Vareen's Heart Surgery

Kurdistan, northern Iraq

Still needs $5450
Help Vareen

Remembering Vareen

Posted on Wed, 06/13/2018 - 21:16 by Jesse Tilman

"But the lovingkindness of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children's children, To those who keep His covenant And remember His instructions to do them."
Psalm 103:17-18


After more than 3 months we have had to finally say goodbye to Vareen. She arrived skinny and in a tough condition. She left fat and happy, as we like to say, and full of childish giggles, hops, and skips. It’s a blessing to see such a change in health.

Coming at the beginning of March with her heart functioning at less than 50%, she has come a long way. She also overcame a bacterial infection and a build-up of fluid pressure around her heart after surgery. A CT scan and several weeks of hospital stay to secure her well-being were also part of her story.

Her mother is a steady presence and just what her daughter needed to weather the ordeals during their stay through all the healing processes. What a blessing they were to our house! Vareen's mother could cook and clean and defuse angry outbursts. She was often smiling and glad to help out. She would also push to make sure Vareen was getting good care and any details weren’t forgotten.

At their farewell party, Vareen was a little princess as she accepted gifts and congratulations. A small wave of her hand and the process stopped as she inspected her goods, and then another sign and we could bring out the next item for her approval. Her laugh would fill the room with joy as we all rejoiced with her.

She had a cute way of putting her hand on her mouth and almost yelling “Oh!” She was often visiting the staff’s apartment and taking part in our day. She made special friends and tried on our swimming goggles, lipstick, scarves, and whatever else she could.

Towards the end of their stay we started focusing on her blood level numbers for different counts. She had an urgent trip to the ER after some vomiting. They did a reassessment of her medication then because she had lost what she had taken. But it turned out OK as they decided to keep her at the same levels. She’ll have to take a few medications still in Kurdistan, but she is doing well.

They traveled back with the group of three other families; Taim, Awyar, and Bryar. It worked out as Vareen’s mother had extra luggage she was able to shift around. They helped each other through the border area and I think 3 of them also coordinated in Kurdistan to travel to their home city from the airport in the capital.

I hope we can visit them in the future. Vareen is going to grow so quickly! Maybe she’ll remember some of her time with the Shevet community near the beach and all God did for her through the Israeli doctors and hospitals.


"I will remember your great deeds, LORD; I will recall the wonders you did in the past" Psalm 77:11

Vareen's Check Up

Posted on Thu, 06/07/2018 - 00:04 by Jesse Tilman

This afternoon we brought Vareen for a check up because she had been vomiting. She is scheduled to fly home soon and we want to make sure everything is perfect before she goes far from the specialists here. 

One doctor did assessments and was assured she is doing well.  We waited for a blood test though, and further consideration from the doctor who discharged her. Vareen had vomited the medicine she was taking and it had affected her numbers. A senior doctor decided she should just continue with the same amount of medicine as previously. 
With that done and the knowledge that she could come back on Sunday morning for a last check, we were ready to go. Cute Vareen waved goodbye and we were off! 

A Little Closer

Posted on Fri, 05/25/2018 - 14:33 by Andrew Peck

The sky was gray and overcast, and it began to rain lightly as we drove to the hospital for Vareen’s INR test this morning.  I was thinking that the day was beginning a bit gloomily, and just then, I heard a children’s song begin to play in English: “Rain, rain go away, come again another day”.  Vareen had her mother’s phone and had chosen the perfect song for our trip.

At the hospital, the nurse was genuinely impressed at the way that Vareen bravely held her finger out to be pricked for a blood sample.  Brave as she was, Vareen still shed a few tears, and her soft crying brought the attention of a little boy down the hall who came to say hello.  She quickly forgot her pain.

The INR results showed some improvement, but we will return next week for another test.

By the time we were ready to return home, the rain had gone away and the day was bright and sunny.


Not Finished Yet

Posted on Thu, 05/24/2018 - 04:42 by Johana Molina

Today we went to the hospital with Vareen for her last check-up in Israel. When they made her echocardiogram, the results are not what we were expecting, she still has the same issues without change (that is good). She hasn't gotten better or worse, just stable. Also, her INR result was 1.5 which is too low. This means she has a risk of blood clotting. She was so sad when we had to tell her they can not go home, We know that God has control over everything. We ask continue pray for complete restoration also, peace over the families. 

