Tarza 's Heart Surgery

northern Iraq

Reunion With Tarza In Iraq

Posted on Tue, 05/19/2009 - 01:00 by Donna_Petrel

I was happy to find out we could visit Tarza at her home during a recent trip to Iraq. A friend from one of our Iraqi partner organizations met both Tarza and Rezhin while they were all with us in Jerusalem, and has been continuing their relationship in Sulaymania. She arranged this visit, and the family met our taxi down the street to guide us to their home.

Tarza's case was one of the fastest healing processes we've had among our Iraqi patients, so we expected to find her full of energy and were not disappointed. She was a polite hostess, bringing refreshments with her sister's help while we all sat together. She practiced her English for us as evidence of her excellent progress in school, and is really doing well with her ability to read. It presented a perfect opportunity to give her one of our favorite story books about Jesus which is written in both Kurdish and English. She began to pore through it immediately with great interest.

Tarza's mother was full of thanks for everything done for her daughter and invited us to stay for dinner with the family. Having made a prior commitment, we declined after a pleasant visit. We were able to tell Tarza's mom and her daughters before we left that it is the love of God which brought this opportunity for Tarza, and to Him goes all the thanks.

Tarza Leaves Israel

Posted on Wed, 12/03/2008 - 00:00 by Abby_Bertrand
This was Tarza and Rezhin's last week in Israel. These two girls are just precious and full of life. Every day they've talked about when they would get to go home to see their families. You could see the anticipation growing in them each day and never would have imagined that these two girls running around playing, recently had had heart surgery. It's exciting to think who they will become as they return home with new hearts.

They are deeply appreciative for the nurturing care they've received from the staff at Shevet and truly love the women here. They made thank you notes in their Sorani dialect for Donna, Keleigh, and Mary thanking them and making sure they knew they would be missed. Last night they even invited Donna to share one last meal with them before preparing to leave.

Everyone woke up this morning freshly cleaned and with their best clothes on. Packing must have begun last night, leaving things only to be tidied up today. After waiting several hours, we all loaded up in the van mid-afternoon to head to the border crossing. It was a beautiful day, providing for a nice drive and great views of the country. Once at passport control things went fairly smoothly and they were able to make a couple of quick purchases from the Duty Free Shop before going outside to wait for the bus.

Sadly they faced a long wait on the other side of the border crossing, making what was already a long day that much longer. After a quick nap, they'll awake early in the morning to head to the airport to return home.

What a privilege it has been to meet these two beautiful girls. How grateful we are that they have many more years of health and life ahead of them.

Excellent Echo Report, Fun With Beads

Posted on Mon, 11/24/2008 - 00:00 by Donna_Petrel
We set out early this morning for Tel Aviv so that Tarza and Rezhin could visit the Save A Child's Heart house near Wolfson Medical Center in order for some media and some supporters of the doctors' organization to meet the Iraqi children who are being helped. Since the Iraqi families stay with us in Jerusalem before and after surgery now instead of at the Save A Child's Heart house, this was their first visit there, and they were not quite sure what to make of it at first. But the girls enjoyed being at the house after they were offered bead-making materials to pass the time. We were also relieved to be able to move their echocardiograms up one day rather than make another trip tomorrow.

Tarza got an excellent report after her echo, and although her mother was hoping to be able to leave after today, Dr. Tamir said Tarza should come back in one week for the final echocardiogram. We are thankful for this good report, and expect Tarza will be on schedule to go home early next week. Keep praying for her recovery to be complete and quick.

A Very Good Report

Posted on Mon, 11/17/2008 - 00:00 by Keleigh_Glisson
We made our way to the hospital this morning for Tarza and Rezhin's follow-up echos. After waiting nearly an hour, each girl was taken in for her echo. Afterwards, the report was that they are doing really well. Neither of the girls has any sign of water in her lungs, nor are they on any medications, only vitamins.

After they left the echo they met up with Ali and his father as they were walking outside. Both mothers and daughters sat outside with Ali and rejoiced with Ali's father.

We left Wolfson and made our way to Schneider Children's hospital about 20 minutes away. Here we were able to visit Lawk's mother a few hours after Lawk came out of surgery. The girls passed the time by watching the fish in the fish tank just outside of Lawk's room.

By the end of the day the mothers were ready to get back to Jerusalem. Both Tarza and Rezhin will have another echo next Monday.

Tarza Recovering in Jerusalem

Posted on Sun, 11/16/2008 - 06:53 by Mary_Dailey

I went to Wolfson Hospital yesterday to bring Tarza and Rezhin back to the Shevet house. They were ready to leave when I got there. First I went in to see Ali and Abu-Ali. Ali was having physical theraphy and Abu-Ali was with him. He came out for a short time and walked down the hall with us and told everyone good-bye. We got a taxi and then a subsequent sherut (group taxi) back. The trip went well, the taxi driver was very pleasant, he couldn't speak english and he called another taxi driver over to translate to him what I was saying, they also told us to have a good journey. We were the first on the sherut so the moms got to choose where to sit. What even made it better was that Donna was waiting for us when we got off the sherut. Tarza had asked for her after her surgery. The girls are doing great and were glad to get back to the house. Lawk and his mom were also glad to see them. The hospital will let us know when they go for their echocardiogram. Thank you all for your prayers, the Bible says, "the steps of the righteous are guided by the Lord." I believe He was our guide and that is why our trip was so pleasant.

