Sarchil's Heart Surgery


Surgery Day: A Real Heart Adventure

Posted on Thu, 05/31/2012 - 22:48 by Deborah Burke

The pre-operation hope of Sarchil

Sarchil Full of Life on Surgery Eve

Posted on Wed, 05/30/2012 - 22:11 by Kristina Kayser

On the eve of his open heart surgery, Sarchil was his rambunctious self, or as our friend Deborah from Australia put it, "cheeky." Sometimes it's hard to imagine that this energetic boy has a very serious condition. He undauntedly explored Sheba's lobby this morning, stopping momentarily to shake hands with a fellow explorer.

His appetite for activity was further satisfied with computer games in the children activity room. It was the first time I saw him sit still today for more than two minutes.

The pediatric department was a hive of activity as well, so much so that after five hours, Sarchil still did not have a room. Nurses and doctors worked like honeybees, moving from patient to patient instead of flowers. As a nurse, I completely respect and understand the nature of hospitals, but I also sympathize with those who are asked to patiently wait...and wait...and wait.

When the time came to return to Jerusalem, I was informed that a room would be prepared shortly. Sarchil's mother was exhausted by this point, while her son seemed content to keep playing. I am thankful for his sake that potentially dull hours were a delight for him instead.

Early tomorrow morning, Sarchil's heart will come to a full stop as a team of surgeons embark on a rescue mission. Please pray that this night brings peaceful rest to everyone involved. Pray also for a seamless operation, drenched in God's grace. May this boy's heart, once mended, provide even more enthusiasm for life than it already does!

Peace in the Waiting: Sarchil Returns to Shevet

Posted on Wed, 05/16/2012 - 23:12 by Kristina Kayser

Sarchil returned home to Jerusalem this evening after yesterday's catheterization. His mother seemed much more eager to leave Sheba Hospital than he was. It seemed as though Sarchil was enjoying the company of new friends and the children's activity room. His smile was as bright as ever.

On our way to the car, Sarchil stopped to say goodbye to the stately bear patrol standing guard outside Sheba's entrance. Thankfully, his first overnight hospital experience was a good one. It is beautiful to watch fear dissipate and peace take its place in children.

Doctors hope to reach a decision by tomorrow regarding a surgery date, and Sarchil's family is waiting in suspense for this news. Please pray that this vivacious boy and his mother continue to find God's all-encompassing peace in the waiting.

Sarchil’s Catheterization a Sweet Success

Posted on Tue, 05/15/2012 - 23:29 by Kristina Kayser

One thing I love about serving at Shevet is the joy of witnessing so many different people come together to save the life of one child. Today, that child was Sarchil. While he didn't have surgery this morning, his catheterization was a significant step towards restoring his heart.

The first person to make this cardiac procedure a sweet success was Sarchil's mother. She had been working hard all morning to keep her son content without the aid of food or toys. When Sarchil was finally wheeled into the cath lab, his mother spied a fluffy panda bear sitting to the side. This was the perfect consolation for Sarchil, who seemed a bit nervous. He hugged the bear tight and kept him close up to the last minute.

When Dr. Ibrahim, the anesthesiologist, came out, he greeted his patient with a warm smile. Sarchil returned the smile as Dr. Ibrahim playfully joked with him in Russian and Italian. One nurse also came to his side to wish him years of health and to acknowledge the part Sarchil plays in building peace between Israel and Iraq.

It wasn't long before the OR staff escorted him out of sight and his mother bid a tearful farewell. Although she understood that it was purely diagnostic, the thought of him being out of sight and under anesthesia made her anxious. I shared the hope of God

Ready to Cross the First Hurdle: Catheterization

Posted on Mon, 05/14/2012 - 23:03 by Kristina Kayser

Sometimes I forget how great an impact news from the hospital brings to our waiting mothers and children, until I am the messenger once again. Good news, of course, is the best kind to deliver because it generates an atmosphere of rejoicing. Yesterday, I had the pleasure of telling Sarchil and his mother that Sheba Hospital had scheduled his catheterization for this Tuesday. Furthermore, he was invited for admission to the hospital today for pre-procedure tests and observation. Upon hearing this announcement, Sarchil's mother burst into tears, thankful that one hurdle was about to be crossed. Sarchil stood watching, trying to understand why his mother was crying. We praised God together and began making preparations for their visit. 

Both mother and son were in good spirits this morning when we departed for Sheba. I thanked them for their patience as we inched our way through morning traffic in Jerusalem. Upon arrival to the cardiology department, continued patience was needed as the wait stretched into three more hours. Meanwhile, hospital staff were trying to locate a room for them and look over medical reports. Sarchil initially entertained himself by exploring every nook and cranny of the children's play area. 

When his energy unabated, he looked to my sister, Natalie, and I for his next source of diversion. He may be a rambunctious eight-year-old boy, but I also noticed today that he seems hungry for security and affection. At one point, he became quiet and laid his head back against my shoulder. 

After Sarchil was settled into his room for the night, a pediatrician examined him with the promise of a chest X-ray, blood work, and an EKG later in the afternoon. He was quite happy to have his blood pressure and oxygen saturation measured, recognizing similar tests I make at home. Tomorrow, Sarchil will undergo a cardiac catheterization. This semi-invasive procedure will use 3-D images of his heart to guide doctors towards proper surgical repair. Please pray for a restful night for this boy and his mother. And may this prayer of David be true for Sarchil as well. "You, O Lord, are a shield for me, my glory and the one who lifts up my head...I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustained me." Psalm 3:3,5

Sarchil Gets Acquainted With Sheba Hospital

Posted on Wed, 05/09/2012 - 21:58 by Natalie Kayser

Sarchil, an enthusiastic and playful eight-year old boy, just arrived in Jerusalem two days ago. Today was his and his mother's first trip to Sheba Hospital in Tel Aviv for a number of tests which would further assess the condition of his heart.

Upon entering the cardiac department, Sarchil was thrilled with the indoor play area! There was a train, play house, and a slide in which he preferred to run up instead of to slide down. Even the smooth tile surrounding the playground became a game of sliding and spinning. And although our language barrier makes communication interesting and creative, we became quick friends as we played.

I was surprised by how quickly the nurses ushered us in for the tests; many times waiting long hours is the name of the game. But he smiled his way through both the echo and the EKG, rather liking the cool gel they spread on his chest and all the sticky suction cups they stuck to him. His mother seemed intrigued by watching the monitor of his heart pumping while the nurse carefully examined him.

I learned today that children admitted to Sheba, a beautiful private hospital, tend to have particularly severe diagnosis. Sarchil

Energetic Sarchil Makes It to Jordan

Posted on Sun, 05/06/2012 - 22:01 by Jonathan Miles

Sarchil and his mother flew into the Amman airport Saturday night, Sarchil very blue but stable. Initially he was quite reserved, but by Sunday he began to warm up and play ping-pong and remote-controlled cars with my son Zak.

Eventually Zak asked to see Sarchil's medical report, wondering how he could have so much energy and still be so sick!

Monday we hope to pick up Sarchil's visa and cross the Jordan River into Israel, aiming for his first hospital visit on Wednesday. We'll appreciate your prayers for this likable young man, and for his mother who is understandably anxious.