admission. For Rawand especially, this moment has been a long time coming. Almost two months, and five scheduled - and cancelled - surgery dates later, he is to finally undergo the procedure to surgically correct his Ventricular Septal Disorder (VSD) tomorrow. I guess you could say the sixth time's the charm. 

Once at the hospital, Rawand proceeded to spread his charm around the children

Rawand's Surgery Cancelled

Posted on Sun, 12/30/2012 - 10:40 by Kelsey Cannon

It was late last night when we received the call from our co-worker Ruth that Rawand would not be admitted for surgery at Wolfson Hospital. It seems that Rawand had a slight fever when they arrived and performed his initial assessments. His fever continued to rise slightly while he was there, and doctors suspect that he may have another virus working its way through his system. After some consultation, he was cleared to return to our building in Jerusalem. Please continue to pray for Rawand

Rawand Called in for Surgery

Posted on Sat, 12/29/2012 - 17:43 by Kelsey Cannon

The day has finally come. After roughly a month and a half of patient waiting in Israel, and some ins-and-outs with the hospital, Rawand has been called in by Wolfson to have his VSD surgically corrected. His procedure is scheduled for tomorrow. After a round of hugs and some shed tears, he was ushered out of the door of our building in Jerusalem this evening by a large party of well-wishers. Would you please keep Rawand and his mother in your prayers as they embark on this next step in his healing process? 

Peace in the Waiting

Posted on Sun, 12/16/2012 - 17:22 by Kristina Kayser

Change is an inevitable part of the human experience, but the way one responds to its, often, unexpected nature makes all the difference. I have found this to be true for Rawand and his mother as they wait for his heart surgery. Three times already, plans have been altered due to operating room scheduling or sickness. Rawand's most recent stomach virus has resolved within the last few days, resulting in a much livelier and happier baby. His mother, likewise, seems to have received a fresh boost of patience and joy. 

Dr. Alona was then notified of Rawand's improvement, leading to today's reevaluation at Wolfson. We had been informed that if doctors gave him a clean bill of health, he would be admitted for surgery on Monday. Thus, with bags packed and hopes high, our crew followed the winding road down to Tel Aviv. Our toddler friend didn't enjoy the ride very much until I popped in a Kurdish worship CD.

Perhaps it was the familiar sound of his native tongue or the folkish melodies pouring from the speakers that finally lulled him to sleep. Rawand's mother sat closely beside him--a picture of calm. Just yesterday, we spoke of trusting God and remembering His love for us when things were hard. She told me how much stronger her husband was than her. "You are also very strong," I replied. "You traveled to a new place, far from home to help your son. You are strong because God is with you." 

Approaching Wolfson, I felt certain that the pediatrician would find Rawand ready for surgery. While this proved to be true, another unforeseen change awaited us. Dr. Alona informed me that a nation-wide nurses strike was currently postponing all but a few surgeries, including Rawand's. She added, optimistically, that his operation could still be this week if the strike ended soon. As I gingerly conveyed this message to Rawand's mother, I braced myself for her tears, but the tears never came. Instead, I saw calm resoluteness and a beautiful smile on her face. All the way home, her hopeful attitude persisted. Not even a phone call home to her husband explaining the new delay changed her aspect. 

Please continue to pray for God's peace to uphold Rawand and his mother in their prolonged season of waiting. And in every encounter with change, may we find comfort in the unchanging nature of our God. "Thou changest not. Thy compassions they fail not. As Thou hadst been, Thou forever wilt be."