Echo Day

Posted on Tue, 05/15/2018 - 21:52 by Johanna Ebert

Late in the afternoon we started our trip to the hospital for an echo. Varin was quite tired during the car trip, I guess it’s her nap time usually. But as soon as we arrived the hospital she opened the eyes and started to chatter. It’s nice to see how  her energy level grows after the surgery.

The doctor was pleased with her INR test and we could also decrease one medication. It is still some fluid around the heart, but the doctor is confident that it’s going to be okay. So we hope that she will need only one more echo before she can go home. Inshallah!

Prayers for a Full Recovery

Posted on Thu, 05/03/2018 - 17:25 by Anna Seppa
Vareen had an echo today at Sheba hospital. She still has a small pericardial effusion (fluid around her heart) and needs to go for another echo check-up next week. We had to wait quite a bit first for the ECG, then echo, doctors appointment, INR test and finally, since it was low, doctor's decision on her warfain dosage. Vareen was very patient throughout. She smiled a lot like she always does, and was such a gorgeous and happy little girl. She was playing peacefully, coloring and walking around the clinic. The only time she almost cried was when her mom removed the ECG stickers from her chest.
Please pray for a full and quick recovery for Vareen. It is important for them to get back to Kurdistan in a reasonable time, as Vareen's mother also has health issues and can only receive care in her home country (unless it's an emergency). 

Steady Healing

Posted on Sun, 04/29/2018 - 16:53 by Jesse Tilman

Our precious Vareen is doing well. They found less chest fluid build up than last week and she is more active. She was walking all over the fourth floor this afternoon, singing her little songs and speaking at people whether they responded or not. She's also gained a total of 2 kilos since she first came!

Along with the echocardiogram today, she had an ECG to examine her heart rhythms and better map the beat patterns. She is having to have an increase in medication for blood clotting. Hopefully it won't be needed long.
God bless our little girl. She is loved and lovely. It'll be great to see her fully healthy soon and robust enough to go to school. 

Vareen at Sheba

Posted on Thu, 04/26/2018 - 22:33 by Esther Vine

Vareen had her echo at Sheba yesterday. We were there fairly early as it had to be coordinated with other children whose appointments in the morning. She did really well waiting for her turn, busting herself colouring and playing games in the playground. Her echo went really well, everything is healing smoothly. We left the hospital at around three and drove back to Shevet in a heavy downpour, much to her amusement. Vareen’s mother was seemingly relaxed and happy the whole day, which is wonderful to see when some of the mothers are so anxious about their children’s well-being. It’s so lovely to witness how openly she trusts us with Vareen’s health and care.

Discharge from the Hospital

Posted on Sun, 04/22/2018 - 23:18 by Noelle Chung
After a five week hospitalization period, Vareen was finally discharged today. It was a long and hard time for Vareen who enjoys to play. There were a couple of events which prevented her from being discharged. She had a bacterial infection and her bleeding index neededto be adjusted.
Now, everything has stabilized and she was allowed to go home after today’s echo check. The echo screening showed a slight amount of fluid around the heart though, which made the doctor start a new medicine for Vareen. However, she has been doing well generally. Her lips became red, as her blood oxygen increased. Moreover, her appetite became better.
Vareen and her mum were very happy to hear that they could go home finally. Vareen got a blue balloon as a discharge gift. They will come back to the hospital in three days for another echo and bleeding index check.
We appreciate Vareen’s mum for her  loving heart and kindness. Please keep them in your prayers! 

Happy and (Almost) Healthy!

Posted on Wed, 04/11/2018 - 20:43 by Esther Vine

Today, it was wonderful to see Varin her usual cheeky self in the secondary ICU. As is understandable, she hasn’t had much of a taste for the hospital food and is looking a little bit on the thin side. Aside from that, she is doing well.

She ate a bag of chips and we played around with temporary glitter tattoos, which she loved. Eventually, the nurse gave her clearance to be moved downstairs into the ward, as she is almost fully recovered. When moved downstairs, a nurse came to check up on her and reported that she is doing really well. She will hopefully be able to move back to Shevet in a week or so.