Yad's Heart Surgery

Kurdistan, northern Iraq

Yad Discharged Temporarily

Posted on Tue, 09/08/2015 - 21:35 by Maureen Grimshaw

Yad and his mother needed encouragement today after they were told they would need to come home from Wolfson to Shevet for a few days. 

Yad recovered well from the minor emergency he had last week when he was admitted with pain in his shoulder and a temperature.  After a few days with us at Shevet we are hoping he will soon be re-admitted for the surgery.

Yad's Remote Control

Posted on Sun, 09/06/2015 - 22:14 by Jesse Tilman

We had fun with Yad today. He is enjoying driving his remote control truck around the halls of the hospital and racing down the passageways. Faisal, a friend from Gaza (9.6.15) keeps him company, though I haven't seen him share the remote control yet!

Yad is slated for his second surgery on Tuesday this week. His mom was hesitant to tell him that he will be going for a second surgery. He doesn't seem to care, but his mom senses that it is a tough thing for him to hear and doesn't talk about it around him.

Other good news is that his antibiotics have been stopped, as he is deemed free of any fever. He still has fluid around his heart and lungs and pressure from it, but he is not in pain like before. 

Although his friend, Barin, isn't at the hospital currently (you can see him playing with his car with her too), he is doing well, and we look forward to his complete healing, Lord willing. 

We had to purposefully remind him and his mother today that eating a lot of the junk food he likes is not helping his progress and could have contributed to his need to be admitted for a fever before. They took it kindly and just reminded us of the challenge it is to be in the hospital. May God give them both strength!

Unforeseen Trip

Posted on Thu, 09/03/2015 - 21:29 by Alexa Bigl

Yesterday Yad complained of a continued pain in his shoulder from Tuesday. The pain was intensifying with time and spreading to his abdomen. Our wonderful nursing staff diligently watched Yad throughout the day. After contacting the hospital to make them aware of the situation, a pain medication was prescribed and brought back yesterday afternoon by the day’s hospital crew. 

Unfortunately, the pain continued to worsen and Yad’s heart rate, which was increased throughout the day as well, was 160 beats per minute by 10pm. We immediately placed a call back to the hospital and after unsuccessfully trying a few suggestions they gave us over the phone to help Yad, it was clear he needed to go to the hospital for further evaluation and treatment.

We arrived around 11:30pm to Wolfson and the hospital’s overnight team immediately got to work in helping Yad. It was sad to see Yad in so much pain that tears were coming down as he grimaced in clear distress. After obtaining an EKG (that showed his heart rate had decreased some) and a blood sample, we headed for a chest x-ray. Yad was stabilized and the nurses at the hospital were taking special care with him and his mother as we departed back to Jerusalem for the night.

This morning a call to the hospital revealed Yad is feeling better with less pain. He was started on antibiotic therapy due to test results showing he has an infection. Word has just come in from our team at the hospital today that last night’s x-ray shows Yad has fluid around both his lungs and his heart. Please be in prayer with us for Yad’s relief of pain, healing from the infection, and for his body to be able to drain away the fluid with the help of medications. It’s during times of unexpected change and hardships, such as this situation, that we fully lean on God for peace and hope. Thank you for your prayers.       

Yad's Second Surgery Planned

Posted on Mon, 08/31/2015 - 18:01 by Jesse Tilman

Our Yad is a joy and full of energy these days. He has fun playing with the other kids and is helpful at times in their care too. His medical case is still a work in progress though with an, as of yet, un-whole heart.

Today's echo confirmed that he will be admitted for another surgery in the following week, probably Wednesday. The doctors have found that it will be necessary and they believe that they will be able to improve his situation by another surgery at this time. He took it in stride, enjoying playing house with the others and checking out the scene from the window-sill. God bless our big boy!

Yad Tarries Through

Posted on Mon, 08/24/2015 - 21:45 by Austin Cords

Today Yad and others went for the follow up echos to review what the next step in his treatment will be, or if his treatment is complete. The news from the echo was not one of completion. It appears that Yad’s heart still needs to have a surgery, but the question the doctors will have to decide is when that will be. It is such trying news, looking at this child - so smart and vigorous - running and sliding down the halls and thinking that he has something still wrong with his heart.

Despite this news, the remainder of the day he spent as a wonderful older brother figure to the other children. He played "peekaboo" with Radhwan, and was kind to Barin as well. We started off the day with mazes, connect-the-dots, box war, and rock-paper-scissors. Throughout the day, he assisted all of us with operating the vending machines.

After lunch, Yad and the others were able to have fun at the nearby beach. He was full of joy, patience, and kindness the whole day. He kept looking for ways to help the parents, the volunteer adults, and the other kids. Though the news he received about his heart in the morning seems burdensome, his heart soared like the wind today.

