Shadi's Heart Surgery

Kurdistan, northern Iraq

Still needs $2800
Help Shadi

He is Trustworthy

Posted on Mon, 04/09/2018 - 00:39 by Andrew Peck

Tonight, we celebrated Shadi’s life and remembered his time with us.  It was a very emotional evening as we gathered with the Kurdish families for dinner and a time of worship and sharing our memories, hopes and prayers with Shadi’s parents.

Over a meal of Kurdish biryani, I talked with Shadi’s parents about their home and hobbies.  We laughed and spoke of small towns, fishing and snow-capped mountains in Kurdistan.  It was clearly refreshing for them to have a small distraction from their grief.  After the meal we had a sweet time of worship, and as we sang each song, Shadi’s mother translated the lyrics of the praise songs to her husband.  The message of the carefully chosen songs was simple: “God loves us, He is trustworthy, and He wants to turn our pain into something beautiful for His glory”.

As we shared about Shadi’s time in Israel it was clear that the joy of this little boy had touched everyone he encountered.  Strangers on buses were drawn to his smile.  Even in moments of pain, his peace and joyful spirit had encouraged and sustained his mother.  

Then she told us that his name means “joyful” and that, after he passed, she had a vision of him sitting in a beautiful place and smiling at her.  God had shown her that he was waiting for her in heaven.

There wasn’t a dry eye in the room as we watched a slideshow of photos from Shadi’s time in Israel with another lovingly chosen song:

Oh love
Like crashing waves of endless grace
You won't relent
Until all I am is Yours

You have my heart
You have my heart
You have my heart oh God
You have my heart

Oh hallelujah
Oh hallelujah
I found Your love
When I lost my heart to You

Our hearts are broken with Shadi’s parents’, but we remember our hope in the redemption of the Messiah.  God holds all life, and we can entrust our pain and sadness to Him.  The love of Yeshua is the only true comfort and hope that we can offer.


Make No Distinction

Posted on Sun, 04/08/2018 - 23:25 by jonathan

The doctors and nurses in the Sheba ICU fought for Shadi 24/7 over the week and a half following his second surgery. When it became clear that Shadi would not recover, his mother asked on Tuesday if the father could come from Kurdistan to see him. It was the eve of the end-of-Passover holiday, making it unlikely that a visa could be issued. But the authorities had compassion when they heard what was happening, and the minister of the Interior on Wednesday granted an emergency visa. 

By then the one possible connecting flight was already fully booked. A friend in Kurdistan intervened with the airline and a seat was found. The flight even left a half-hour earlier than scheduled, which was just the edge which enabled the father to race through the transit airport and barely make his second flight, and then the third. Twelve hours after we called and asked him to leave his home in northern Iraq, he was at Shadi's bedside in Tel Aviv. He had five hours with his son before Shadi's heart and breathing stopped. 

It was heartbreaking to witness. And also beautiful to see the love and support of the medical team for Shadi's parents. 

It was so clear that everything possible had been done for Shadi, that regardless of his background he had been treated as the most precious child that he was. As we boarded the elevator to leave the hospital, Shadi's father looked at me through his tears, and with great conviction and seriousness said: "Don't ever make a distinction between people." I can only believe those words came from the spirit of God.

Second Surgery

Posted on Mon, 03/26/2018 - 20:34 by Maxine Stuart

Little Shadi has had a very rough time recently. His situation needs lots of prayers. There have been complications on the repairs they did on his mitral valve. It has deteriorated severely in a short amount of time and caused him to be rushed back into ICU over the weekend. Shadi’s mum called us this morning saying that he would go in for a second surgery today, so we braced ourselves for a long, and emotional day. Shadi’s mum looked tired when we first saw her, she was worried, but strong. Seeing Shadi weak and swollen was difficult. His Mum would cry when she thought too long about the fragility of his situation. I gave her some of the ‘notes of hope’ that our team wrote that morning, and her spirits lifted straight away.

While he was being prepped for surgery, his heart-rate dropped severely. I alerted the nurses, and they immediately started CPR. Shadi’s mum collapsed into tears, not knowing if her little one would make it.

While Noelle comforted Mum, I sent a messaged to our community to pray. Shadi’s mum and I were hugging each other, praying hard. The team were able to stabilise Shadi fairly quickly, and he proceeded to the operating theatre. It took about 5 hours to operate, we were able to convince and at 7pm the surgeon came out to deliver the news.

The surgery was successful, however, they weren’t able to repair his valve, so they implanted a prosthetic valve. Shadi will need to be on anti-coagulants for the rest of his life. Because he has had transient kidney failure, troubles with his liver, and a few other issues, he is not out of the woods yet. It will be a trying time for Mum, please keep her and Shadi in your prayers.


Back to the Ward

Posted on Sat, 03/24/2018 - 20:43 by Johanna Ebert

Coby and I spent some time with Shadi and his lovely mum at the hospital. Unfortunately, Shadi still has problems with diarrhea, fever and teething. He is whining a lot and I can imagine that is quite hard for his mum to keep him calm all the time.

