Viyan's Heart Surgery

northern Iraq

Viyan Preparing for Surgery Tomorrow

Posted on Mon, 11/14/2011 - 22:30 by Kristina Kayser

Life at Shevet often falls under the heading "subject to change." Because of this, we continue to learn the art of being flexible and help our families do the same. Viyan was readmitted to Sheba this afternoon for surgery on Wednesday...or so we thought. While the nurse completed his paperwork, Viyan, his aunt, and I passed the time with various games and picture taking. Viyan played and laughed as if he hadn't a worry in the world.

When his parents telephoned to ask how he was doing, his face lit up. With true sincerity in his tone, Viyan wanted to know how his mother and father were doing as well. I heard his mother ask, "What day is your surgery and what time?" Viyan responded casually, "Tomorrow. Ahh, eleven or twelve o'clock." When I interjected that the surgery wasn't tomorrow and we didn't know the time yet, he gently shushed me and continued talking. I got the impression that he didn't want his parents to worry.

As Donna Jo, fellow Shevet member, described him, he is a young man in a little boy's body. His selfless nature repeatedly establishes my suspicion that Viyan is no ordinary boy. Although his aunt is a close relative, no one can fully substitute a parent's presence in times like these. Viyan is handling it bravely. After the phone conversation, it turns out that Viyan was, in fact, correct about his surgery date. The nurse informed me that his surgery was now planned for 7:30 tomorrow morning. He was not surprised in the slightest, but his aunt threw up her hands in a gesture of thanks and hugged me when she heard the news.

Both were in bright spirits when I said goodbye, which is such a relief to my heart. You must understand that Viyan's aunt is suffering from poor health related to diabetes and in need of medical attention herself. This has made it difficult for her to provide the kind of strength and support that Viyan needs. Tomorrow, she will be seen by a doctor at Sheba after her nephew's operation is complete. Please pray that God will touch both of their bodies and provide all of the strength and healing they need. With the reality of each day being subject to change comes the truth that we serve an unchanging God. Surely, He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Viyan Recovering from Heart Catheterization

Posted on Wed, 11/09/2011 - 22:42 by Tinka Jones
I had my first visit to Sheba Hospital this morning with Micha, a volunteer from Germany, to see the children and their families. Viyan's aunt was smiling as usual. She offered me a seat on her bed. We may not speak the same language, but we seem to understand each other in some way. I really feel sorry for the relatives of the children because of the language problem. They might be sitting there for several days without one conversation with anybody. Two different people tried to explain to her what the nurse said. In the end she nodded 'yes', but I am not sure that she really understood what they were saying. 
Our own little gentleman Viyan looked fragile on his hospital bed. He looked tired and extra skinny to me, but when he asked for something to eat it was a good sign to me that he is getting better. 
We found a nurse who could speak a little English. She told us that they are still waiting for the test results of the heart catheterization. We will only then know if he might stay in hospital until his operation or come back to Shevet for a few days before the operation. The nurse said that Viyan is very weak, which is another reason why they want him in the hospital at the moment. We said our good-byes by blowing our usual kisses.
When we got home I opened my daily 'THOUGHT FOR THE DAY e-mail from South Africa to find these words:
What is faith? It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead. Hebrews 11:1

Viyan's Catheterization Completed

Posted on Tue, 11/08/2011 - 22:27 by Kristina Kayser
Around noon today, I received an unexpected phone call from Sheba Hospital. The nurse asked if I would translate to Viyan's aunt the plan and procedure for his catheterization. When I asked when this procedure would take place, she responded, "Right now!" I was not prepared for this, as I had been told that all catheterizations were canceled today due to a strike. Details were not given as to what brought about the change of plans. The important thing was that Viyan's wait for a cath had ended. 
Since I was already at Wolfson Hospital with Lina and Aat, fellow Sheveteers, it didn't take long to make our way to Sheba. By the time we arrived, Viyan's procedure was more than half-way completed. His aunt sat waiting, calm, cool, and collected. She seemed relieved to see familiar faces and explained how sad her nephew Viyan had been earlier.
Parents of another Shevet child, from southern Iraq, were also present with us. Our conversation centered around life in Iraq, Saddam's occupation, relationships between Arabs and Kurds, and the like. Each of us seemed enlightened by this raw and personal history lesson. Time flew and before long, Viyan's cot was rolling down the hall.
The catheterization went beautifully, and doctors achieved their goal of securing clear internal imagery of his heart. Next step: surgery. Viyan's aunt requested that we please stay until his anesthesia wore off, so that he could see his friends that had come for him. When Viyan's eyes finally opened, a slight smile spread across his face. He wasn't the playful and charismatic boy I saw yesterday, but he was still the little gentleman. I blew him a kiss, and through his oxygen mask, he blew one back. 
With the cath completed, we eagerly await Viyan's surgery date, which is still to be determined. Farewells and hugs were exchanged before Aat, Lina and I set out for Jerusalem. We praise God for his favor toward Viyan today, for obstacles overcome, and for the cath's positive conclusion. 
The sun set gloriously over Israel's western sea, echoing the words of this psalm: "from the rising of the sun to its going down the LORD's name is to be praised." Psalm 113:3   

A Natural Behind and In Front of the Lens

Posted on Mon, 11/07/2011 - 23:47 by Caroline Brough

Kristina, Art, and I headed to Sheba Medical Center this morning to wait with Viyan and his aunt for his catheterization. Viyan bravely announced that he was not afraid of the process. He was thrilled to see the Shevet team and overjoyed that Kristina brought along her puppet friend, affectionately dubbed Akar. Viyan was fairly immobile while connected to an IV, but able to move his arms for a game of toss and later, after the IV was removed, hot potato hot potato.

He was fascinated with the cameras Kristina and I had, and got busy taking snap shots of all those in the room. It was hilarious to see some of the poses he struck when on the other side of the camera. He

Viyan Admitted for Catheterization

Posted on Sun, 11/06/2011 - 23:12 by Stephanie Ventura
Viyan and his aunt received an unexpected call this afternoon to be admitted at the Sheba Medical Center. He is scheduled for a catheterization procedure tomorrow and will need the catheter before his heart surgery.
It was a long day at Sheba in which Josh (Shevet staff), Viyan, Viyan

Viyan's Sweet Heart, and Complex Heart Problem

Posted on Thu, 11/03/2011 - 23:29 by Donna_West

Viyan was awake and dressed at 5:30 AM this morning for his 8:15 AM appointment at Sheba Medical Center. He met me in the dining room by the big clock fully dressed and ready to travel, knowing we were scheduled to leave at

Viyan in Israel for a New Heart

Posted on Wed, 11/02/2011 - 00:16 by Kristina Kayser

At only ten years of age, Viyan is already a little gentleman. This was my first impression of him upon meeting him in Jordan this morning. Neither of Viyan's parents were able to accompany him on this grand journey, so his aunt stepped into the role of escort. While she fetched their luggage, he graciously carried her silver purse for her everywhere we went. No complaints were made through several hours of customs and transportation. He just sat quietly, exhibiting maturity beyond his years.

While waiting at the hospital for another patient, Viyan

Viyan Coming to Israel in October

Posted on Wed, 10/05/2011 - 15:09 by jonathan

The visa application for nine-year-old Viyan went in on October 3, and Lord willing he will reach Israel from northern Iraq on November 1.

Viyan's heart condition, "double inlet left ventricle with bulbuloventricular foramen," is complex and we'll be taking him to the Sheba Medical Center, Israel's largest. This will involve extra expense compared to other children we are helping.