Shadyar's Heart Surgery

northern Iraq

On the Way to Recovery

Posted on Tue, 02/25/2014 - 21:55 by Eilin Midtbo

Today we drove to the hospital to visit Shadyar after his surgery yesterday. We walked in and found both Shadyar and his mother doing well. Shadyar was sleeping when we arrived, and during our visit he would occasionally doze off and then wake up again. When he was awake, he would quietly ask for something to drink, but he never complained about his situation. 

Shadyar asked his mother for some tea, and the doctor said that would be fine. He also told us Shadyar could have something to eat.This made his mother happy, as she had been worried about his lack of eating. He was given some chocolate pudding, and he ate several spoonfuls.

While we were visiting, Shadyar’s mother was able to Skype with their family and give them an update on Shadyar's situation, a welcome blessing for both her and her family members. Shadyar was also able to exchange a few words with them.

We had a good time visiting with Shadyar and his mother. When we departed, we left a mother at peace and a boy who is on the way to recovery.  

A Wonderful Surgery

Posted on Mon, 02/24/2014 - 21:41 by Agnes Bruna

We had an early start today, watching the sunrise during a beautiful ride through the hills to be with Shadyar’s mother during her son’s surgery today. When we arrived, Shadyar was sitting on his bed, waiting. We had great fun blowing up surgical gloves, drawing faces on them, and then playing catch and football with the resulting balloon portraits as we waited for the medical staff.

Once the doctors arrived, though, it was back to bed for the final prep.

All throughout the day I was so impressed with the doctors and nurses patiently explaining things again and again, step by step, and answering all of Shadyar’s worried mother’s questions. I cannot imagine what it must be like to entrust your eldest son to strangers you don’t understand, in a country you’ve always perceived as your enemy and in a hospital you know nothing about.

Surgery was over in only five hours, and head surgeon Dr Mishali came out to tell us he was pleased with the outcome, which consisted of a completed Fontan repair (the creation of a new pathway for oxygenated blood to travel between Shadyar's lungs and body). This shunt was also given an intentional opening (fenestration), helping alleviate undue pressure in Shadyar's lungs. The only caveat in this procedure is that Shadyar’s oxygen levels are still slightly lower than normal. His oxygen saturation, for example, only increased from 82% to 88%.

This was a concern for Shadyar's mother especially, who expected to see 100% oxygen saturation post-surgery. A cardiologist kindly explained to her that while Shadyar's oxygen levels are low, this doesn't mean there is a problem. Shadyar's heart and body are strengthened for years to come. After hearing these comforting words, Shadyar's mother calmed down, many of her fears assauged.

Two hours later we were finally allowed to see Shadyar in the ICU.

He looked peaceful. His mother was anxious from time to time, but when we left she seemed calmer, especially as Shadyar was extubated and slowly waking up.

It was a long day, but as Kristina said to the mother, it was such a privilege to be at the hospital on surgery day and see Jesus perform a miracle for her son through the hands of the surgeons. Shadyar is loved by God and worth every effort to save and restore his life.

Rest For a Weary Heart

Posted on Sun, 02/23/2014 - 19:09 by Rahel Eschler

Before settling into a well-deserved Shabbat evening, Jesse and I had the privilege of picking up our little fellow Shadyar from the Sheba hospital last Friday. 

It was a beautiful trip through the valley towards Tel Aviv, which is turning green after the winter rain. The almond trees seem to be the first ones in full bloom.

Soon the huge hospital buildings appeared on the horizon. In the cardiac ward, Shadyar and his mother were already waiting for us, all packed up and ready to leave the unfamiliar environment of the hospital. His smile wasn’t shining as brightly as the sun outside, but he was definitely happy to be with us. An English-speaking nurse reassured us Shadyar’s catheterization went without any complications. He’s now ready for the second part of his heart repair, which is called a Fontan Shunt and will improve his quality of life by raising his body’s oxygen levels.

On the way back home we wanted to reward our brave brother with a visit at the mall with the huge dinosaur statues. But because of taking a wrong exit on the highway, we never made it. Instead we ended up in an industrial area. Luckily we spotted a yellow McDonald’s sign, which brought smiles and watering mouths.

At the restaurant, a man we never saw or talked to before came up to us to see whether or not we were volunteers here in Israel (he had seen us accompanying the Kurdish family). He wished us all the best and a successful surgery for Shadyar. What a nice gesture from this man, welcoming foreigners in need in his country. May God bless his heart.

