Sawsan's Heart Surgery

northern Iraq

Sawsan Comes Through High-Risk Catheterization

Posted on Tue, 01/26/2010 - 06:52 by Mary_Dailey

First I want to thank you all for your prayers. God has moved in His miraculous ways again. When I first arrived at the hospital this morning and I went into Sawsan's room, she and her aunt looked a little worried.They also had a look of relief when they saw they were not going to be alone. I prayed with them while we were waiting that God would give them peace.

We waited in their room until around 11:45 before we were taken to Schneider's highly-advanced catheterization lab. The doctor and a nurse explained in Arabic to Sawsan about the catheterization, and she had to sign a paper giving her permission while aware of the possibilities of a stroke or death.

After a short while Sawsan was taken in for the procedure. Her aunt was really sweet, quietly praying and crying. The medical staff said to come back in an hour and they would let us know how she was, so I took Sawsan's aunt for something to eat. When we returned they told us Sawsan was doing well, and to wait in the hall till they were through.

Two hours later we saw them bring her out and take her, still sedated, to the ICU. Sawsan looked good and the doctors said everything went like they hoped it would. If all goes well she will have an echo tomorrow to check out the improvement in her heart function, and then come back to our center in Jerusalem. By the time I left late this afternoon Sawsan was awake and alert. Isn't God awesome! We just have to trust Him. He's in control.

Sawsan's First Encounter with Doctors in Israel

Posted on Thu, 01/21/2010 - 00:00 by Mary_Dailey

Justina, Vinnie and I took Sawsan to Schneider Children's Medical Center this morning for her echo. She and her aunt seemed a little nervous and fearful at first but everyone was really friendly and I believe this calmed them down along with our encouragement.

We really didn't have to wait too long for the echo but it took a long time because they told us it was a difficult case. They had a hard time seeing all they needed to see, and did see very severe narrowing of the aorta. Doctors are considering a heart catheterization Tuesday so they can find out more and attempt to open up the aorta, but this may lead to an emergency surgery for which we must be prepared. The last statement of the cardiologist, Dr. Birk: "What we need to pray for is that the catheterization will go well so that there would not be a need for another surgery." Let's indeed pray that our God will keep His hand upon this beautiful young girl so that she can have a normal and full life.

New Hope as Sawsan Reaches Israel

Posted on Sun, 01/17/2010 - 00:00 by Jonathan Miles

Our first new Iraqi patient of 2010 has just reached Jerusalem.

Sawsan, now 21, has survived with an untreated heart defect since birth. This is her first time outside of Iraq, and after she was taken off alone to be searched at the Jordan River border crossing, I asked her if she was afraid. "Not at all," she said, "But my aunt (the 41-year-old escorting her) is terrified!"

Sawsan is herself the aunt of eight-year-old Hardeen, who has been with us in Israel for the past six weeks.