Shanaw 's Heart Surgery

northern Iraq

Shanaw Leaves Shevet Center for AM Surgery

Posted on Sat, 09/27/2008 - 01:00 by Hank_Dannecker
Tonight at 6:30 Shanaw left the Jerusalem Shevet house with her aunt to go to Wolfson hospital for her heart surgery, scheduled for 7:30 Sunday morning.

Shanaw's farewell to Kale, who is also awaiting surgery 
Shanaw has been away from home for three months now and is more than ready for her day in the operating room. The ride to the hospital was very quiet except for some well placed phone calls to her parents and sister in Kurdistan. Within one hour of arrival at the hospital her IV was in, x-rays done, blood drawn along with all her other pre-op procedures.

In many ways this ambitious young lady has blessed each and every one of the Shevet staff with her smiles, art work, creativity and her laughter. It is now our turn to bless her, will you join with us in prayer right now as the hours count down until surgery for this precious child of God. (Mark 9:37)

Gifts from Friends Make Shanaw's Week

Posted on Thu, 09/18/2008 - 01:00 by Donna_Petrel
On Monday evening we had a "birthday party" for the fun of it, for all the girls here at the house. A special friend made a cake for them, and they were very excited and looking forward to sharing it with everyone who could gather to enjoy it. After the evening iftar meal to break the Ramadan fast, the celebration began. It was a lot of fun for four little girls waiting to have their turn for heart surgeries, and all of us who were celebrating with them. 

Some visitors from the US who came on Tuesday to learn more about Shevet Achim also brought several suitcases filled with supplies for the families. Among them were personal items for everyone, and toys, games and crafts for the children. This afternoon I looked through the collection and found what seemed the perfect way for getting the creative juices of these little ladies flowing.

What I didn't expect was the enthusiasm of the parents to get in on the opportunity by helping with the project.

There were many lovely pieces of jewelry created today here in the Shevet courtyard. Everyone loved this craft activity, and says "THANK YOU!"

We thank God for the generosity of friends who've shared gifts like these with us from time to time, and the joy these gifts bring to our guests while they're here with us. Enjoy the "Shevet collection"! :-)

Long Wait For Shanaw Continues

Posted on Wed, 09/10/2008 - 07:52 by Keleigh_Glisson

A month ago we were informed that the surgeon was going on a two week vacation causing all surgeries to be postponed. We were told that all of the children staying at the Shevet house would be on the surgery schedule for the first two weeks of September. The first week of September has come and gone without any surgeries taking place. It was especially difficult for these families to see Shana and Mawa come to Israel a few weeks after them and then leave yesterdayhealthy. It has been nearly two months since the children made their journey to Israel. The hospital has completed all the necessary tests that are required before surgery. Now they must wait.

In the meantime the children have found many activities to pass the time. The Shevet house is decorated with their artwork, they had a water fight on the roof, and most recently we took a trip to the zoo.
I think this group of kids enjoyed the zoo more than any other group. For most of them it was their first time seeing anything like this. As soon as we saw the first exhibit, the penguins, a few of the parents were on their phones calling their family in Iraq telling them where they were at and then passing the phone on to the children so that they could relay their excitement. We had a great time.
Most of the children dread the actual operation, but they have waited so long that even they are getting restless. They miss their families back home so much that they want to get it over with. Please pray that the doctors will be able to fit them into their schedule and pray for patience as they continue to wait.

Shanaw Having Fun in Jerusalem

Posted on Thu, 08/14/2008 - 07:52 by Keleigh_Glisson
Last week Shanaw had a catheterization enabling the doctors to gain a better understanding of the condition of her heart. She recovered quickly and has been back in Jerusalem decorating the house with her artwork. Together with Kale (pronounced Kal-ee), Shanaw has drawn pictures to put up all over the office and made paper chains to drape across the ceiling in their bedroom. A few days ago they spotted a mouse running through the kitchen so they decided to create paper mice (pictured below). Amidst a lot of giggling they slipped these under the office door so those of us in the office would see them and be "startled." This morning I came into the office and found two green cats made out of play-doh on my desk. Shanaw has a very sweet spirit and beautiful smile, which she eagerly shows off every time I see her. Her surgery is scheduled for September.