On the way back home to Jerusalem, we hit some traffic due to Shabbat starting. Shadyar didn’t care, though. He took a nap on his mother’s shoulder as we inched forward.

Fast forward a few days, and Shadyar was admitted back into the hospital today for his scheduled heart surgery tomorrow. His weary heart will soon find rejuvenated strength. Please pray for Shadyar’s wonderful and precious heart to be repaired and healed, so he will once more overflow with energy. We lift Shadyar up into the safe hands of his beautiful maker, our Lord.

A Stalwart Champion

Posted on Thu, 02/20/2014 - 22:02 by Becky Lantz

We awoke bright and early this Thursday, expectantly awaiting the trip to Sheba to see our beloved Shadyar, who was admitted yesterday for his catheterization today. As we quickly zipped down the interstate in our van Junior, we hoped to see a glimpse of our little buddy before he headed to the operating room. Our wish was granted, as we arrived just in time to see him off.

Then began the waiting period with Shadyar’s mom. Shadyar and his mom just arrived on Sunday evening, making this a busy week filled with many emotions. They both are out of their comfort zones, but I can see them slowly breaking out of their shells.

Though waiting was hard for Shadyar’s mom, she shared with us a little bit about her life. She is a seamstress in Kurdistan and loves sewing exquisite dresses for the Kurdi New Year in March. It’s clear she pays attention to detail and cares for the little things, even the minute details of putting together a dress. It was so nice to be able to catch a small glimpse into her life.

A few hours later, Shadyar rolled out of the OR and headed towards the secondary ICU.

We are happy to report his catheterization went well, and the doctors feel ready to prepare for his surgery. Praise the Lord!

While coming out of anesthesia can be confusing and scary for many children, Shadyar handled everything like a champ! Even though he had a little pain where one of the IV’s was inserted, he did not complain, and only cried a bit when a nurse took some blood.

After an hour, Shadyar was ready to leave the secondary ICU and head back to his original room. We hope he will be discharged early tomorrow and able to come back to Shevet! Please partner with us in prayer as we await his surgery date and as he adjusts to life at Shevet.

A Reserved Day

Posted on Mon, 02/17/2014 - 22:59 by Ruth Zellweger

It was an exciting evening yesterday for our Shevet community when our new Kurdish families arrived. Even though Shadyar and his mother were quiet and reserved, they graciously received our welcoming hugs without complaint.

After a short night’s rest, we made our way to Sheba Hospital in Tel Aviv for Shadyar’s first assessments. Little Yousif and his father also joined our group for a follow-up echo for Yousif.

Upon our arrival at the echo department, we had to wait for a while until the paperwork was done and Shadyar received a patient identification number, but we were soon underway.

Once his vital signs were taken and an EKG run, Shadyar was called in for an echo of his heart, after which we went to have lunch while we waited for the cardiologists to discuss the next steps. We didn’t get much information today, but we did find out Shadyar will need a catheterization of his heart prior to open-heart surgery. Once a date is set, the hospital will let us know.

Shadyar remained quiet throughout the day, but as I observed him I could tell he has a sweet spirit. With time I’m sure he will open up more and allow his personality to become more visible.

Shadyar’s mother, of course, wants only the best for her child. It is obvious she is under a lot of stress at the moment, however, being far away from her family and in a different country. Please intercede with us for this precious mother-son duo during this special time in their lives. May Shadyar return home with a healed heart in God’s perfect time. 

A Quiet Gentleman

Posted on Sun, 02/16/2014 - 23:10 by Jonathan Miles

Shadyar's been brave on his return journey to Israel (you can see the story of his first surgery here). I imagine he doesn't remember the first trip when he was just three years old. This time around he's been quietly taking it all in as an eight-year-old gentleman and offering a hesitant smile when teased. We reached Prophets Street after nightfall, and tomorrow he'll face even greater challenges as he undergoes his first exams in the Israeli hospital. 

Imminent Return

Posted on Sun, 02/16/2014 - 21:48 by Kelsey Cannon

Nine-year-old Shadyar is due to return imminently for his second and hopefully final surgery. He and his mother have been in Israel before back in 2009 when he underwent a palliative Glenn procedure to alleviate the symptoms of his congenital heart defect, pulmonary atresia. We look forward to welcoming this sweet, young boy and his mother back to Israel for the final installment of his journey towards a healed heart.