Rozheen's Heart Surgery

Northern Iraq

In God's Hands

Posted on Sun, 07/27/2014 - 23:44 by Kristina Kayser

Rozheen has been recovering comfortably at home for the last couple of weeks, enjoying the distance between our home, Jerusalem, and the not-so-pleasant hospital. Her condition has been stable following a rapid deterioration two weeks ago due to severe fluid accumulation around her lungs. We have all been relieved to find Rozheen rebound so well, while continuing to keep a close watch day by day.

Nevertheless, Rozheen began to show signs of labored breathing today that led us to admit her once again to Wolfson Medical Center. Despite her oxygen saturation remaining normal, several assessments confirmed a repeat case of large pleural effusion (fluid build-up) around her right lung. The exams and IV pokes were bravely borne by both, and I was so impressed by the calm presence Rozheen's mother possessed throughout. It also helped that little Masa was present to entertain Rozheen with bubbles and try to cheer her up. By nightfall, the doctors agreed they would begin treating Rozheen with oxygen supplement and an IV diuretic (a medication that increases urine production). Then, tomorrow morning, they will re-examine her and determine if further intervention is needed.


While this medical condition is often common in children following open-heart surgery, it is still difficult to accept. We praise God that Rozheen was admitted before her condition became critical. Also, we want to trust Him through every obstacle, knowing that He is faithful in all things. Rozheen is spending the night in the children's ward beside her faithful and adoring mother. Please pray that Rozheen will recover fully and quickly so that she can be in good health for her second heart surgery soon.

Painful Progress

Posted on Mon, 07/21/2014 - 22:04 by Kirsten Perow

Dearest little Rozheen, oh how she screamed and cried during her echo today. But, despite her unsavory attitude towards the echo, it brought good news of healing! Rozheen’s heart and lungs showed absolutely no sign of a pleural effusion (fluid around the heart/lungs).

Praise and thanks to the Lord! It was a long day at the hospital, including admitting assessments for a new child at Shevet and a missile siren, but Rozheen and her ever-patient mother persevered. Rozheen has had quite a few complications with excess fluid, so please pray that her little body tenaciously holds on to good health and join with us as we hope and pray she will be well enough to receive her second surgery soon. Thank you God!

Compact Together

Posted on Sun, 07/20/2014 - 22:39 by Jesse Tilman

We were glad to welcome Rozheen home on Friday. Unexpectedly, she was discharged before the weekend. The fluid level in her chest is much lower now, and since the drainage tube was removed, her fluid level has been staying within acceptable ranges. She is also only on two medicines right now – one diuretic to help her kidneys in their work and another for a mild fungal infection on her tongue. Receiving our stock of the last medication, we prepared to return to the Shevet Achim building. Rozheen’s mother was packed and ready to go, so we just said a few goodbyes before gathering everything. Both mother and daughter were glad to be leaving the hospital. Even as a home away from home, the Shevet building and the families there soon become one's closest confidants. Thank God for His healing work and the way that He balances relationships. I often see how well He fits us together as we learn to live and work in close communion. It helps me understand the illustration we are given of us being living stones in God’s house, which is being made and fit together (1 Peter 2:5). Sometimes, that process of being fit together can be tough! Jumble us around enough and eventually our rough edges get smoothed over. Psalm 122 has it right when it says that Jerusalem is built as a city that is compact together. As Rozheen and her mother ascended the stairs home to join the other mothers upstairs, they received a warm welcome. When someone is part of your daily life day in and day out, their absence is very noticeable, and their return more so.

Holding on to Hope

Posted on Thu, 07/17/2014 - 20:20 by Ruth Zellweger

Today, Sophie and I had the opportunity to visit Rozheen and her mother, as we came for the final echoes of Niyaz and Brievan. We found them in their room, surrounded by several children from Africa, who are currently hospitalized with Rozheen. The good news of the day was that the amount of fluid around Rozheen's heart and lungs was small enough to take out the chest tube that was inserted last Sunday. But because she had built up fluid so quickly in a short period of time before, the doctors want to continue to monitor her for a few more days to be sure that she won't have a relapse.

Her mother is a gentle and loving woman, who has proved to be strong for the sake of her beloved daughter over these past couple of weeks. I saw tears glistening in her eyes as I told her that I do not know yet when Rozheen's second and final surgery will be. It definitely is not easy for her to wait for an uncertain day. But she didn't break down crying; instead, she held her composure, congratulated the Niyaz's mother and Brievan's grandmother, and bid them farewell. I admire her for this quiet strength. Please keep Rozheen and her mother in your prayers. 

"I waited patiently for the LORD; He turned to me and heard my cry.” Psalm 40:1

The Lord Watches Over Our Children

Posted on Sun, 07/13/2014 - 20:24 by Kirsten Perow

Today’s events began with Rozheen’s mother alerting us to a decline in Rozheen’s health status. She informed us that Rozheen had been throwing up all morning. We saw that her skin was patchy with discoloration and her oxygenation had gone from 90% to 70%. We called her doctor, who instructed us to bring her to the hospital immediately. When Jesse, Rozheen, her mother, and I arrived at the hospital, we were instructed to take her to the Emergency Room. There they scanned her via an Echo and X-ray and discovered she had accumulated so much fluid in her lungs and around her heart that one of her lungs had collapsed.

