Rezhna's Heart Surgery

northern Iraq

Rezhna Heads Home to Her Family

Posted on Fri, 02/05/2010 - 06:51 by Jonathan Miles
Rezhna was so excited to head home to show her new heart to her family! We sent her off from Jerusalem this morning with a prayer of blessing for her bright future. Thank you for sharing with us in this journey of grace.

Rezhna Will Dance All the Way Home

Posted on Mon, 02/01/2010 - 00:00 by Donna_West

As we waited (for what seemed like a couple hours) for a special test for Rezhna, we were entertained by a music video on her cell phone. After watching the smile on her face as she watched the Kurdish dancing in Zion Square on Friday, I was prompted to ask her if she dances. She answered "No" so quickly that I asked why. She began to pant and all at once I remembered that only two months ago this teenager could not even walk more than 50 feet without squatting to force air into her lungs as she rested. Now, no one can keep up with her!

The pediatric doctors have shown such concern for this young lady that they have ordered their own test to be sure her low blood pressure problem of the past was no longer going to present problems for her. The additional test included more needles than Rezhna was happy about, as she made quite clear to all concerned, but the excellent results proved to be worth it all. After her final echo, the doctor told her to go DANCE and have a happy life because she now has a healthy heart and good health. If she doesn't know how to dance yet she may be well on her way because it was all she could do to keep her feet on the ground as it became a reality to her that she had been released to return to Iraq and the rest of her family.

We are so thankful to had had this time with Rezhna and her mother. Both are such gentle and beautiful spirited women. We thank God for His complete restoration of Rezhna's heart and pray that the good work started here will be continued.

Precious In His Sight

Posted on Mon, 01/25/2010 - 06:51 by Michelle_Bradburn
Rezhna was simply glowing at the hospital today! She stepped boldly into the echo room and came out smiling with the news that her heart is continuing to heal wonderfully, and is, as the doctor said, "excellent." But they weren't quite ready to leave, for Rezhna was insistant on standing by the desk until she got a picture with both the doctors. The doctors have been so kind, always a huge encouragement to these kids when they come, and always willing to take pictures!

Let's continue to pray for Rezhna, that God would continue to bless the healing of her heart, and that each new day she would be strengthened more and more. Pray also that as she and her mother wait, so hopeful as they're nearing their return home to Iraq, that God would draw their eyes to Him and they would know how dear and precious they are in his sight.

Rezhna Released to Jerusalem

Posted on Wed, 01/20/2010 - 06:51 by Michelle_Bradburn
Rezhna and her mother greeted me with such a warm smile when I first saw them this morning! They've been alone in the hospital for several days and were glad to spend some time with several of the Iraqi families who had also come for echos today. When it was Rezhna's turn for an echo, Dr. Alona took a good look and said what a good surgery! Her heart look perfect, she said. What a happy note to leave on! Rezhna was indeed released to return to Jerusalem today and has another follow up echo next monday. She's still rather laid back and taking it easy, but quite peaceful and obviously refreshed by the good report from the doctor today. It's good to have her back, and I pray that God would truly bless her with peace and rest these next few weeks, that her heart would grow strong, and her spirit refreshed by the knowledge and goodness of God's love.

Rezhna (and Mom) Recovering Beautifully

Posted on Mon, 01/18/2010 - 06:51 by Michelle_Bradburn
It's been a week since her surgery, and Rehzna is recovering beautifully! She's been released from the ICU, and today was walking all over the ward. She's delighted to be out of bed, but still a bit tired, so getting some needed rest as well.

It's really a blessing to see her so bright. She's rather bored and weary of the hospital, but peaceful nonetheless. One of the first questions she asked was if she was able to come home with us today, and when the nurses told her that tomorrow was a good possibilty, her face just lit up with excitement.

Her mother is also so full of joy, such a grateful smile on her face as she watches her daughter grow strong and healthier each day. The fear and anxiousness that had been cast over her face the past few days has lifted life a fog, and her eyes are just shining with peace. I pray that God will continue to bless this dear mother with the his peace, drawing her closer to himself through his love. I pray also for sweet Rehzna, that God would bless her hoping and waiting, filling her this week with the joy and and knowledge of his love as she waits.

