Tamara's Heart Surgery

northern Iraq

Call to Pray

Posted on Sun, 09/25/2016 - 22:13 by Sophie

Before Tamara came to Israel, she had a cough that lasted more than ten days. Since arriving, her CT revealed pneumonia, and she has been hospitalized for the last few days. 
During this time in the hospital, the best memories have been receiving gifts and generously sharing with others! 

Thank God for the few days of treatment, because now Tamara is well enough to come back home. Without delay, Ruth sent them back and we had lunch together. They were happy to be home. Tamara is highly intelligent, very sharp, and quick to learn. When I saw her alone accepting the treatment - without any need for help - I was so shocked! 
Tamara has been prescribed a home treatment to prevent lung infection and to keep the lungs open in preparation for surgery. Please pray for this precious girl; may God bless her and keep her and give her a new heart and new life! 

When Worlds Collide in the Divine

Posted on Sun, 09/18/2016 - 23:13 by Deborah Burke

In 2 Corinthians 1:8-10 Paul writes, "We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in...Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed...we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely on God, who raises the dead. And He did rescue us from mortal danger, and He will rescue us again."

It was the morning shift, sitting and waiting with Tamara and her father for the nurses to do initial assessments and the doctor to insert the cannula, all in preparation for CT angiography. It sounds simple doesn't it? The wheels of this machine seem to turn slowly but the reality is that there are many children with many needs and there are some children, like Tamara, who slow the machinery even further by screaming at anyone who looks like a doctor or nurse who may invade her space, and then stubbornly refusing to co-operate. Even the clown doctor thought she had clownphobia! It is as though she thinks she is going to die at every touch, and yet somehow the observations were done, the cannula was put in place, the sedation was administered and the CT completed. Thanks be to our loving heavenly father and the persistent and skilled Wolfson staff.

Tamara had no choice but to rely on others. Her patient and loving father somehow manages to cope with her screaming usually, but today he looked crushed.

While Tamara was inside having her CT, he paced outside overwhelmed with worry, quietly and almost privately shedding tears. His relief was obvious when the doors opened and his precious one was wheeled out - quiet now thanks to the sedation. As she slept he, and all of us, had some respite and chai.

Through no coincidence, one of our neighbours in the hospital was one of the Gazan mothers whose daughter was in surgery. Tamara's father speaks Arabic and so here was an oportunity for mutual support between two branches of Shevet Achim. You could say the collision of worlds in the divine.

After the sedation wore off, Tamara was back to her energetic and feisty self. Pajamas off, jeans and shoes on, and time to go now, thank you. She did have some play time in the courtyard exploring all of the equipment.

This was a good thing because her CT revealed pneumonia which will hospitalize her for a few days. She was in mortal danger but, as Paul reminds us, our God raises people from the dead, rescues us from mortal dangers, and will rescue us again. For our part, we need to continually practice relying on Him for all things. Through prayer, let us commit Tamara to the care of our loving Creator for Him to make her whole again (and really keep her parents on the go).

Always at Her Side

Posted on Wed, 09/14/2016 - 21:54 by Ruth Zellweger

Last night we welcomed little Tamara and her father into our Shevet community in Jaffa. Together with two other families, they had made the journey from northern Iraq. Two years ago, the Arabic speaking Turkman family fled ISIS from their home in Iraq and found refuge in the Kurdish region. I was impressed by the father who already picked up and speaks the Kurdish language quite well. Tamara is the only daughter to her parents and very much loved, which became more and more visible throughout the day, as her father cared for and supported her through all the difficult times today. Very gently but also firmly he held his little daughter while the different assessments were done. It was hard for him to see her in discomfort and fear. But because he knew how important these tests are he remained strong and the rock to which his daughter could cling. 

For the echocardiogram Tamara received some sedation so that she would lie perfectly still while Dr. Alona carefully assessed the condition of her heart. Afterwards she announced that Tamara will need another specialized test, a CT-angiogram, in order to visualize especially her very large pulmonary arteries. This is important for the discussion of the surgery plan. Tamara will return to the hospital early on Sunday morning for that procedure. Until then she and her father can rest and get acccustomed to life in Israel and with Shevet. 

I am already very much looking forward to spending more time with them and getting to know them better. They already reminded me today of the love our heavenly Father has for His children. He is also with us constantly and doesn't leave us, but goes with us through trials and joyful times. What a privilege.

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous hand," Isaiah 41:10.