Out Of ICU, Munching Doritos

Posted on Tue, 11/11/2008 - 00:00 by Mary_Dailey
Yesterday Lawk's mother asked to go to the hospital and visit Tarza and Rezhin. I was a little reluctant to take Lawk to the hospital for the day because he is such an energetic boy, but it turned out to be a great afternoon.

Lawk's mother, along with the mothers of Tarza and Rezhin, and Ali's father, had a room to themselves. I was asked to leave the ICU because they were performing a procedure on a patient, so I sat in the room with them and listened as they each shared with the others their story. It was a great time of encouragement for each one of these families as they deal with the cultural differences here in Israel.

Today, I found both Tarza and Rezhin out of the ICU and in the ward. I think Tarza will be released to go to Jerusalem within the next couple of days. While I was visiting this afternoon the girls were munching on Doritos and peanut M&M's. It seems as if they are on their way to a full recovery.

Surgery Went Well, Without Complications

Posted on Mon, 11/10/2008 - 00:00 by Mary_Dailey
Tarza had her surgery this morning. Tarza's mother was nervous and was crying. Ali's father and Rezhin's mother were with her. While we were waiting to see Tarza after her surgery, they wanted to go to lunch, so we went to the cafeteria and ate. Later went to drink tea. They had not let Tarza's mother see her yet. It was a good while.

Ali's father had gone in to see Ali in the ICU, and stayed for awhile. When he came out, he told Tarza's mother to go in, so she did. When she came out she was crying. Even though we can't understand each other's language, I still have that compassion of a mom. I prayed silently to God and cried with her.

When I went in to see Tarza, I asked the doctor how Tarza's surgery turned out. He said very well, with no complications. By the time I left, Tarza was awake and alert.

Thank you for your prayers and support. God is so good.

Surgery Scheduled For Tomorrow

Posted on Sun, 11/09/2008 - 00:00 by Mary_Dailey
We received a surprise telephone call this evening from Wolfson Medical Center telling us to bring Tarza and Rezhin up to the hospital and they would have surgery tomorrow.

Please pray for them. Pray that the Lord will give them and their mothers peace. Pray that the surgeries will go well and that God will give the doctors wisdom and guide their hands.

The mothers speak only Kurdish, but Ali's father is there to help with the translation. His calmness and attention helps them to have a peace that they might not have if he weren't there.


Shy, Yet Brave, In Initial Tests

Posted on Thu, 11/06/2008 - 00:00 by Donna_Petrel
A shy Tarza and her mother began the admissions process today for her heart surgery at Wolfson Medical Center. Even though she is beginning to warm up to those of us on staff, she is still very quiet and shy. Because of this, I rather expected her to be fearful of the tests which had to be done today prior to her admission. What a surprise that she was such a trooper when it came her turn for the dreaded blood test! She only made a small whimper when the needle was inserted, and was very brave the rest of the time for every test.

Dr. Alona found in the echo that Tarza has an ASD, which can be repaired by a simple and short heart surgery (relatively speaking of course!) It is hoped that her surgery can be scheduled soon, and after the surgical team meets on Sunday we should have a better idea about just how soon. Naturally all of us hope they do not have to endure a long wait to get the treatment they came for.

On Sunday Tarza and her mother will return to the hospital to be checked after the standard test for tuberculosis. Please pray for them to continue to feel more settled as their turns for surgery approach. Ali's father was a great help to them and us at the hospital by translating and explaining what to expect, and Sara's father has been a great help here at the house. I thank God for how He works out the ways to meet the needs of our patients!

Tarza Arrives In Israel

Posted on Tue, 11/04/2008 - 00:00 by Donna_Petrel

Late this afternoon we arrived at the Israeli border to welcome Tarza and her mother, along with Rezhin and her mother, into Israel. We'd hoped to receive them Sunday evening but needed to wait until today. They were happy but tired, and after a little snack in the van, they rested as we drove up to Jerusalem.
Once here at the house, we were all thankful to have Sara's father to help us communicate with one another. Neither of these mothers speak Arabic or English, so one of our major prayer requests is for translation to be available for all of us during their stay here. We all hope that Sara and her dad will be able to leave quickly after her echo next Monday, but in the meantime are thanking God for his help to introduce the new moms and daughters to being with us.
Tonight at the house the three little girls (Tarza, Rezhin and Sara) are all feeling shy, and therefore have not yet begun to play together. Since Tarza will not have her first echocardiogram until Thursday, we're hoping that they will enjoy playing with one another in the morning after a good night's sleep. 

Please pray for this little one to be able to receive her surgery soon, and that her heart will be made new in every way while she is with us. Begin to pray for peace for her mother as they approach the initial exam here, and the healing process for Tarza begins.