Sidra's Heart Surgery

northern Iraq

Sidra Needs Urgent Heart Surgery

Posted on Tue, 06/09/2009 - 01:00 by Martha_Berg

Sidra is a one-year-old baby girl from Iraq. She came to our cardiac screening in Jordan last week. Israeli cardiologist Dr. Tamir found that she was in heart failure and in urgent need of pulmonary artery banding. Her congenital heart defects include a large ASD and a huge VSD.

Sidra and her mother are staying with Shevet staff members Dirk and Manuela in Jordan until arrangements are made for them to come to Israel for surgery. Four other children and their escorts are there too.

Dirk writes:

Today is the third day back home after the screening which we remember as a joyful and at the same time exhausting experience. Five Iraqi families came to our home in Jordan with us to await their visas to Israel, and like the rest of us passed almost the entire first day at the guest flat sleeping. Of course everything is so new to them, and they were very quiet and did not want to disturb us or use our kitchen although we offered it to them many times. They prepared their own food downstairs, and only when they ran out of water or other necessities did they leave their quarters.

Communication with the families here was quite difficult at first, since they hardly speak any Arabic (let alone English), with the exception Hindereen's grandmother. This older lady, who herself has raised 11 children, is active and has helped us with translation a lot. A Kurdish translator, Komar, arrived here on Friday and it really helps a lot to have him build a bridge to their culture (even though two of the families speak a different dialect than Komar and the other three families).