Rozheen's Heart Surgery

Northern Iraq

The Return of a Princess

Posted on Mon, 06/16/2014 - 23:28 by Ruth Zellweger

Some women are known for their passion for clothes, and it appears to me that sweet little Rozheen is one of them. Within only a few hours time, I saw her wearing three different outfits!

It was early in the morning when I saw her the first time. Rozheen and her mother were still asleep. Around nine o'clock they were sent to the echo department. I met them on their way back to the ward. Rozheen's mother had this quiet yet joyful smile on her face and announced that they were allowed to return with us today to Jerusalem, and this only eight days after her very urgent heart surgery. I rejoiced with the mother. Only minutes later had she already exchanged Rozheen's hospital pajamas with a beautiful pink dress.

They went for little walks with Dyako and his mother, who had also received the same good news about being able to return to Jerusalem. After the lunch break, I saw Rozheen and her mother again and then suddenly realized that Rozheen wore a different dress. Her mother explained that Rozheen had thrown up after she had received her medicine, and because of this, she had to change her clothes. The new dress also looked lovely and suited Rozheen really well. At some point Rozheen was having her beauty sleep in the arms of her mother, as all princesses are required to do.

She continued sleeping on our drive back to Jerusalem, where she will now get acquainted with her new environment. We are thanking God that He has sustained her life and trust that He will restore her heart completely.

Not Taken for Granted

Posted on Wed, 06/11/2014 - 22:09 by Philip Rasmussen

Today we found Rozheen’s bed in the secondary ICU empty and set with clean sheets. It just took us few seconds to make our way down the hallway to find her sound asleep in the normal ward section. Early this morning, she was moved out of the secondary ICU and is now surrounded by other children, post-op and pre-op, only three days after her surgery! Her mother was, of course, happy and relieved to see her daughter making such good progress. Such good progress should not be taken for granted, which the mothers are reminded of in the hospital, seeing the many different patients.

Rozheen was very cute and generous with her smiles today. She is a very lively girl who moves around all the time. She especially likes to try to remove her oxygen tubes, which leaves her mother in quite a challenging situation.

Rozheen also suddenly decided to stop drinking milk. Her mother was trying to find different alternatives to make her eat. It’s difficult to be very frustrated with her since she comes up with this adorable smile all the time.

It is wonderful to see Rozheen’s progress, and we have many reasons to give thanks to God who has sustained her this far and provided treatment for her.

A Beautiful Girl

Posted on Tue, 06/10/2014 - 22:42 by Ruth Zellweger

The joy Rozheen's mother and I shared yesterday over Rozheen's smooth recovery continued today. During my visit at Wolfson Hospital, Rozheen was transferred to Secondary ICU. When I entered the room she was asleep at first. I stood beside her bed and was thanking God for the great things He has done in Rozheen's life. Even though the open heart surgery two days ago was only the first part of her heart repair, she already looks totally transformed. Her skin has a beautiful rosy pink tone.

Rozheen laid in bed peacefully, and after a while, she woke up and started communicating with her mother. Lovingly her mother handed her the milk bottle and talked softly with her daughter.

What a privilege to be able to witness this moment of pure love and joy. May there be many more to come.

Pink Fingers

Posted on Mon, 06/09/2014 - 21:48 by Ruth Zellweger
I had met Rozheen and her mother only briefly at our house in Jerusalem before she was already admitted to the hospital. We have prayed a lot for her these past days and rejoiced when we heard about the good outcome of yesterday's surgery.
Today I had the opportunity to visit Rozheen and see with my own eyes the miracle that has taken place. When I entered the ICU, Rozheen was asleep. In the morning she had been taken off the ventilator, and she is now breathing on her own. She still needs supplementary oxygen, and since she does not tolerate the oxygen mask, an oxygen tent surrounds her face. With that there isn't anything directly on her face to disturb her.
I talked with the doctor, and she confirmed that Rozheen is recovering well. Her mother was quiet but happy. She doesn't mind sitting beside her daughter's bed for hours. Together we rejoiced over the improved oxygenation of Rozheen's body, made obvious by her pinker fingers and lips.
We are so thankful that God has sustained Rozheen's life and that her heart is beginning to heal. To Him be the glory.

