Roza's Heart Surgery

from northern Iraq

Resilience in Small Packages

Posted on Tue, 08/16/2011 - 00:00 by Jeff Sheehan

 Almost 24 hours after Roza's open heart surgery for an 11 millimetre Ventricular Septal Defect repair, we found her looking extremely well. She was still in the intensive care unit of the Sheba hospital connected to a monitor, which displayed her vital statistics and three chest drain tubes continued to drain residual fluid. Support drugs had been ceased, and a single intravenous line provided hydration. In the ensuing moments she was given her first post-operative bath by the nurse, with her mother in attendance. Removal of the chest drain tubes were planned for later in the day. A chest x-ray/echocardiogram would follow to evaluate the site and confirm haemostasis. The docter on duty informed me that Roza was doing well.

Observing this little 6-month-old child, who did not display much discomfort after her major surgery, brought home to me how wonderfully resilient children are and how quickly they seem to bounce back in recovery. All the while, Roza's mother, a gentle and pleasing soul, looked very satisfied and happy at the outcome. She kept talking to Roza in comforting tones, expressing, I'm sure, her felings of joy and love. She also felt that Roza was getting hungry. If all went well she would be able to have her first feed soon. Now that would really make mother and daughter totally satisfied.

God's Immeasurable Love Carries Roza Through Surgery

Posted on Mon, 08/15/2011 - 00:00 by Stephanie Ventura

The big day had arrived and all of us were excited to finally see baby Roza undergo the surgery that her and her family have long waited for. For the second consecutive day Kristina, Zhyar, his mother, and I arrived at the hospital to be with Roza and her mother on surgery day. The mother was in good spirits and seemed to enjoy our company with all of the smiles and hugs that went around. She was telling us about how her night went, which she described as

Peace As Surgery Set for Monday

Posted on Sun, 08/14/2011 - 00:00 by Stephanie Ventura

Kristina, Zhyar, his mother, and I set off early this morning to Sheba Medical Center to be with baby Roza and her mother as her surgery was planned for 8 a.m. Once there we discovered that the procedure was post-poned for another day. My immediate thoughts were that Roza

A Contented Spirit

Posted on Thu, 08/11/2011 - 00:00 by Stephanie Ventura

The day rolled in with a beautiful sunrise and the opportunity for Joshua and I to meet again with baby Roza and her mother. We eagerly drove to Sheba Medical Center to see how things were going for the both of them. With the transition of being in a new hospital, they are both settling into the ways of Israeli care, which Roza's mother whispered is "very nice" as a nurse walked by us, hands heavy with pampers. I was relieved to find baby Roza peacefully sleeping this morning. Our last visit together ended with her making little whimpers as two nurses were poking her to perform necessary blood work.

Roza's mother seemed content with her current surroundings as the smile didn't leave her face, and she gave me the "green light" to wake Roza up since nurses were about to come in anyway. When her eyes peeked open, it only took a few seconds for Roza to recognize that a small stuffed monkey was giving her kisses. She cuddled it for a moment and then smiled. What a precious child. It's amazing how much the innocence of a little one can bring joy and peace to those around them. I spent the next few minutes with Roza in a cooing contest and, of course...she won. At least that's the impression her mom gave me.

The day ended just as wonderfully as it started with the good news that Roza will be having her surgery on Sunday--three days from now. Thank God for making this process move along quickly because baby Roza is in serious need for her symptoms to be alleviated.

Roza Arrives in Israel

Posted on Mon, 08/08/2011 - 00:00 by Kristina Kayser

Today, the sun rose over the mountains of Jordan, casting light on Israel's eastern plains. Just as light was ushered into this Land of Promise, so too was a small six-month-old girl named Roza. We have been waiting for this beautiful, Kurdish baby to arrive for the past few weeks, knowing that her heart was in critical condition. The past two months, Roza has been waiting in a hospital near her home as fluid built up in her lungs, indicative of Congestive Heart Failure (CHF).  She was born with a large Ventricular Septal Defect  (VSD) - a hole in the wall of her heart that separates the lower two chambers. Needless to say, Roza's case called for immediate action. Crossing into Israel from Iraq is a somewhat daunting feat, but we serve a God whose power and grace are limitless! With trembling hope, Roza's mother met me this afternoon at the Jordan/Israel border. In her arms was a bright-eyed, curly-haired infant. I noticed how small she was for her age, a mere 5 kilos, and how her little chest rattled with almost every breath. There was no time to waste, and straight away we were headed towards Sheba Medical Center with Joshua and Stephanie (fellow Shevet members). Roza, thankfully, did not need supplementary oxygen, and it wasn't long before the van's gentle sway lulled her to sleep.

Upon our arrival to Sheba, an echocardiogram was the first order of business. Roza initially played and cooed during the exam, but wearied cries let us know when she had had enough. My heart hurt for her as she struggled to catch her breath. Calm again in her mother's arms, we waited for Dr. Daniel to instruct us further. After confirming her diagnosis of a large VSD and symptoms of CHF, he initially said to bring her home and wait for her surgery next week. However, after reconsideration, Roza was admitted to the Children's Cardiology unit early this evening. I breathed a sigh of relief, knowing that her fragile condition needed upmost attention. Doctors and nurses will now be able to care for her around the clock. A thorough assessment including a chest X-ray, blood work, and vitals was completed, much to Roza's distaste. Her mother says she doesn't like hospitals very much.

Already in her young life, she has been a patient in two countries. The cardiac surgeon will be returning from annual leave this week and is scheduled to perform Roza's operation soon after. At day's end, Roza was tuckered out. Running a slight fever and whimpering after multiple needle pokes, she traded beeping monitors for quiet slumber. Please pray with us for our newest baby and mother as they adjust to many transitions. We also praise God for His steadfast love in making a way for Roza's heart to be mended!