Taking Care of Yad

Posted on Mon, 08/17/2015 - 20:54 by Jesse Tilman

Yad was told he was almost ready to go home today! The only concern is his amount of medicine, Prednisone, he is taking. It will take a little while to be weaned off of it. The echo showed that the results from the surgery have made marked improvements although not being a complete repair.

The doctor explained that Yad is a case where the surgery results have not been optimal. They could go for a second surgery but the doctor said he didn't think the surgeon would agree to it because he would just be redoing what had been tried in the first surgery but with less to work with this time around. He recommended that Yad be checked again in 3 or 4 years in Kurdistan and maybe in Israel again.

Yad did well through the day playing with other children and occasionally helping out with some caretaking. He naturally is joking constantly with his mother and they keep a rolling banter and tickling game going through their day. They also like to eat separately from the group in the children's play area and talk to each other.

It was hard explaining to Yad's mother exactly what is Yad's case and that he probably won't ever have a completely healthy heart. The doctor asked us to take Yad out of the room before we talked with the mother about it. Wondering about his future and how his father has already died is tough. His mother took the word quietly and calmly went to her son. Together we gave up the situation to God and thanked Him for His loyal love and care for each of us.

Continued Healing

Posted on Mon, 08/10/2015 - 22:21 by Alexa Bigl

After having fluid and a fast heartbeat last week, we were unable to continue to wean Yad off his steroid medication. This week the fluid around his heart is gone and with an addition of one medication we will try again to wean Yad off the steroid.  

The doctors were very happy with how Yad’s echo looked. If he can tolerate the weaning off of the steroid, he will be able to go home to northern Iraq in the near future. We will be earnestly praying this week for God’s hand to be on Yad in this area.

Another follow-up blood test was performed this morning as well. Yad’s blood continues to maintain a good hemoglobin level at 10.9g/dL.  

It was obvious through Yad’s behavior these past few days he is feeling back to his old self as he has been racing around the house playing with the other children. Thanks be to our Lord, we praise Him for Yad’s continued healing!   

Lions and Tigers and Bears (aka Echo, EKG, and blood draw)

Posted on Mon, 08/03/2015 - 22:49 by Alexa Bigl

After Saturday saw Yad with a fast heart rate, we were prayerful for what his weekly echo would reveal today. The echo showed there is still fluid around his heart and his mitral valve continues to have some leaking. Since his heart rate was elevated during the exam, the doctors also sent him down to the children’s ward for an EKG. Other than the quickness, all appeared normal. With some slight modifications to Yad’s medications, we are hopeful the fluid and heart rate with both decrease this coming week. Please pray with us for this.

After we ate lunch, the nurses decided to also do another blood draw on Yad to follow-up on his previously low hemoglobin. We are so thankful to report the results were great! Although it took a while for the results to come back from the lab, it was a blessed time with Yad and his mother visiting with the families staying at the hospital. Matti was especially excited to see his ‘big brother’.  

Each week is hard for Yad and his mother because the doctors are not eluding as to how many more echos he may need. We are praying for peace and continued healing and greatly appreciate your joining us in this.  




This Is Where the Healing Begins

Posted on Mon, 07/27/2015 - 22:05 by Alexa Bigl
Today’s follow-up echocardiogram of Yad’s heart went very well. Since the fluid around his heart has decreased, we will now be able to wean him off his steroid medication. This wonderful news was the bright light of the day!  
Yad also had blood drawn again to ensure his hemoglobin and red blood cell levels are continuing to stay in a healthy range. We hope to get the results soon.
As Yad continues to heal and progress with his recovery we send our thanks to God. Today he was also able to have his sutures removed from where his chest tube had been inserted during surgery. Praises and continued prayers are appreciated!        

Hospital-Discharge and Dinosaurs

Posted on Mon, 07/20/2015 - 22:01 by Alexa Bigl

Yad’s receipt of a blood transfusion was very helpful in restoring all of his blood cells back to the normal range. He got to come home to Shevet today! We are so excited to have him back at the house.

When we first saw Yad today at the Children’s Ward, he was putting together a Tarzan puzzle. Later, it was wonderful seeing him with Matti as they played outside after Yad learned of his discharge. Matti looks up to Yad and wants to do things just like him.   

Once we were back on the road towards Shevet, we got to visit this amazing dinosaur (and other animals) outdoor ‘statue’ exhibit that Jesse knew of. The animals were so huge and Yad loved it!

Tomorrow morning we'll head back to Wolfson Hospital for a follow-up echocardiogram. Praise God and continued prayers for tomorrow morning.