Sidra's Heart Surgery

northern Iraq

Our Farewell to Sidra

Posted on Sat, 08/29/2009 - 07:53 by Jonathan Miles
Less than a month since her emergency resuscitation, Sidra left this weekend with her longsuffering mother for a joyful reunion with their family in Iraq.

The long journey home started Friday morning in the courtyard of the Shevet center in Jerusalem, as Sidra waved a sweet farewell to our staff gathered to say goodbye. Have a look by clicking on the play arrow below:

We drove to the Jordan Valley and across the Jordan river and then up to Amman, Jordan in time for dinner and settling a happy Sidra in for the night.

At 7:30 the next morning we were off to the airport, where Sidra was gracious to give us one more wave goodbye as she headed through passport control and off to her new life:

We're blessed to have shared with you in the healing and redemption of this precious little girl. God bless you!

Joyful News

Posted on Thu, 08/27/2009 - 01:00 by Donna_Petrel

Today when we got to the hospital, the chief cardiologist Dr. Tamir decided that Sidra was well enough that she didn't need another echo, just a quick check-up and then her dismissal report. This was very happy news for Sidra's mother! Sidra was oblivious to the details, but was quite sure that she doesn't like doctors any more - she's learned to fear what happens after she sees one of the medical staff at Wolfson. Even sitting in her mother's lap didn't keep her from crying when the doctor approached for one last listen to her heart and lungs. Sidra is doing very well now, and the only thing left to do before she could be fully dismissed was remove her remaining stitches. Many tears later, we left with her medical report in hand, and joy over the fact she doesn't even need any medication as she returns home. We'd decided ahead of time to celebrate her dismissal by visiting the Mediterranean Sea when we left the hospital, so we headed for the beach.

We had fellow heart patient Deya with us, and were all excited to play in the water together. However Sidra's reaction was one of utter terror at the noisy, moving mass of water, and she burst into tears when her mother walked toward the waves. Most of the time we spent there she was very afraid of the water, but eventually, after watching the rest of us laughing and enjoying ourselves, she would tolerate her mother standing in the shallowest part of the water for a few minutes.

I was able to capture a few pictures of her when she was settled down and a little more curious than furious.

We hope that Sidra and her mom will cross to Jordan tomorrow and be able to fly home on Saturday. It is our biggest hope that they will not leave one second before receiving every moment of the loving care God sent them here for. Please join us in that prayer!

Good Results Keep Coming

Posted on Mon, 08/24/2009 - 07:53 by Tim_Price

Sidra was quite uncomfortable today during her echocardiogram at the hospital. Sidras mother tried to pacify her, however, it seemed to be in vain during most of the test. The doctors results for Sidra were good, and he scheduled her for another echocardiogram on Thursday. He also said if the results were good that it would be Sidra's last echocardiogram.

That's great news considering all the things Sidra and her mother have been through. God willing they will be able to return home to their family in Kurdistan next week.

Sidra on the Home Stretch

Posted on Mon, 08/17/2009 - 07:53 by Robin_Miller

Sidra came back from her echo today with great results. She had no fluid build up around her heart or any other post surgery complication.

Sidra is scheduled for one more echo, and hopefully this will be her last one if everything keeps going well. She was very glad to have her milk to take her mind off of things!

Sidra Released With No Brain Damage

Posted on Tue, 08/11/2009 - 01:00 by Robin_Miller
Little Sidra was released today after her collapse and resuscitation, with a clean bill of health and confirmation from the neurologists that there is no brain damage!!! The cardiologist Dr. Alona is so pleased with Sidras recovery, and so is Mom. We are all excited to have her home and we are planning a BB-Q at the park where we will be celebrating all of our kids being home from the hospital. Only one child has not had her surgery, Deya, and she will probably be the last one here from this group from Iraq. Please continue to pray for each of these children that are currently in Israel for complete healing from the Lord.

Happy Isolation

Posted on Sun, 08/09/2009 - 01:00 by Donna_Petrel

Today we found Sidra resting contentedly in the children's ward with her mother, both seemingly doing very well, but in isolation until after blood test results come back for swine flu.

Um (mother of) Sidra was delighted to have some company, and we were willing to don the necessary masks to go in for a visit. The nursing staff said that everything about her heart looks very good, and she should be able to go home tomorrow if her blood test results clear her from any influenza.

