Rawezh's Heart Surgery

northern Iraq

Rawezh Sedated for Penultimate Echo

Posted on Mon, 12/26/2011 - 21:19 by Liliya Semenyuk

Tears and dread filled Rawezh

A Very Intelligent Three-Year Old

Posted on Mon, 12/19/2011 - 22:35 by Donna_West

Rawezh is a talker. He talks constantly, fast and doesn't mind turning up the volume if he thinks he is being ignored. I have the impression he is a very intelligent three-year old. He pays attention to everything going on around him and he really likes to have fun.

Rawezh's echo results today were excellent. There is no more evidence of fluid around his heart. His little checks have plumped out quite a bit since his surgery. When the fluid first began to gather around his heart, he was put on a steroid to reduce the fluid. A side effect of the steroid is excessive hunger. At lunch I could see Rawezh was so hungry he was practically crying between bites. His medicine will now be reduced over the next week. Hopefully within the next 10 days Rawezh will be weaned off the steroid completely and be released to return to his family in Iraq.

Rawezh One Step Closer To Home

Posted on Thu, 12/15/2011 - 17:54 by Kristina Kayser

Rawezh proved to everyone today that he is a morning person. While his mother and others in the van dozed en route to Wolfson, Rawezh was wide awake and carrying on a cheerful conversation with himself. His soft chatter carried up to the front seat where I sat, and I chuckled to myself. I love this three-year-old boy and his imagination.

Today's hospital visit entailed a follow up echo exam for Rawezh with Dr. Alona. Before she arrived, however, there was a space of one hour that needed to be filled. Waiting is something both moms and children grow accustomed to during their stay in Israel, and we try to remove the burden of this with lots of interaction. Rawezh's imagination again took flight as we sat in the lobby with a teddy bear finger puppet. As you'll see in the video, it took a while to find the perfect finger and mum was called in for help. In the end, Rawezh kindly asks his new friend, "How are you, good? (in Kurdish

Rawezh Update: Ear Infection and Fluid on the Heart

Posted on Sun, 12/11/2011 - 17:42 by Co-authored

(This blog was co-authored by Shevet volunteers Stephanie Ventura and Donna West.)

Stephanie writes on Friday:

Friday night was a rough night for Rawezh: he was taken by a fever that would not subside and eventually reached a peak of 38.4 Celsius (roughly 101 F). Although no other symptoms were obvious, he was taken to Wolfson hospital for assessment. The doctors always encourage us to take every symptom very seriously, if only because the children

Rawezh Returns to Jerusalem

Posted on Sun, 12/04/2011 - 23:15 by Kristina Kayser

Rawezh roamed the hospital corridors today without an ounce of fear. Perhaps, his courage came from the fact that he's been a patient for a week, or maybe because he knew he was going home. Either way, Rawezh was ready to head for home. Armed with his favorite toy sports car and an adorable crooked smile, we bid Wolfson farewell.

His post-op recovery has been free of complication. Moreover, he walks and plays as if nothing happened. But something did happen

Rawezh Is Out Of ICU, And Healing Well

Posted on Thu, 12/01/2011 - 20:03 by Kristina Kayser

Room two of Wolfson's pediatric department is three-year-old Rawezh's home for the next few days. While it may be a far cry from his lovely home in Kurdistan, it is certainly an improvement from the Intensive Care Unit. No tubes or machines are present, save one small IV port for easy medication access. He and his mother seemed content to have the whole room to themselves in peace and quiet. Rawezh played with a red balloon while his mother coaxed him to eat lunch. His appetite has returned, but only for bread and yogurt. Nothing else seems to satisfy his palate at the moment.

Rawezh's big brown eyes are full of life, and his mother smiles with the fact that her son is healing without pain. She adds that the doctors reports are positive and that they may be able to return home to Jerusalem by Sunday. Praise God for yet another answer to prayer and His love towards Rawezh.

Rawezh in ICU, Recovering from Surgery

Posted on Wed, 11/30/2011 - 00:33 by Caroline Brough

Rawezh was surprisingly awake today and lying calmly in his hospital bed as one of the Wolfson nurses examined him. Silent tears welled up in his eyes as he continued to ask for water. I helped him sip the water with one hand cupped underneath his mouth to catch the spills. As Rawezh lay there, not resisting the examination or offering any resistance to the nurse's prodding instruments, I couldn

On Surgery Day, A Full Repair to Rawezh's Heart

Posted on Mon, 11/28/2011 - 23:11 by Kristina Kayser

Every good and every perfect gift is from above, and truly Rawezh received just such a gift today. The gift came in the form of a successful open heart surgery.

When I arrived on-site at Wolfson, the operation was well underway. Thankfully, my coworker Yousef had arrived earlier and was able to pray with Rawezh and his mother and offer support.  As I sat and spoke with Rawezh' mother, I noticed she was very calm and quiet. Every parent handles their child's surgery differently: some are relaxed, others hysterical, and the rest can be everything in between. Whether she felt at peace or not, I do not know.

She was hungry however, and enjoyed a hot falafel sandwich immensely. It was good to see her receiving sustenance before some potentially challenging post-op days ahead.

Shortly after we returned to the waiting room, Dr. Alona walked by wearing a big smile on her face. She told us the surgery had just been completed and a full VSD repair was made to Rawezh

Rawezh Gets the Call to Surgery

Posted on Sun, 11/27/2011 - 22:14 by Kristina Kayser

Tensions have been high among the Kurdish mothers of late as days stretch into weeks while waiting for their child's surgery. Each day their question is the same, "When is the surgery?" And each day, I must give the same reply: "I'm sorry I don't know. When the doctor calls, I will let you know." While we try to encourage them that God is big and hears our cries, it seems difficult for them to think about anything besides the wait.

Well, this afternoon, Rawezh's mother received that longed-for phone call. I could tell she wanted to shout for joy, but she kept calm as the other mothers offered somber congratulations. As we approached Wolfson Hospital this evening, things got a bit bumpy as Rawezh threw one of his famous tantrums. The cause: this boy had a hankering for a banana, and his mother could only procure an orange. He walked into the hospital with dry eyes, however, as if he owned the place.

Regrettably, Rawezh's memories of his first hospital experience revisited him soon. His terrified cries filled the nurse