In the Nick of Time

Posted on Sun, 06/08/2014 - 23:46 by Kristina Kayser
I marvel at the timing of God. There have been several occasions in the last few years when very sick children have come to Israel for heart surgery at just the right time. I remember doctors saying that if these children had arrived any later, they may not have survived. Rozheen, most recently, is a young girl whose life was saved without a moment to spare. 
The Lord, who is a faithful Shepherd, brought Rozheen and her mother to our community just last Wednesday. It is the first time they had ever been far from home or traveled by plane. Imagine the courage it took this young mother to leave her family and country far behind and go to a foreign land with a very blue baby. 
Wolfson's cardiology team was so shocked at Rozheen's condition on arrival Thursday that they even proposed doing an emergency surgery later that night or the following morning. Our community praised God for protecting and preserving her! Thankfully, Rozheen was able to spend the weekend in the children's ward and was deemed stable enough to wait for surgery until today. And what a special day it was to have surgery, for today is Shavuot, the beautiful celebration of God's children receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit. 
Rahel and I prayed for God's Spirit to be in our midst as we journeyed to the hospital this morning. We asked that He would use us to be a comfort and blessing to Rozheen and her mother. When the two of us arrived in their room, we found a very calm and content pair. Rozheen was fascinated with a broken piece of plastic and entertained herself for quite some time with it. After putting new and much too large pajamas on Rozheen, the nurse instructed us to go downstairs to the operating department. Rozheen's quiet and gentle mother began to cry as she held her daughter tightly. 
It seemed as though every minute leading up to the surgery was a precious gift to Rozheen's mother. Although she smiled for a few pictures, she could not hide the pain of having to say goodbye. The doctors were kind enough to let Rozheen's mother carry her baby directly into the operating room and make her farewell there. Upon leaving the room, tears fell more freely. She accepted our comfort and pressed bravely on. 
We waited under a lovely shade tree for some time before Rozheen's mother wanted to sit inside and as close to the operating room as possible. It was three hours before we learned that the surgery had finished and another hour before Rozheen was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit. What joy and relief flooded her mother's face when she caught sight of her daughter coming down the hall!
One more hour of waiting was asked of us before being able to enter ICU. This, was perhaps, the hardest one of all. Minutes crawled by as we kept a very close eye on our watches. Permission was finally granted to see Rozheen, and her mother could not have been more ready. She bent lovingly over her daughter's bed, studying every detail. While admitting it was difficult to see her baby connected to so many machines, she also demonstrated great trust in what the doctors had done.
I learned that Rozheen's heart underwent the first of a two-part operation for Tetralogy of Fallot. One significant defect was corrected today, namely an obstruction of her right ventricle. This resulted in improved circulation and oxygenation for Rozheen's heart and body. A hole in her heart is still present, but will be closed in a future surgery. It was encouraging to see Rozheen's oxygen saturation reach 80% today when she had been hovering in the 50th percentile prior to the repair. Peace rested on her mother's face as we left the hospital this afternoon.
Once again, the Lord has shown His mercy in preserving life. He is the one who fashioned Rozheen's heart, and He is the one who granted wisdom and skill to the entire medical team involved in her care. He is truly our faithful Healer!

To Save a Life

Posted on Thu, 06/05/2014 - 23:59 by Rahel Eschler

There are so many adorable children coming through our door that each time a new child arrives I think to myself I won’t be able to love them as much as the others who came before. I’m constantly amazed, therefore, that my heart has enough space to give each and every child a special place. Rozheen, our newest princess from Northern Iraq, arrived yesterday afternoon at our Shevet Achim shelter in Jerusalem after a long and tiring trip. The Kurdish and Syrian moms already present welcomed Rozheen and her mom with a big meal. After meeting them briefly, I could already tell from a short glance at Rozheen that she is suffering from a severe lack of oxygen.

Early this morning, we received the good news that cardiologist Dr. Alona wanted to see her today before the weekend in order to assess her condition and if necessary start her appropriate treatment. We used the time during the one hour drive to the hospital in Tel Aviv to collect the needed information about Rozheen’s medical history. We didn’t know yet what the day would hold for us, but we were about to find out at Wolfson Hospital.

