Shana's Heart Surgery

northern Iraq

Unplugged and All Smiles

Posted on Sun, 06/16/2013 - 23:34 by Kaytlin Butler

When we visited Shana on Friday, she hardly looked like the same girl we had seen just three short days ago. All of the machines had been unplugged and she had a big, playful smile on her beautiful face. She looked just like a perfect, happy little girl wearing a nightgown with her hair pulled back in a bow. Her mother has subsequently been able to rest easier and seems to be taking better care of herself. Please continue to keep both Shana and her mother in your prayers! We are so thankful for her continued healing.

Making Milestones

Posted on Wed, 06/12/2013 - 22:58 by Kaytlin Butler

When we went to visit Shana this morning at Sheba, we received some exciting news: her kidney function had improved, and her doctors felt comfortable moving her into secondary ICU! She is also able to lift her left arm, which was a difficult task just a few short days ago. Shana

Reasons to Hope

Posted on Tue, 06/11/2013 - 21:38 by Daniella Ashley

Today was my first day accompanying one of our nurses, Ruth, to visit Shana at Sheba Hospital. Shana seemed shy, but she and her mother were welcoming; Shana smiled when Ruth started interacting with her. Her mother told us that Shana was able to get in a wheelchair today, and she had been eating more food than usual.

Since her surgery, Shana has not been able to move her left arm; but today she grasped her mother

Standing Together in the Midst of Pain

Posted on Sun, 06/09/2013 - 16:48 by Sarah Powell

When we entered Shana's room today, she greeted us with a gentle smile. She was glad to play with bubbles and pop them in my face before they left the wand, and we also attempted to play a memory card game before she was overcome with tiredness. As Ruth smoothed her hair, Shana fell into a soft sleep. We told Shana's mother that she should also try to sleep while Shana slept, but her mother only laughed. She knew better than us that Shana's sleep would only last for a few minutes. I was encouraged to see Shana smiling and talking; however, the nurses said that her kidneys have not shown any more improvement. Moreover, the doctors would like to do more testing for possible neurological problems because Shana has been exhibiting some strange behavior and is still unable to move her left arm at all. There is still a lot of healing that needs to take place for this little girl to be her cheerful and confident self again.

When the nurses came in to do some injections and check a few things the way nurses always do, Shana began to cry for her mother. Her mother stood at the bedside and held Shana's face in her hands, talking to her softly as the nurse continued her work. This scene reminded me of something that we spoke about today in our morning meeting. Often, we encounter a difficult situation in our lives and our first response is to ask God to deliver us out of that situation. We discussed the possibility of a different kind of response to adversity, perhaps a more proper one, where instead of asking to be delivered, we just seek God's presence within that situation because He truly knows what is best for us. As Shana cried for the nurse to stop in that hospital room today, her mother did not herd the nurse out of the room so that her daughter would be at peace again. Instead, she held Shana's little face in her hands and stood with her through those moments of fear and pain because she knew that, in the end, these few moments of pain would be for Shana's good. In this, I see the loving care of the Father for each of us. Just as this strong mother stands with her daughter through her pain instead of removing her from it, so God often does for us, knowing better than we do that in the end it will be for our good.

Continue to pray that both Shana and her mother would be able to rest in the Father's loving arms through this time. We know that God is El Roi, or the God Who Sees. He is in control in Shana's situation, working these things together for her ultimate good so that she and her mother might know Him more fully by the end of it all.

Prayers Answered

Posted on Wed, 06/05/2013 - 20:57 by Brandon Verna

After an MRI, Shana underwent a procedure on her kidneys this morning. The MRI showed a limited blood flow to her right kidney, which could be why it has been unresponsive. The doctors were preparing to improve the blood flow through a procedure, but after a few hours they found that the kidney was actually receiving the proper amount of blood that it needed.

They were able to glean information about Shana

A Slow Recovery

Posted on Tue, 06/04/2013 - 10:43 by Brandon Verna

Yesterday afternoon we had the opportunity to visit Shana and her mother in Shana

One Hurdle Overcome

Posted on Sun, 06/02/2013 - 21:02 by Philip Rasmussen

As volunteers at Shevet Achim we are blessed to witness many smooth recoveries post-surgery, and I personally always feel lifted up and encouraged when driving home after a hospital visitation. Perhaps that is why I was struck all the harder today when Muna and I went to Sheba to visit Shana and her mother.

Shana is currently sedated and on a lot of different medicine and painkillers; therefore I didn

Small and Slow Improvements

Posted on Fri, 05/31/2013 - 15:08 by Awapuhi Dancil

I would like to begin this update with a request for prayer. Even, as you read this, just pause for a moment and intercede for Shana and her mother who is burdened with so much anxiety and worry.

Her mother grabbed my hands as soon as I entered the ICU and said,

Love that Overcomes Fear

Posted on Thu, 05/30/2013 - 22:55 by Jonathan Miles

Lina and I arrived at the hospital today to find Shana's mom red-eyed and teary by her daughter's side. Shana's had a difficult day and both her liver and kidneys are not functioning as they should. When we arrived Shana was sedated in order to have dialysis.

The surgeon Dr. Mishali turned up just then, and reassured Shana's mother with his confidence that she will come through this difficulty. And when Shana's mother spoke of the fear tormenting her today, we spoke of the love of God which overcomes fear--when we know we are in his hands, and that his intention for us is good.

We appreciate all who are praying for Shana, and will update this page after our next visit to the hospital on Friday.

Unexpected Hurdles

Posted on Thu, 05/30/2013 - 00:07 by Kelsey Cannon

Walking into the primary ICU at Sheba, I was greeted by the customary bleeps and bloops indicating good medical science at work. A sight I was unaccustomed to seeing was dear Shana bed-ridden and asleep - with the gurgling of her chest tube drains filling the place where her girlish laughter normally lived. It was only yesterday that she received her complicated open heart surgery, and it was evident from the many medications dripping slowly into her IVs that her body was struggling to adjust to the massive physiological changes which have taken place.

Outside Shana