Yousif's Heart Surgery

Kurdistan, northern Iraq

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Posted on Wed, 06/28/2017 - 21:02 by Alexa Bigl

Yousif was discharged back to our Shevet house today. His mother joyfully called me this morning to tell the good news. She is so happy Yousif is doing well, sleeping much better since his cyst was removed. We are still awaiting the results of the biopsy of the cyst and since it could potentially be from a bacteria, Yousif will stay isolated from the other children at our house. While still only eating small amounts, we continue to lift Yousif up in prayer for him to gain weight. His tiny little body is much closer to the size of a newborn than a 10 month-old. 

Yousif should be scheduled for his heart repair in the next week or two, praise the Lord. We hope fixing his heart will also significantly help him be able to grow. It's so fun being on this journey with sweet Yousif and his energetic mom, they are such a blessing to our community. 
Yousif's mom is challenging all of us to expand out language learning. Once she knew Yousif would need to travel for his heart repair some months ago, she began learning Arabic and can now read and understand it very well. She also has quite a large vocabulary in English. And she has begun watching educational videos for Hebrew. She proudly says all her Hebrew words to the hospital staff, impressing us all. 
Thank you for praying with us for Yousif and his journey to a healed heart! 

Smiley Yousif

Posted on Tue, 06/27/2017 - 05:25 by Joseph Carter

Yousif had an exciting day at Sheba today. When I arrived at the hospital he and his mom were just hanging out in their hospital room and his mom gladly welcomed me, gesturing for me to sit with them. On the schedule for the day was the cyst removal at 10:00. It was about 12:00 before all the doctors came in for the procedure, but once they got started it was over soon after. Over all it went well. It was a bit hard for his mother to be in the same room as they did the procedure, but it was a simple enough process that it wasn’t traumatizing.

As always Yousif is an extremely expressive baby and within an hour after the procedure and the drugs had worn off he was back to his usual smiley self. His mom is extremely intelligent and picks up different languages at an insane rate. Please be praying that we would find effective ways to communicate grace and truth to her. By the looks of things, it will still be a couple of weeks before Yousif’s heart surgery. So we will have plenty of opportunities to minister to the two of them.

Yousif in Discomfort

Posted on Sun, 06/25/2017 - 21:16 by Helen Byler

Rebekah and I went to Sheba this morning to visit Yousif and his mother and the other children there. Yousif was very fussy this morning and his mother and I had a hard time getting him to eat or sleep for most of the morning.

As soon as we got there, Yousif’s mother wanted to shower, so I stayed with Yousif while she had a short break. He slept on and off for a few minutes at a time but kept waking up as the machine took his blood pressure or beeped loudly. He seemed very uncomfortable but enjoyed sitting up and watching the nurses and doctors and other parents walk by. We tried to get him to eat several times but he could only take a few swallows of milk before he started crying and squirming. He finally went to sleep and took a long nap while his mom talked on the phone. When we came back to say goodbye, they had moved Yousif and his mom to do some tests.

Tomorrow the doctors will remove a large cyst under his arm that has been causing him a lot of discomfort. Yousif is doing well but needs to eat more so that he can gain weight. Pray for this sweet boy and his mother, that they will be able to rest tonight and that God would strengthen Yousif’s body before his surgery. 

A Full Day

Posted on Thu, 06/22/2017 - 23:54 by Taylor Green

Yousif and his mother had a full day of tests and meetings today at Sheba hospital. He started off early in the morning with some blood work and he did not like getting pricked by a needle! Afterwards, he had an ultrasound, X-ray, and a brain scan. The brain scan came back with good results. He went to the dermatologist to get the cyst on his chest checked out and then he went to the nutritionist. The nutritionist was looking in to his diet to try to figure out why he was not gaining weight. Shortly after, Yousef was whisked upstairs to be admitted to a hospital room for the night. Yousef has a lot going on with his body and he is needing to stay at the hospital to get everything he needs checked out.

Through the whole day of testing, Yousif smiled a lot as usual and barely cried. It was so impressive how well he handled such a long day. Please pray for patience for the family as Yousif has many different team members at the hospital working with him to help with the issues he has. Also, please be praying that a solution can be found to help him gain the weight he needs and that he will tolerate it well. Yousif has a long road ahead of him so your prayers are so appreciated!

Yousif's Safe Arrival

Posted on Sun, 06/18/2017 - 22:00 by Alexa Bigl

Sweet baby Yousif and his friendly mom arrived to Ben Gurion airport this morning. Their flight in had no problems but passport control and baggage claim took some time. Luckily they came out after a while with smiles on their faces. Yousif was tired but drank some water and was comforted by his mother as we waited for another family to come out after some questioning.

Yousif is now resting with his mother at our house in Jaffa, sleeping peacefully. He will have his initial assessment and exams on Tuesday morning. We are so happy to have this lovely family joining us. Thank you for beginning this journey alongside us and praying with us as Yousif undertakes this path towards a healed heart. 


Help for Yousif

Posted on Sun, 06/04/2017 - 23:09 by Ruth Zellweger

Baby Yousif was born with a hole between the two ventricles of his heart. It appears that, due to his heart defect, he is failing to thrive, as he has not gained much weight since birth. We hope that his Israeli visa will be approved by tomorrow, so that he would be able to travel this week to Israel to begin his treatment at Sheba Medical Center. We are looking forward to seeing baby Yousif's heart restored and him being a healthy little boy.