Upon our arrival at the hospital, there was quite a lot of waiting time, and many tears were shed during the different introductory examinations. But precious moments of peace and joy were also shared.

Even though I wasn’t able to speak many Kurdish sentences, I reached out to Rozheen’s mother with loving care and attention. We were both concerned about Rozheen’s well-being and supported one another.

After Rozheen received a close examination from the children’s doctor on the ward, we were sent to the echo department to meet Dr. Alona for an echo. There Rozheen received some sticky brown medicine to put her to sleep. After fighting it for a good half hour, she finally allowed the medicine to overwhelm her in the sweet, loving arms of her mother. Dr. Alona performed the echo on Rozheen’s heart, and it didn’t take her long to classify Rozheen’s case as an emergency. The cardiologist’s biggest concern besides Rozheen’s low oxygen level (hovering between 50 and 70 percent) was her low blood flow towards her lungs and the high thickness of her blood itself.

Rozheen and her mom were quickly brought down to be admitted into the ICU in order to give Rozheen additional fluids through an IV line and to keep a close eye on her physical condition. This news from the doctor was at first quite a shock to Rozheen’s mum. After understanding, however, that her daughter requires close hospital care right now, she calmed down quickly and gathered her strength to support her daughter as best she can. She covered Rozheen with kisses and hugs and wiped off the tears in the corners of her eyes. A doctor and I helped them to settle into this new environment, and Rozheen soon dozed off, tired from all the intensive care she received today.

In this calm moment, her mother and I had time to share a hospital meal together on our laps. Soon, though, it was time to say good bye and leave them in the gifted and caring hands of the doctors and nurses in the ICU. With a long-lasting hug and some kisses, Rozheen’s mother showed me her appreciation for my being with her and helping her throughout the day.

I lift our adorable Rozheen and her sweet mom up to our loving Father in heaven. Please pray with me for comfort and endurance for their hospital stay and for wisdom and guidance for the medical care team responsible for Rozheen. 

A Kurdish Princess Arrives in Jerusalem

Posted on Wed, 06/04/2014 - 22:48 by MadelynMiles

From the moment we picked up Rozheen and her mother at the airport, I was instantly reminded of a past Shevet girl named Parwana. Just like Parwana, Rozheen is a pint-sized princess decked out in more bows, rhinestones, and gold jewelry than I can count, not to mention dressed head-to-toe in pink, purple, and crisp white. I once had the privilege of journeying across the Jordan Valley into Jerusalem with Parwana, and today I had the same opportunity with little Rozheen. The experiences were very similar. Let's just say our little princess has both a sweet side and an ornery side. All of these traits and accessories, however, can't hide the heart defect lying beneath her sternum. Her blue skin tone and clubbed fingers were a constant reminder to me of why she has come to Israel.

Our trip across the border was arduous, but Rozheen's mother was patient and strong the whole time. Whenever Rozheen began to cry or fuss, the mother handled it with grace and experience. I can't forget, however, the painful emotions hiding behind this outward strength. I was witness to these feelings when the night before our journey, in the middle of dinner, Rozheen's mother suddenly broke into tears and silently fled the table. I went into her room to sit with her—the only thing that seemed appropriate to tell her was that God is so big and great. She smiled through her tears and hugged me, kissing my cheeks. As a mom-to-be myself, I can only imagine how overwhelming this must be for her. 

We made it safely to Jerusalem, thank God, and we praise the Lord that Rozheen's mother seems comforted in the company of the other moms at Shevet. Please keep our little princess and her strong mother in your prayers, as they are only at the beginning of their long journey. 

Arriving Soon In Israel

Posted on Mon, 06/02/2014 - 21:36 by Benaiah

One-year-old Rozheen from Northern Iraq is suffering from the congenital heart defect of Tetralogy of Fallot. This complicated condition is a combination of four different deficiencies within the heart (click the profile link to read more) and requires urgent attention. Her blood oxygen levels are floating around 50%, and her life is at risk every moment she waits to have surgery. Rozheen and her mother will be arriving in Israel on Tuesday, June 3rd, and we hope to see her treatment begin as soon as possible.