Yousif's Heart Surgery

Kurdistan, northern Iraq

Secondary ICU

Posted on Thu, 08/20/2015 - 20:50 by Alexa Bigl
Yousif has been transferred into the secondary ICU. He still has both of his chest tubes in place with quite a significant amount of fluid draining out. The nurse shared with us today the drainage has decreased some, but Yousif’s recovery is slow and will take time. 
Yousif does not like the taste of the new formula for his special diet. Since he does not like it, he has not been eating. However, he still needs nutrients so he is now receiving all his vital nutrients through his veins. This manner of ‘feeding’ leaves Yousif at risk for blood infections. We pray for strength of Yousif’s immune system and wisdom for the medical team to keep him safe from infection. 
Yousif had some beautiful smiles for us today. He enjoyed a visit from two clowns and loves to be sung to. It’s easy to see how much he loves his mom too. Whenever she comes into his line of sight, he immediately smiles and reaches out to her. We continue to pray for sweet Yousif.

Yousif Faces A New Trial

Posted on Mon, 08/17/2015 - 22:02 by Rebakah Yang

This morning, Yousif got his echo done by Dr. Tamir. The results showed that his right lung has fluid, which means he needed to have a blood test as well as have a chest tube inserted. So Madison accompanied Yousif and his mum back to the children's ward for further treatment.

After waiting for quite a while, around 3:30pm the children's ward nurse brought Yousif to ICU to prepare him for his chest tube. At 4:00pm, when Yousif was sedated, the ICU doctors and nurses started the procedure.

We were gathered together outside of ICU to support Yousif’s mum in prayer. One hour later, the ICU medical team allowed us to enter the ICU in order to visit Yousif. Dr. Huri kindly explained Yousif’s current situation. Both of his lungs have pleural effusion, and the two chest tubes that Yousif had inserted are draining out a milky-colored liquid called chylothorax. Due to his the change in his condition, he’ll stay in ICU for close observation and a special milk diet.

Please remember to pray for our little Yousif and his mum who are facing this new trial at the moment. Also lift up our ICU doctors and nurses who are helping to fight for Yousif. May our Lord give them the wisdom and strength to know how to treat Yousif. 

Yousif Develops Fever

Posted on Sun, 08/16/2015 - 21:05 by Maureen Grimshaw

Yousif developed a fever on Saturday after being discharged from Wolfson after his operaton only a few days before.

Volunteer Austin holds Yousif

He was taken to the hospital for the doctors to check him and after a chest x-ray and blood tests, antibiotics were started. Today, he has no fever but will stay in hospital until tomorrow for his echocardiogram.   

Good News!

Posted on Thu, 08/13/2015 - 13:11 by Sophie H.

Today I was able to visit Yousif and his mother. When we arrived in the children's ward, I saw Yousif was so quiet and peaceful in his bed. After observing him for a while, I was shocked by his gentle spirit.The time I was playing with him, he just stared at me and looked around. He does not cry so much; he just lays on the bed watching you. 

My heart was totally melted by this boy. Then we heard good news: Yousif was supposed to be discharged today. Before we could leave, though, the doctor wanted to check his blood to make sure he is good enough to go home. After two hours waiting, we received the results of the blood test. Yousif was released from the hospital! We were satisfied by Yousif's quick recovery, but he still has some fluid around his heart. The nurse reminded us that if Yousif gets a fever over 38 degrees Celsius, we should bring him back hospital at once. Please keep praying for this special boy and that his mother would have a peaceful and restful weekend back in our Shevet home.  

Continued Recovery

Posted on Tue, 08/11/2015 - 21:49 by Austin Cords

Yousif is continuing to improve in health and was officially moved from secondary ICU to the Children’s Ward this afternoon. It brought much joy to his mother as well as the other families currently at the hospital with their children. It was quite the cheerful scene to witness as she triumphantly carried her child down to the Ward. We look forward to his continued recovery and soon return to us at Shevet Achim.

Yousif in Secondary ICU

Posted on Mon, 08/10/2015 - 21:44 by Jesse Tilman

Yousif is on the mend and in secondary ICU.

He’s in stable condition and has a smile for visitors who come by. He's moving around more freely now since his right chest drainage tube was removed, and he can play a bit. The left drainage tube iwill still be in place for a little while longer. Looking and eating as healthily as he does, I bet it won’t be long before he is in the regular children’s ward.

We thank God for his continued healing.


Yousif’s Second Surgery in Israel

Posted on Sun, 08/09/2015 - 23:19 by Madison Fry

On Sunday doctors believed they had completed a full repair of Yousif's heart. But once one side of his heart was functioning properly, the new circulatory pattern brought to light an hitherto unknown problem with his mitral valve. Back to surgery. 

Our hospital crew had an early start Thursday morning and made it to the hospital at 6:45 am. Upon arrival, we checked on Yousif’s mother in the ICU and although she was very happy to see us; it was evident she was exhausted. The nurse staff reported that his blood pressure was about 90/40 (which is very good) and his oxygen intake was 100 (which I’m told is the best it could possibly be). The only cause for concern was Yousif’s heart rate being a little high at 160, but considering it was a surgery day, overall the doctor’s outlook was very positive. God took care of His little one throughout the night.

