Yad's Heart Surgery

Kurdistan, northern Iraq

Cafeteria "Hafla Hafla" (Party, Party) with Yad

Posted on Sun, 07/19/2015 - 22:29 by Rebekah Yang
When Yad and his mum saw us walk inside his room, they were so happy and opened their arms to welcome us. Yad's mum told me again that Yad did not like the hospital's food and that he doesn’t want to eat it. He had some other preferences not met as well.
After a few minutes of trying to listen to all of her complaints regarding Yad, I felt a bit concerned in particular that the doctor had mentioned that Yad’s lung has fluid. Because of this, he needed to stay at hospital for close observation again today.
Yad was a bit upset at beginning. We tried to cheer him up by bringing him to the hospital cafeteria to eat with us. We went together to enjoy our lunch Hafla hafla ("party") at the cafeteria. 
After lunch, Yad had to be monitored by EKG as well as an oxygen monitor. Tomorrow morning he will need to take another echo again.
Please join me as I pray for God’s healing hand to touch his body.

Back to the Hospital

Posted on Fri, 07/17/2015 - 15:16 by Laura

Yesterday we took Yad back to the hospital for a blood test. They wanted him to come back and ended up admitting him, at least for the night. It seems his hemoglobin levels are too low and they need to monitor him.

Volunteer Madison and I took him down to the food court area for some shwarma and a Coca Cola (his all time favorite drink). He hung out with Andi after lunch and played outside in the play area.

Please pray for Yad as it is hard for him to be back in the hospital right after he was discharged. Also, pray for the doctors as they care for him and wisdom as they run more tests.

The Boy with the Brave Heart

Posted on Sun, 07/12/2015 - 23:05 by Anna Ivanova

We went to greet Yad early in the morning in the children’s ward and he was already awake. He was saying his hellos to everyone when the nurses decided to go through some procedures, and we got to see the full bravery of this beautiful boy. As the nurses were taking his blood and cutting some stitches, Yad faced his pain with a stern attitude - he was not going to give in no matter what. There were no tears to be seen, only shut eyes and clenched fists, as if Yad was declaring full war against this annoying obstacle. Tough as he was, he still needed some distraction from the procedures, so we named all the colors and animals on the bed curtain in Kurdish. Yad showed a particular interest in teaching us his own language, so this helped him relax and finish up all the morning routines in peace. We got to throw in some activities, like drawing and puzzling before we were called in for an echo.

As we walked to the doctor’s room, Yad was faced with another obstacle - the stairs. It is hard and painful to do extra physical work after a surgery, but nothing was going to change this boy’s determined mind: he walked up the stairs without any help (even though we offered it to him). How great it is to see the healing work of God in this boy’s life! Though this was not the end, God had prepared a beautiful surprise for us. As the doctors were looking at Yad’s heart, they told us that he doing really good, his recovery is going very fast and he was now allowed to leave the hospital to come join us back in Jerusalem! We were so happy to hear this, so we praised God and thanked him for His Grace. Soon after Radhwan was put in the ICU and we got to see him, we took Yad and his mom back home. Praise God for His mighty work!

Yad will need to go back to the hospital on Wednesday to check up on his Hemoglobin level, as well as on Monday for another echo. Please pray for this brave boy’s healing and for God’s grace to be shown in his life.

Yad Recovering from Successful Surgery

Posted on Thu, 07/09/2015 - 23:43 by Madison Fry

All of us here at Shevet awoke early Thursday morning eager to hear the outcome of Yad’s surgery. During our Morning Prayer time our group asked the Lord to heal Yad and to allow him to be extubated as soon as possible. We prayed against infection and discomfort. Our group arrived at the hospital around lunch time and immediately entered the ICU.

Yad was awake and clearly in a lot of pain. He was wearing an oxygen mask and struggling against his bed sheets. Clutching his hand was his mother who looked very tired and distressed.

After speaking with the nurse and doctor, we learned that Yad had been extubated earlier that morning, around 9am. According to the doctors, this was very fast post-operation and it showed how strong Yad had become. Thanks to God for His healing and answer to prayer. He is good.

In an attempt to distract Yad, his mother lifted her cell phone to his ear to talk to a relative. The effect was immediate. His whole body relaxed, as he inhaled deeply and closed his eyes listening to the familiar voice. As his heart beat was showing to be slowed down on the monitor, his mother smiled at us and thanked God in Arabic.

Next to his hospital bed the nurses placed a small plastic cup filled with water, allowing him to drink water in small increments through a syringe. This was another good sign of recovery and strength.

Yad was administered pain medication and dozed off to sleep shortly after. I was able to speak with Yad’s mother for a little while in Arabic and asked if she needed anything.

All praise and Glory to God for the surgery going well and Yad’s speedy recovery!



Surprise Blessings

Posted on Wed, 07/08/2015 - 22:13 by Megan Taylor

Yad is a beautiful and serious boy. He is quiet and thoughtful by nature and lovely to get to know and make smile.

Yad was called up for his operation suddenly. He went in for pre-op Tuesday and then early Wednesday morning was wheeled to the surgical ward to wait for surgery.

Yad looked so sad sitting on his hospital bed waiting for surgery. At his age he must have some understanding of what is going on which would be scary for anyone, let alone a child in a foreign land where everyone speaks different languages.