She needed so much patience when she gave him his milk bottle, only sip by sip could he drink it. And at the end she got the sad news that he still lost weight. Let’s pray that Shadi can recover quickly!

Late in the evening they had to move out from the secondary ICU, because Binyamin, one of our other Kurdish kids needed the space. Now Shadi and his mum are back in the children's ward on the fourth floor. Hopefully they don’t need to stay there for a long time, but rather let's pray they can come to our Shevet house, soon.

Still in Isolation

Posted on Tue, 03/20/2018 - 20:44 by Rebecca Keller

Today when we went to Sheba Hospital, I visited Shadi and his mom. He is still in isolation because of the virus he has, and is also still on oxygen and struggling with diarrhea, but his fever is going down. Now he is also fed through a tube, but he is very bright and was smiling at me when I came into the room. Sadly his mom was really tired and exhausted, because Shadi is not sleeping a lot, but it was great to talk to her. She was so happy when I took care of Shadi and played with him, so she could take a shower and have some rest. Please God let Shadi get well and fill his mom with strength, so she can continue to care so well for Shadi and be such a great help for all of us by her translation skills and her joyful spirit! 

Visiting Shadi

Posted on Sun, 03/18/2018 - 21:40 by Coby van Wijhe

This morning I visited Shadi in the secondary ICU. He was bright and happy though less energetic then a few days before. Mom said they gave him something to give him more rest. They removed the drains and he had an X-ray check this morning. Because of his low saturation they put him back on oxygen. Shadi is drinking better. Before surgery, he refused to drink and mom really struggle with it. He took only little drink by a syringe. This morning he drank from the bottle very good. They moved him to a separate room when I visited him. Since this morning he had diarrhea and they decided to isolate him to protect the other kids. Mom is doing fine. She miss the good Kurdische food only. She gets along with everyone and is very supportive to everyone. Talked to her husband on the phone and told him that he might have a problem because we like to keep her here. He laughed and said we had to come and visit them in Kurdistan. Thank you Lord for Shadis recovery and may his oxygen be stable and the diarrhea stop

Recovering from Surgery

Posted on Fri, 03/16/2018 - 16:38 by Rebecca Keller
When we went to Sheba hospital today, we visited Shadi. After his long surgery yesterday he is now off oxygen and getting better. His mom told us that when he woke up this morning he was clapping and really happy.
It is amazing to see how much strength God has given Shadi. We were also happy to see Shadi's mom and hear that she got some sleep last night, since it had been a really exhausting day for her.
While Coby was looking after Shadi, I had the chance to have lunch together with Shadi's mom and to talk to her. She enjoyed having a break and also talking to Binyamin's dad and playing with Binyamin.
It is such a blessing that she is helping us to communicate with the other parents and explaining in Kurdish what the doctors are telling us. She is such a lovely person and cares very well for Shadi. We pray that God will continue to give strength to Shadi and his mom and that he will recover quickly!

Surgery Day

Posted on Wed, 03/14/2018 - 23:51 by Nate Geer

Today was an emotional day, it always is surrounding these critical surgeries. Each family has to sacrifice so much to come to Israel and receive these heart operations, and the actual  surgery is the culmination of all their efforts. I have heard from other parents who have experienced it that giving away you child to the surgical team is one of the most difficult things to do as a parent.

The morning started out on a chaotic note when Shadi woke up in a bed covered in blood from a loose IV. After fixing the IV and getting a quick wash, he was alert and active, sitting up and  looking around with his beautiful and bright eyes.

After a quick explanation of the surgery from a friendly nurse and signing some consent forms, Shadi was off to surgery.

The next 6 hours felt like years, there was nothing to do except wait and pray. I think that surgeons receive more prayer covering than any other other group of people!
When Shadi finally got out of surgery, it was a feeling of relief coupled with concern at the sight of Shadi, covered in bandages and tubes.

Shadi was so vigorous that the nurse needed to come in twice and give him more sedation drugs so that he did not begin to choke on his breathing tube. I am constantly amazed at the strength of Shadi's mother, even though it is difficult, she always stays strong for Shadi and supports the other moms. Her competent grasp of English, Arabic, and obviously Kurdish has been a huge asset to everyone here at Shevet, and we pray she can continue to be strong in these coming days.

Admitted for Operation

Posted on Tue, 03/13/2018 - 21:46 by Coby van Wijhe

This afternoon I brought Shadi with his mom to Sheba hospital. After already two admissions because of virus infections, this time it's for his surgery, which is scheduled for tomorrow!

Shadi has had some difficulties with eating. His health is not very strong but the surgery is very needed. Mom is at peace and is very supportive. She is also a blessing for the community.

She speaks very good English and has been a great help in translation. Before I left the hospital, I prayed for Shadi. May God watch over them and make the operation successful tomorrow.