Yousif headed down to surgery in the OR at 8:00am. The operation was very fast, and was finished just after 12 pm. According to the doctor’s report, once again “surgery was a success because it was a complete repair.” This was very encouraging to us. After the mother understood this, she praised God and her face flooded with joy. We all were able to see Yousif sedated in the primary ICU post operation.

Yousif's blood pressure was low, so the staff gave him fluids and after he was in stable condition. We are incredibly grateful to the medical staff at Wolfson for their unending patience and grace to our teams. We are grateful to God for this partnership with Save a Child's Heart.

Bless the Lord, Oh My Soul

Posted on Sun, 08/02/2015 - 21:22 by Rebekah Yang

The sun comes up, It's a new day dawning, It's time to sing your song again….” was the worship song I was singing in my head while we were driving to Wolfson hospital for Yousif’s heart surgery today.

The sun was radiating beautifully through the clouds. Just by watching the sun painting the whole sky I was again reminded what a mighty God we serve. When we arrived to the Children’s Ward it was a quarter to seven in the morning. I thought we came early enough but we soon found he had already been wheeled to the pre-operating room. We rushed to the pre-op room and found our sweet and cute Yousif was lying on his baby bed playing with his mum and still waiting to be taken into the operating room. Praise God, we made it on time. Only about twenty minutes later, a doctor and nurse came over to bring him for surgery. 

Waiting was the most difficult moment for Yousif’s mum as I could see from her body language. She tried to find out all sorts of information regarding Yousif’s operation from different people she knew that were from his previous admitting time. However, none of us could provide the answer she really wanted, most of our answers were “inshallah” (God-willing).

Since we have several children that are still at ICU for close observation and treatment, I went there in order to find out how they were doing. So Yousif’s mom went to sit with a few Gaza families for her late breakfast and to chat for some time.

At around 11 am, I went inside the surgery ward and tried to see any further news of Yousif. Suddenly, I saw a team of surgeons with doctors and nurses came with Yousif lying on his bed with his oxygen supply monitor on. Wow! Hallelujah! Yousif has just finished his big step of his life-saving heart surgery and is ready to go to the ICU for further observation now.

I quickly informed Konrad at the other side of hospital to bring Yousif’s mum to wait at the corridor so she can see Yousif being wheeled into the ICU. When the bed slowly came across to Yousif’s mum, I saw her tears were like the tap of water dripping from her eyes. It was indeed an emotional and moving moment to see.

Later on, Dr. Tamir said Yousif’s heart surgery went very well and it was a successful operation, with a full repair.

My heart will keep on singing for God’s marvelous work in Yousif’s life….

“Bless the Lord oh my soul, oh my soul, Worship His Holy name
Sing like never before Oh my soul, I'll worship Your Holy name.”

A Calm after the Storm

Posted on Fri, 07/31/2015 - 20:09 by Austin Cords

Yousif has been a bit under the weather, throwing up once yesterday and then after medicine today. This, in addition to other factors of low activity level and a low oxygen reading, warranted a quick trip to the hospital. He slept part of the way there and after arriving the decision was promptly made to admit him. His oxygen reading had dropped even more than the reading at the house, and the medical experts said there was definite evidence of dehydration due to the vomiting. 

They proceeded to attach an IV, which caused Yousif a high amount of distress. It was a time consuming process to find a vein to insert the IV into due to his veins being so small; this lead to his oxygen level plummeting as the nurses searched. It was a whirlwind of activity as all the nurses tried to assist the process and keep the child stable. His mother and Rebekah both attempted to calm him but the pain from the needle was making him irrate. He became bluer and bluer in the extremities. The screen displayed an oxygen level of 25/100 before they got the IV set, and then gave him supplemental oxygen to stabilize him.

Once all the monitoring equipment was attached, he was admitted to his room and his mother was able to have a quick meal before coming to care for him. As I attended to Yousif in her absence, I was struck by how calm he was able to be so quickly after the pain, as well as how adventurous he was on wanting to roll around on the bed. He was given a chest x-ray and was actually quite accommodating to the procedure.

I think he is a wonderful, happy, and friendly baby. He is scheduled to have surgery on Sunday and I hope that he will be healed of this life threatening defect. Even in difficult waters and things seeming out of control, Psalm 107 comes to mind: “He caused the storm to be still, So that the waves of the sea were hushed.”

An Unexpected Return

Posted on Sun, 07/26/2015 - 20:57 by Konrad Wiedmer
Little Yousif and his mother had been at the Wolfson Hospital over the weekend and today both of them could surprisingly join us again on Prophet Street. Yousif received treatment due to problems within his blood and so we are thankful that this precious baby boy was able to return today.
He is currently well and is waiting now for further treatment. His smile is adorable and I already know that he will enrich our community daily. Please lift mother and son up as they get used to their new environment here at the Shevet base. May the Lord give them much joy and encouragement during their time here in Israel. Also, please pray for the right timing for his surgery. God knows when the right time has come, and so we trust fully in his plans.
We are glad to be able to serve this family and there is a very cute picture where he is sleeping in the hospital this afternoon which needs to be shared.