Rawand's Heart Surgery

northern Iraq

Enjoyment in Rawand's Interim Time

Posted on Sun, 12/16/2012 - 16:31 by Kelsey Cannon

No one really likes waiting. Waiting before heart surgery can be intense, especially for worried parents; waiting between hospital appointments can be frustrating, especially for healing bodies who want to go home. So while Rawand and his mom wait to be called for surgery, and Rozhgar, Ramyar and their moms wait for a final echocardiogram, we sought a special outing to keep everyone encouraged. Much to our joy, last Friday presented just such an opportunity. On a sunny day in the Tel Aviv area, Rozhgar, Ramyar, Rawand and their mothers had a picnic outing to the Mediterranean Sea. It was delightful - we'll let the pictures tell the story! We hope you will pray for these children as you read, and enjoy the waves, smiles and seashells.

After Five-Day Virus, Rawand Returns to Jerusalem

Posted on Sun, 12/09/2012 - 23:16 by Jesse Tilman

For the past five days Rawand has had a virus, and has been in the hospital recovering. Today he improved significantly, and was cleared to return to the Shevet house in Jerusalem.

Rawand is still on a few medicines, and when I was at the hospital today it took a little while to gather everything together before we left. On the way home, mother and son slept awhile. She woke to admire the beautiful sunset as we passed Latrun, and we both gave thanks to God. His mother let me know that her days in the hospital were too many! She was ready to be back at the house with other Kurdish mothers where she can sleep soundly.  

Back at the house, the other two Kurdish mothers were a little put out to have a slightly sick child return to live with them and their children. It is very possible that Rawand

Rawand Weak; Admitted to Wolfson

Posted on Wed, 12/05/2012 - 23:34 by Ruth Zellweger

Little Rawand had not been doing well over the last two days. Most of what he had been drinking and eating he lost through loose stools or vomiting. Although we tried to substitute the loss with special fluid containing all essential electrolytes, he was not improving. In the late afternoon I took him to WolfsonHospitalto have him checked by a doctor. With our arrival at the hospital at 6.30pm, Rawand was immediately seen by a doctor and his vital signs were taken. He received an IV line and was given an infusion. Blood was drawn to determine the cause of Rawand

Evaluating Rawand's Neurology

Posted on Tue, 11/27/2012 - 22:37 by Ruth Zellweger

Today, Rawand was neurologically examined for his drooping right eyelid at Wolfson Hospital. We arrived there around and first took him to the children

Rawand's Surgery Rescheduled Again

Posted on Sun, 11/25/2012 - 20:59 by Katie Weinheimer

A sleepy Rawand and his mother set off for Wolfson hospital this morning for further examinations. Although Rawand

Rawand: Hello, Goodbye!

Posted on Tue, 11/20/2012 - 23:34 by Donna_Petrel

This morning we left Jerusalemfor Rawand's admission in expectation of tomorrow afternoon's heart surgery. Even though he was scheduled as the second surgery, doctors asked that we bring him early so that he could be seen by an opthamologist. Once we arrived, he was treated with a topical pain reliever on his hands and inner arms, and asked to wait until the doctor could do the blood test and insert a cannula. This was welcome news for Rawand's mom since the best place to wait happened to be in the room with Rozhgar and her mother. Each of these moms were in vulnerable positions today since Rozhgar and her mother had just been told a chest tube needed to be reinserted. They were able to share their concerns, as well as encourage each other toward the goal of each one's heart: a healthy child. 

Soon enough Rawand was called for his cannula, which left mother and son in tears after it took two tries to find his vein. Immediately we were asked to go to the eye clinic so a diagnosis could be given for a drooping eyelid (a condition called ptosis) of his right eye which was noted during his initial exams yesterday. We saw two doctors who did different sorts of tests on Rawand, one of whom finished by dilating his eyes and asking us to return again after half hour. Finding this the perfect time for some lunch, Rawand and his mother shared a tray of food back in their room. We hurried back to the eye clinic and were again seen by both doctors. 