The doctors inserted a chest tube and drained over 400 milliliters of fluid. Although Rozheen was scared and usually despises all forms of medical care, as well as those providing said medical care, she did an EXCELLENT job of putting up with all the pokes and prods. Rozheen’s mother was tearful but was very relieved that Rozheen received the necessary help when she needed it. The truth to take away from today’s trials is that God watches over His children. It was all God’s doing that we were able to get Rozheen help at precisely the time she needed it. It was God’s doing that the doctors were able to extract the fluid, and it was God’s doing that Rozheen is now recovering much more comfortably.

The Lord not only watches over His children, but He especially watches over the children here at Shevet Achim. How unbelievable it is to be loved and valued by the One who conducts all life. Today, I am reminded of the verse in Matthew 6:26: “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Remembering this, I praise Him for who He is. 

Full of Smiles!

Posted on Thu, 07/10/2014 - 20:35 by Leanne Rogerson

Today, Rozheen went back to the hospital for another echo, her first one since being discharged from the hospital earlier in the week.

She caused some trouble for the doctors, not wanting to stay still and kicking up a real fight during the scan, but in the end the scan was completed and within minutes she was sitting up and smiling. Her results are good and the doctors are happy with her progress. She will have another echo next week to see how her healing is progressing.

An Unexpected Surprise

Posted on Mon, 07/07/2014 - 20:27 by Kirsten Perow

While on the way to visit Rozheen and her mother at the hospital, we received unexpected news that Rozheen had her chest tube removed, was being discharged and ready to come back to Prophets Street! 

It took awhile to finalize the discharge because doctors waited for Rozheen’s blood test results, but soon enough, we received the thumbs up that her results were in perfect order. One could tell the discharge/clean blood work results came as a huge relief to Rozheen’s mother. It seems that Rozheen and her mother have spent more time in the hospital than they have on Prophet’s Street; thusly coming home to the other mothers and children will be a nice reprieve for our precious princess and her persevering mother.

Continue to pray for patience for Rozheen’s mother. She is anxious for her baby girl to have her second surgery and very much desires to return home. Thank you for your prayers and support!

Waiting With Patience

Posted on Mon, 06/30/2014 - 20:37 by Ruth Zellweger

After several days of not seeing Rozheen and her mother, I had an opportunity today to visit them at the hospital. The last information we had received was that a chest tube had to be inserted due to pleural effusion. When I arrived at the hospital shortly after noon, I found Rozheen sitting on her bed, still attached to the chest tube. However, she was of good cheer and played with some toys she had received from the hospital. Her mother greeted me warmly, thankful for some company.

We exchanged some news about what had been going on these past couple of days, and before I left the hospital I talked to the doctor to get a medical update. They had taken a sample of the fluid in the chest tube and performed a blood test to rule out a chylothorax (a type of pleural effusion that results from lymphatic fluid accumulating in the pleural cavity). Even though the test results came back negative, the doctors suspect this condition because of the color of the fluid in the tube. Consequently, we will put her on a special low-fat diet beginning tomorrow. Rozheen’s mother took this news quite well. She is patiently waiting for her daughter’s second surgery which we hope will be as soon as next week. Please continue to lift up this lovely mother-daughter duo in your prayers.

Grace and Strength

Posted on Wed, 06/25/2014 - 19:54 by Jesse Tilman

Rozheen was unexpectedly admitted today due to a slight fever and recent vomitting. She has been throwing up the last few days, and consequently her mother is unable to feed her very much. Mid-day today, we decided to that she needs to be checked out at the hospital.

Before leaving we knew that she would be admitted for observation. With some time in the hospital she will have a thorough examination. The doctors there said that it is probably gastro-enteritis and have hopes to bring her back to normal soon. During the admittance process mother and daughter did very well. The mother is taking everything with grace and strength. They have their own room right now with bathroom and bed. We thank the Lord for His care for them and ask for your prayers for this special family.

Good News!

Posted on Thu, 06/19/2014 - 22:24 by Kirsten Perow

Today, Jesse and I took Rozheen and her mother for her scheduled echo. She was, of course, decked out in bows and frills, while sporting a bedazzled pacifier. Rozheen, like most kids, grew pretty upset during the echo. It was the most I have seen or heard her cry since prior to her surgery, but she and her mother braved through the echo and the crying like a couple of champs.

The doctor told us that Rozheen’s pulmonary arteries looked excellent and that she passed with flying colors. To add to the good news, the doctor said that next week Rozheen will come in for another echo and the following week will consist of her second surgery! Praise Jesus! What an unbelievable miracle that just a short time ago, Rozheen came to Shevet a very sick little girl exhibiting an impressive bluish skin tone, and she is now a sassy little princess radiating wellness. We here at Shevet feel blessed to see God work in such a special way and feel further blessed by sharing in the smiles God's work has brought to Rozheen and her beautiful mother. Thank you for all of your support, love, and prayers for precious Rozheen.