Standing By Her Daughter

Posted on Thu, 01/14/2010 - 00:00 by Michelle_Bradburn
It's been two days since her surgery, and Rehzna is resting and breathing really peacefully today. She was quite tired and still very thirsty, but she is off the machines and getting good rest, her mother always by her side. Her mother was standing constantly beside her today, so much love and concern in her eyes as she watched for any need her daughter might have. She didn't even leave to eat the entire day, but from morning to evening was there to hold up a glass of water, scratch her where she had an itch, or just give her an encouraging smile when she opened her eyes to show that she was there.

It's a blessing to see that Rezhna is stable, peaceful, and moving further along the road to a bright and healthy future. Pray God will continue to bless this young girl whose smile, courageous spirit and bright, hopeful eyes have lifted so many of us while she's been here. I pray that through this journey she would come to see how precious and dearly loved she is in the sight of God.

Love Spoken Here

Posted on Wed, 01/13/2010 - 00:00 by Donna_West

Rezhna was conscious today, and persistently making her silent request for water plain at every opportunity. We are so thankful to God and to each of our prayer supporters that Rezhna is moving today and her temperature is normal. Although she is still a bit sleepy and resting, she is aware of the coming and going of each of her visitors. One of the first greetings Rezhna learned in English was, "I love YOU, tooo!" When she saw Mary, even though she could not speak yet, she mouthed her greeting. Although communications can be very difficult here due to the different languages spoken, the language of love and caring is universally spoken and recognized.

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Hamza's grandmother joined our visiting team with a desire to interpret from Arabic to Kurdish so Rezhna's mother would be able to understand that her daughter is stable and receiving everything she needs for her recovery, and also to relay any questions she may have wanted to ask the doctors but wasn't able.

Rezhna Rolls Out for Surgery

Posted on Tue, 01/12/2010 - 00:00 by Mary_Dailey
Michelle and I arrived at Wolfson at 7:00 a.m. and when I asked at the nurses' station when Rezhna's surgery would be they said, "Right now." Michelle and I went with her and her mother down to the preparatory room before she was called for surgery that started between 8:00 and 8:30 a.m.

We took Rezhna's mother upstairs to visit with Ahmed and his mother. She was a little worried at first but then she joined in with us. She even went with Michelle to shop for cookies. Somewhere around 3:30 p.m. the ICU head Dr. Houry came walking down the hall telling us that they were bringing Rezhna out of the OR to the ICU.

Dr. Houry said her surgery went very well and that they may be able to wean her from mechanical ventilation tomorrow. She has however also developed a high fever.

We had to wait to see Rezhna in the ICU, and when her mother and I went in I was surprised to see that she was wide awake and her eyes were rolled back a little. I thought I saw fear in her eyes, but Dr. Houry assured us that she was o.k. and that she had just awoken and wouldn't be able to move because of the effects of the anesthesia. I called our coworkers and asked them to pray for Rezhna as the medical staff started working on her and this took quite a while. I kept trying to get a picture and finally told Dr. Houry I hadn't been able to; he said, "Don't lose hope." This touched me and by the time I got her picture her eyes were looking a lot clearer and I did not see any fear in them. Do you think the prayers worked? I do!

Please keep praying for Rezhna and her mother. All our Iraqi families have come back to Jerusalem now and she's up there with Rezhna by herself. Pray that God will continue to give her and Rezhna peace, and that He'll continue the healing process.

A Late Night Call for Surgery

Posted on Mon, 01/11/2010 - 00:00 by Jonathan Miles

At nearly 10 o'clock tonight the Wolfson Medical Center staff called our Jerusalem center and asked us to bring Rezhna in immediately for surgery in the morning, apparently due to a last-minute opening in the schedule. All the mothers and children staying with us gathered with our staff in the courtyard to pray that Rezhna will return to us in peace, before escorting her outside and waving farewell as she drove off into the night, and into her future.

Rezhna Back from the Hospital

Posted on Thu, 01/07/2010 - 00:00 by Donna_West

Rezhna returned to the Shevet house today following her heart catheter- ization. Rezhna is a good candidate for surgery and we should receive the invitation to bring her back within the next eight days, God willing. Please continue to pray for Rezhna to have courage for the impending surgery and faith that God has brought her this far because He has a good plan for her life and all the wonderous things He has kept for her to discover as she grows. On the way home in the car we had an opportunity to enjoy another lesson in Kurdish but this time we tried putting it to music. We are learning to sing, "This Is The Day That The Lord Has Made."