Ultimately there is a question about whether the droopiness began at birth, or if it occurred later. Rawand's mother indicated that his doctor in Kurdistan mentioned it at eight months of age. The opthamologist feels it is probably a hereditary condition, and likely would not be a problem except cosmetically. However, if the droopiness began at eight months, it could stem from a neurological situation which needs investigating. Either way, it has no impact on his heart surgery, which was his mother's main question as we returned to the ward. Thus far we aren't sure whether Rawand will have a neurological exam here or not, and will hear about this from the attending doctor in the coming days.

Once we settled Rawand and his mother into their room again, Johan and I were about ready to leave for home. I spoke with the nurses and made sure Rawand's mother had all the information she needed about when he must begin fasting, and let her know some of our team would be with her tomorrow. I only needed to deliver his surgery consent form upstairs before leaving, and then we would say our final goodbyes. However, when I arrived upstairs, I found out that the surgery schedule had to be changed and Rawand would be dismissed back to Jerusalem! After the child scheduled for the first surgery fell ill, a child needing a longer surgery was invited - our own Ramyar - therefore, a second surgery could not be fitted into the day. I was told Rawand is rescheduled for admission on Sunday and surgery on Monday. So I returned downstairs to tell Rawand's mom about the surprising turn of events. 

Little did I know that during the time I was walking back to the children's ward, a rocket siren was going off in Jerusalem. I called back to the house to get clear translation for Rawand's mother, and was informed that everyone had just gone downstairs into our safe room again. So I told the medical staff that we may not be able to leave Jerusalemas soon as we thought because of what had happened. I was impacted by seeing their reaction once they thought about us on the road taking Rawand home and bringing Ramyar in for admission. I suspect it was the same feeling we had when we found out that shrapnel hit a car in the very same block as the hospital just a few days ago after an incoming rocket was taken out by the Iron Dome protection system. It seemed to me we shared a very deep sense of partnership in the common desire to help save lives, along with a very strong sense of vulnerability in the current reality in this land. A few minutes later, as I walked through the waiting room, I saw both Jewish and Muslim families looking at the television screen showing the breaking news. I wondered how each one felt as they sat together, each representing their family's pursuit of medical help for their child, along with their unique hope for a life lived to its fullest potential. I do not claim to understand these emotions, or these current events as we walk through them. I think I simply feel the stirred passions of each group we have opportunity to know, and my passion is also stirred, that they might be drawn to know how fully loved they are by their Creator. The shaking of everything around us drives me to hopeful, humble prayer that this may be so. As you pray for Rawand and his mother while they wait a little longer for his surgery, I ask that you also remember the beautiful variety of inhabitants of this land, each one loved perfectly by God and valued so much that he gave his only son to give them everlasting life.

Rawand's Debut At Wolfson Hospital

Posted on Mon, 11/19/2012 - 23:06 by Kristina Kayser

Rawand's cherub face was all smiles this morning when Johann, Kelsey, and I escorted him and his mother to the hospital. It was quite a contrast from the night before, when his mother woke me with a phone call in the small hours, concerned at Rawand

A Pleasant Arrival in Israel

Posted on Mon, 11/19/2012 - 00:08 by Jonathan Miles

Rawand and his mother were equally pleasant and cheerful on the long ride to Israel this afternoon, their smiling faces helping to ease the way through the necessary security checks. Rawand just turned one year old yesterday,

Tonight Rawand is resting in Jerusalem, and tomorrow he'll face doctors in Israel (and their needles) for the first time. Let's hope the smiles don't all disappear.

Turning One and Coming to Israel

Posted on Mon, 11/05/2012 - 00:29 by Jonathan Miles

Rawand was born with a hole between the ventricles of his heart. If not closed soon, it could cause irreversible pulmonary hypertension which would leave him inoperable.

Today we've applied for Rawand's visa, and we hope he'll be in Israel in late November--just a week or so after he turns one year old!