Yad’s Mother offered him the phone to speak with one of their many relatives or friends who were calling but Yad declined, pushing the phone away and looking the other way. He looked so sad and scared, it was heartbreaking.

While waiting for Yad to be called into surgery, Ruth and I tried to distract Yad and lighten the mood. We joked about the blue and green operating machine, Ruth took photos of Yad and his mother pretending to be the doctor, and I showed Yad photos from Maryam and Ahmed’s farewell ‘Hafla’ party which Yad was eager to see having missed it last night. We were pleased when we were able to get Yad to crack a smile at our attempts at humour. A challenge for us, with this serious and ‘deep’ boy.

The head nurse was kind and after observing Yad’s apparent pensiveness she said his mother could go into the operating room and stay with him until the anesthetic took effect. Then the waiting game began while Yad was operated on. Waiting, waiting, waiting. Yad’s mother’s phone rang constantly with friends and family asking how things were going.

Good news, while eating in the cafeteria Ruth spotted Yad’s surgeon having lunch. We discovered that Yad’s surgery was over and he was back in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Everything went very well and they finished in good time.

We then went to see Yad in the ICU. The surgeon was training medical students and explaining what had taken place. Wolfson Hospital accepts children from many other parts of the world and also does good work training doctors to go back and work in their own countries.

Soon after, Yad began to wake up. His mitral valve had been repaired and Doctor Sasson, the surgeon, said it went so well that it is likely he will be healthy and not need another operation in the future. We praise God for the mighty work He has done on Yad's heart!

Surprisingly Smooth Admittance of Yad

Posted on Tue, 07/07/2015 - 22:15 by Rebekah Yang

Around lunch time we got a call from Wolfson instructing us to bring Yad to be admitted at the hospital for his heart surgery tomorrow. So, right after a quick lunch, we rushed out to go to Wolfson.

Just after some general vital-signs check-out, Yad had an hour of waiting for the next step, and so we decided to bring Yad and his mum to the food court to relax a bit there. Yad had a big sha-we-ma for his late lunch. After eating, Austin started to play some games with Yad on some paper. Meanwhile, I brought Yad’s mum for her personal shopping on the other side of food-court.

Around 4pm we again went back to Children’s Ward for Yad to have his blood drawn and his chest x-rayed.

After we finished everything, we kissed both of them to say good-bye.

I again reminded Yad and his mum to make sure that Yad will be fasts after midnight for his operation tomorrow morning.

Praise God, it was a short but very smooth admission for Yad today. On our way back to Jerusalem my heart was praying for Yad” O Lord of Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you”(Psalms 84:12) Thank you all who join me in praying for him and his mum.


“Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” ( Isaiah 40:31)    

A Reason to Smile

Posted on Sun, 07/05/2015 - 21:53 by Lindsay Martin

It can often be hard for the older boys as they wait for surgery while they are here. They enjoy getting outside and being active, which they don’t get the chance to do as often as they would like.

Yad is a shy, quiet boy. Many times when I greet him in the morning, I will ask how he is doing and he will respond very quietly, “basm,” which means good in Kurdish. Even though he is quite shy, he is also very smart and loves to play sports. That is why today was so special. After filling some water balloons, we gathered the two older boys, Yad and Matti, along with Mimi and her mother and ventured to the park.


Yad and Matti were excited to throw the balloons around, even doing little experiments to see how much the balloons could handle before they would pop. Yad also enjoyed throwing the balloons in a game of catch with Jesse, Konrad and Matti’s father.


We are thankful that Yad enjoyed his time at the park and praise the Lord for providing such a beautiful day with the children. I was reminded of Proverbs 15:13 as I reflected on the day with Yad. It says, “A glad heart makes a cheerful face.” I saw that with Yad today. As his heart was full of joy, it reflected in his entire countenance. Thank you, Lord, for giving life to Yad. Please pray with us that God will continue to give Yad reasons to smile as he waits for surgery.


Yad's Classic Case

Posted on Fri, 06/12/2015 - 09:53 by Jesse Tilman

Yad had a good echo today with encouraging results. The doctor said that he should have a smooth surgery as well because his is a classic case. We also checked his PPD test from earlier and he's fine. His mother, on the other hand, will need an x-ray to check her lungs as she came out positive. This does not necessarily mean that she is positive, it just indicates that she has active antibodies in her system right now.

Yad's endearing manner brings him close quickly. He is very quiet and so far he hasn't been very expressive, but I'm looking forward to the days ahead with him.

Ready to Conquer

Posted on Sun, 06/07/2015 - 15:26 by Ruth Zellweger

Yad set out on a big adventure early this morning. Sophie and I met this sweet boy and his mother at the airport just an hour before their departure to Jordan.

They live about two hours outside the city, so they had to leave very early to be on time for their flight. 

Yad didn't talk much, but he was very polite when we approached him and non-verbally radiated strength and determination. This young man will win many hearts while in Israel, of that I am sure.

His mother is a joyful woman, with a nice sparkle in her eyes. For both of them it was the first time flying, and they found comfort in the thought that they had other families traveling with them. 

Yad will be assessed at Wolfson Hospital tomorrow morning. Our hope is that his heart defect can be fixed and that God's glory be revealed in his life.