As you can see from her pictures, she is very happy and active. The nurse on duty was not certain about her neurological evaluation, but said that she appears to be functioning normally. Before her dismissal, we'll check again on any results from neurological testing to be sure that there was no brain damage following her resuscitation just over a week ago.

Keep praying for this little one and her mother as she continues her recovery. It is a joy to be with her knowing she has been rescued from death twice since she's been here, all thanks be to God for His excellent loving care!

Our Miracle Baby

Posted on Thu, 08/06/2009 - 01:00 by Robin_Miller
Sidra is doing amazingly better and was able to have her echocardiogram completed today. The doctors said that the echo went well and that she will be staying at the hospital until Sunday, where they will keep an eye on her and determine if she will be released at that time to come to the Shevet house in Jerusalem. She is very happy and so is mom The nurses don't really mention if there is possible brain damage since her collapse and resuscitation. Please continue to pray for her complete healing and that there would be no brain damage at all.

Sidra Well Enough to Leave ICU

Posted on Wed, 08/05/2009 - 01:00 by Mary_Dailey
I went with Robin this afternoon to Wolfson Hospital , and when I got there I found that Sidra was out of the ICU and in the children's ward! One of the nurses told me she is doing very well. Because of so much flu going around we have to be very careful and if we have any traces of a cold or anything it's best if we stay away from them. I didn't so they let me wear a mask and see Sidra. When I got in the room the curtain was pulled around the bed and she and her mother were sleeping. They looked so peaceful I didn't want to wake them up. It says in God's word that "He gives His children rest," and it sure looked like Sedra and her mom were resting peacefully. Thanks so much for your prayers.

Sidra Starting to Respond

Posted on Sun, 08/02/2009 - 07:53 by Donna_Petrel

When I entered the ICU this morning, Sidra was just as I'd left her last night (pictured), and her mother was at her side. I found out she had more fluid around her heart which had to be drained again this morning, but it was not necessary to open the chest. Instead the fluid was removed with a needle. The doctor began to ask me again about symptoms of influenza and said that a bad flu could also cause difficulty for Sidra's heart. A blood test had been taken to check for flu to be certain whether it could be a factor in her case.

I noted that her mother seemed less tense this morning, but it wasn't until later that I understood why. During the night Sidra had become responsive, and began to move and open her eyes. Praise God! Later when I went into the ICU Sidra was awake so I was able to see for myself that she was moving and trying to cry as she became aware of the pain she was experiencing. Her mother was able to get some rest; I'm sure she was relieved to see this beginning of the healing process.

Even though it is encouraging that Sidra did begin to wake up and is moving, the doctors explained that until Sidra is fully awake and they can check her brain function, they will not know if there was any damage done from her brief time without oxygen. I continue to be overwhelmed with thanks to God that Sidra was immediately resuscitated in the ICU and had the excellent care she needed. Please keep praying with us that she will be fully healed of everything which may have been affected by this event. May she grow up to be the woman God created her to be, and one day have healthy children of her own.


Sidra To Emergency Surgery

Posted on Sat, 08/01/2009 - 01:00 by Donna_Petrel

Early this morning Sidra had to be taken to the emergency room at the Wolfson Medical center because of difficulty breathing after some vomiting. She was checked and admitted to the ward. I received word of it mid-morning, and planned to visit her and her mother when I arrived at the hospital.

Meanwhile Sidra's mom was very worried about her daughter, and went to ask Akram's mom to translate for her, when Sidra began to turn blue. So she ran into the ICU with her, and the doctors were able to begin working on her right away. We're so thankful she was already at the hospital when this happened, and the nurses commended her for bringing Sidra to them immediately.

Sidra had an emergency resuscitation after her mother brought her into the ICU because she was turning blue. The ICU head Dr. Houri was called in and her chest had to be opened to drain fluid from around her heart.

When I left the hospital late this evening, Sidra had not awakened or moved since the surgery, and this was a concern of the ICU staff. This is the focus of my request for your prayers for Sidra. Her 20-year-old mother is still seemingly numb and stunned as she sits by her daughter's bedside. Even this morning she seemed unaffected when told Sidra was better following the surgery; please keep her and Sidra in your prayers at this intense and critical time.