Shanaw Admitted for Catheterization

Posted on Tue, 08/05/2008 - 07:52 by Keleigh_Glisson

Yesterday, Hank, Erica, Amy and I were able to take the children to the beach in Tel Aviv. Most of them had never seen an ocean before. It was amazing to me how this group of children reacted differently compared with previous groups. The last group of kids ran for the ocean, but this group required a little prodding. With every childs hand clinched tightly to an adult, our toes entered the water. With time each child began to feel more comfortable, but none of them went in past their knees. Their mothers also didnt want to go in the water. Instead, they enjoyed watching the kids from their seats in the shade.

I think Shanaw enjoyed the beach the most. She was the first to roll up her jeans and go in the water. Her favorite part of the day was collecting shells along the shore. She was able to bring a collection home with her. Shanaw and her aunt left with Hevi and her mother for the hospital early this morning. She will undergo a catheterization on Wednesday.

Revelations From Shanaw's First Echo

Posted on Sun, 07/27/2008 - 01:00 by Anja_Kell

Shanaw's fever is gone and she is doing much better. Her PPD test result was negative. Shanaw also had her first echo today. She kept smiling throughout the whole process. The doctors discovered that she will need a catheterization before her surgery. While we were playing I noticed that her lips turned very blue. It shocked me to see how fast her body gets tired and weak.

Goran and Rebecca add:

Shanaws echo revealed that she has a large hole in her heart. Also, her pulmonary artery (the artery from the heart to the lungs) is too small and is not functioning properly. This causes the supply of oxygen throughout her body to be reduced, turning her blue. According to the doctors she has been like this since birth. Fortunately, Shanaws upcoming surgery will fix these problems. Shanaw and her aunt are looking forward to the surgery.

Shanaw's First Day at the Hospital

Posted on Thu, 07/24/2008 - 01:00 by Anja_Kell

Today Shanaw and three other newly-arrived Iraqi children all went with their mothers/father to the Wolfson Hospital to get their blood work, TB tests and echos done. 

It was great to see that they all were doing really well throughout the entire time. Shanaw and Sara had only arrived here yesterday after a long day of traveling. I haven't seen one of them complaining, only their faces show sometimes how tired they are. 

During the times of waiting it was fun to interact with the kids. It would be wonderful to be able to speak their language, but it is also great to find other ways of communicating (to play the starring game or with our hands, to snuggle...). 

It is the same with the mothers, all I can do is to smile at them and to give them a hug...just to show that I want to be there for them. I know that God has many ways to shine through us and it is my prayer that they will truly experience all of God's love and grace while they are here.

Shanaw always has a big smile upon her face, so sweet and she loves to cuddle. She enjoys playing, she is more outgoing. We were looking at the fish in the aquarium at the hospital together. She was excited about them and we tried to talk about the different colors and sizes of the fish in English/Kurdish/German. 

Her fingers are pretty blue. Tonight she is running a pretty high fever. Hopefully tomorrow she'll be doing better.

Goran, the coordinator of our work inside Iraq, is visiting Israel this week for the first time, and his wife Rebecca adds this report: 

Today we went to Wolfson Medical Center as Shkar, Hevi, Shanaw, and Sara begin the process for a changed life. When Goran and I arrived Sara and Shkar were in receiving echos. I had a chance to briefly chat in Kurdish with two of the mothers as they were waiting patiently for their daughters to have a turn. Sara finished her echo and the doctor said her case is common and complex, but she will be fine. Shkar and Saras echos took a bit of time so unfortunately Hevi and Shanaw did not have time for their echo, but they will go on Sunday.

Personally, for me I appreciated seeing the tender loving care the doctors had for each child. Also, their sense of humor to entertain the child to help the child warm up and not be afraid of the doctors.

I know in Iraq the doctors would never take the time to comfort the child and be kind. Instead even with a common spoken language (Kurdish) they may yell at the child or slap the child to have the child respond. What we saw today is a type of love and kindness that has never been exemplified to these children from doctors before. 

Shanaw Reaches Jerusalem

Posted on Wed, 07/23/2008 - 01:00 by Amy_Denney

I know that Shanaw is glad to be finally here at Shevet in Jerusalem. She is reunited with her friends Hevi and Shkar, who left Jordan for Israel two days earlier. Smiles could be seen on the faces on both Hevi and Shkar and moms as Shanaw entered the Shevet center this evening.

Twelve-year-old Shanaw is a very playful young girl who likes to draw and make arts and crafts. We are really glad she is here. I pray that we can bless her and the other Iraqi children with a welcoming stay. After a long day, they were all a little tired and ready to settle into bed.