Yara's Heart Surgery

northern Iraq

In Good Hands

Posted on Sun, 06/30/2013 - 22:06 by Jeannette McChesney

Once again, our hospital team, upon arrival at Sheba Medical Center, found sweet little Yara in the Isolation Room. Her tiny body is still fighting off infection and part of the medical routine today included an X-ray. Dad went in with baby Yara while Mom and I waited outside the X-ray room. Mom’s attentive ears could hear sweet Yara’s cries and she and I both wondered why it seemed to take so long. However, Mom knew that Yara was in good hands as her Dad was with her; just as we know we are in good care with our Heavenly Father as He is always with us.  So much prodding on her little body must take its toll.  However, I have noticed how quickly Yara returns to her sweet self, even after all the poking and prodding which is so much a part of her medical care.

Mom and Dad, even in the midst of waiting and waiting, are always quick to offer their hospitality with juice, coffee and sweets. Both parents are quick to laugh and eager to talk and share stories about life in Northern Iraq. Mom shared with me photos of her wedding, her graduation from college, and pictures of their trip to India where Yara had two surgeries. She showed me the scars on Yara’s tiny chest – so much for such a tiny body to endure.  Of course, there isn’t always a need to talk. Just being there means so much to these caring and devoted parents.

Please pray that Yara would soon recover from these other medical concerns, so she could have her much needed heart surgery. Also pray for her parents, that they could continue to be steadfast and find peace and acceptance in their waiting.

Yara: A Slight Setback

Posted on Thu, 06/27/2013 - 23:50 by Kelsey Cannon

A visit to Sheba Medical Center this afternoon found Yara and both her parents still in the Children’s ward. We had expected that Yara would only stay there for a short time before her surgery, but as of now it has been delayed until an unknown date while the MRI scans are being read.

In the mean time, some trouble has arisen with Yara’s health. She has come down with a fever, and the physicians are postponing treatment until the antibiotics have done their job. This seems small and of little importance in the wake of a looming open heart surgery, but all the same, a fever for a child this young can be quite detrimental. We pray that God may bring an abundance of healing to His child, as she is in need of the best health possible before the operation. We trust our Yara in our Father’s hands.

In face of these setbacks, the Yara crew is as welcoming and warm as ever. Her father and mother are content to wait patiently so that Yara’s procedure may be done with the best chances of success. It is truly an encouragement to see this family spread smiles and love to all the other families who are currently at Sheba. It makes a noticeable difference in the social dynamic.

We thank you, Father God, for the opportunity to interact with the immense diversity of Your creation. May You be glorified in our hearts, words, and actions.

Compassion in the Midst of Trial

Posted on Wed, 06/26/2013 - 00:05 by Kaytlin Butler

Two days ago we celebrated Yara's first birthday; today she underwent a MRI in preparation for her second major heart surgery. In just one short year, Yara has both faced, and overcome, more health issues than many have faced in a lifetime. However, the smiles that both she and her lovely parents continue to approach these battles with are nothing but miraculous.

Unlike most of our cases, Yara brought a full entourage in tow from Kurdistan. We now have a father among our usual mix of mothers. This new couple has added a family dynamic to the group that oftentimes traveling mothers miss out on while away from home. In the past year, Yara’s parents have made innumerable visits to doctors at home, and even ventured to India for Yara's first surgeries.

Today, Yara was scheduled for an MRI at the same time that one of our other girls, Arena, was scheduled for surgery. Even in the midst of caring for their own daughter, Yara's parents consistently provided encouragement and support for Arena's mother. Both father and mother are spending tonight at the hospital with their daughter. The cardiologists will hopefully sit down with them tomorrow to discuss the results of the MRI, and plan a course for Yara's surgery and recovery.

Please be in prayer for this little family in the coming weeks as they anticipate another round of surgery! May we bless their lives just as much as they have blessed our community.

Yara's First Day at Sheba

Posted on Wed, 06/19/2013 - 22:52 by Kamal Qara'in

I expected to meet many unforgettable children at Shevat Achim. Today, I had the chance to meet one, Yara. With her pretty, glittering eyes and darkly-colored hair, Yara is a child that I will never forget. She was diagnosed at three months of age with Tetralogy of Fallot. 

Yara’s journey from Iraq was not exactly smooth sailing; she and her parents arrived in Jordan last week. However, they went through a lot of trouble trying to enter Israel as their visas were rejected a number of times. As a result, they only arrived to Shevet Achim last night.

After finishing her initial medical assessments, the doctors were able to obtain an echocardiogram. But Yara, who initially entered Sheba hospital with a beautiful smile on her face, started to cry large tears which gushed down her face. This continued until my colleague started blowing soap bubbles in front of her eyes which helped distract this small girl for a while. However, the echo was not enough to fully assess of the condition of her blood vessels. It seems that an MRI is required in order to get a better understanding of her condition. They didn’t give a date of when she will be able to undergo an MRI. But they did state that her surgery is most likely going to be sometime next week.

Meanwhile, we will all be praying that God will be with Yara and her parents during this difficult period.

Meet Yara

Posted on Mon, 06/03/2013 - 14:47 by Kelsey Cannon

I first met Yara this past February when she was carefully extracted out of a bundle of blankets and trustingly placed on an examination table in a local children