Zhyar's Heart Surgery

northern Iraq

Emotional Highs and Lows for a Young Boy's Farewell

Posted on Fri, 09/09/2011 - 00:00 by Donna_West

The night before Zhyar and his mother were to leave to go home to Iraq, we held a celebration for him and Sham (also leaving). Much laughter, smiles, tears, and expressions of love were shared by all.

Zhyar's departure involved one last visit to Wolfson on the way back to Iraq. The 7:30 AM appointment to look at the incision area from his catheterization put a little extra "rush" into the morning. And, through all the tears and goodbyes, one of the suitcases was left behind.  With a little spur of the moment teamwork by the Shevet staff, the Zhyar suitcase arrived to meet him at Wolfson before they continued on their journey home. The delay of the suitcase gave ample time for a brief visit with Kajeen's mother along with many more.

Hugs and farewell tears ensued.  Zhyar had quite a struggle holding back his flood of emotion as he left his new found friends and "family" to return to ones waiting for him at home.  Wouldn't it be a wonderful thing to all be together again for a grand reunion one day?  I believe it is SO possible!  Please believe with me.

Zhyar Cleared to Return to Iraq

Posted on Mon, 09/05/2011 - 00:00 by Donna_West

Zhyar  had a follow-up appointment with the doctor today. Dr. Alona was quite pleased with the results of his catheterization, although he is still experiencing some pain at  the top of his leg where the incision was made. But for Zyhar, he seems to put more focus on the younger children around him, becoming every child's big brother.  His medical reports were quickly prepared for his return to Iraq and plans are being made for his departure. He and his mother will be greatly missed both by the other Kurdish families and by our Shevet family.  Separation can be very difficult, especially when we grow together through the trials and triumphs of their medical journeys. Please join us in thanking God and praying for their safe return to Iraq which should take place tomorrow.



Homecoming from the Hospital

Posted on Fri, 09/02/2011 - 00:00 by Donna_West

Zhyar and his mother were looking forward to leaving the hospital today. The anticipation in the Shevet household was as great for their return home as it was for Zhyar's exit from the hospital. From the time this mother and son arrived they have opened their arms and their hearts to the other Kurdish mothers and children as well as the staff. They have loved much and are much loved.

The doctors were well pleased with the results of Zhyar's catheterization and, although Zhyar was displaying some signs of tenderness in his slower than normal movement and a slight limp, he was quite ready to leave for Jerusalem. 

Monday he is scheduled to return for  a follow-up echo.  It is a delight to watch such an amazing story of God's love unfold in this gentle young man's heart and body.  


God Moves with Peace and Hope for a Successful Cath

Posted on Thu, 09/01/2011 - 00:00 by Stephanie Ventura

It is quite amazing how God

Slow but Steady Progess Brings Peace

Posted on Tue, 08/30/2011 - 00:00 by madelyn

Having just arrived, and knowing no more than 3 words in Kurdish, I wasn

Heart Catheterization Road Blocks

Posted on Wed, 07/27/2011 - 21:25 by Alyse Flack

Sometimes I wonder about God

Zhyar Admitted for Tomorrow's Cath

Posted on Tue, 07/26/2011 - 22:38 by Jeff Sheehan

Zhyar is scheduled to have a catheterization tomorrow, which entails a tube passing through his right groin, up his femoral vein and into his heart for precise and vital information gathering about the status of the organ itself. Check-in procedures went smoothly, and I left both Zhyar and his mother in the capable hands of the nursing staff, wished them well, and assured them we will be with them tomorrow. Our prayers will be with them.

Are We Coming Or Going?

Posted on Wed, 07/20/2011 - 23:26 by Donna_West

Dr. Alona's call yesterday came sooner than expected: "Perhaps there will be an opening in the cath lab tomorrow. Bring Zhyar tomorrow morning by 9 AM and be sure he does not eat or drink after midnight. By noon we will know whether to give him food or whether we will do his cath." Upon the doctor's request we asked Mazal, one of our friends and Kurdish translators, to join us because the doctor wanted to be able to explain with drawings of the goal of the catheterization.

By 10:30 AM everything looked like it was smooth sailing. We had not yet seen Rachel, who reads the PPD's (a test for tuberculosis), but we were told she was coming to the ward. So as we waited and took turns going to lunch, in front of a fasting teen-age boy. SUDDENLY, Zhyar was being wheeled to the cath lab. Here we are going for the cath! 

Now here we are coming back.

Oops, we still have to get the PPD test read before the cath.
Will we now go back to the cath lab or will we be going back to Jerusalem? As we sat together waiting for the next news, the conclusion was

A Most Exceptional Day for Zhyar

Posted on Tue, 07/19/2011 - 00:22 by Donna_West

Some days seem to be so much more than you expected. Today was that day for Zhyar and his mother. This young man was the last to be ready to leave this morning for the hospital.  Every hair needed to be in place and he had to go change into the "right" shoes at the last minute. 

At the hospital while his blood pressure was being taken, the nurse asked if he was afraid, because his blood pressure was high. We encouraged him to relax (even though he said he was not afraid) and soon the blood pressure came within a normal range.
During the echo, several doctors looked at the results and were discussing what they saw. And then Dr. Alona said, "The diagnosis that came on the report from Iraq for this young man is not evident here. The VSD has completely closed up on its own. He doesn't need surgery. There is another issue that can be corrected with a catheterization and we will set that up for next week."  Praise God! Only God can do that! It was a most exceptional day indeed.
After all the medical issues (and NON-issues) had been taken care of for the day, a little trip to the sea to admire the handiwork of our creator, and a stop at the ice cream parlor, finished off a perfect day.

Zhyar Arrives in Israel for Heart Treatment

Posted on Sun, 07/17/2011 - 23:19 by Kristina Kayser

Zhyar has arrived in Israel! I met him and his lovely mother at the border crossing between Israel and Jordan today. Instead of finding a youthful schoolboy, as indicated by his passport photo, I was surprised to meet a tall young man with a deep voice! 

Zhyar is a very respectful teenager with a mature quality about him. He is the second in line of four sons in his family. Despite not having any sisters, Zhyar was quick to serve as "big brother" for the two little girls traveling with him. His trip to the "Promised Land" holds great significance in that a large hole, or Ventricular Septal Defect, in his heart needs urgent repair. Without quality medical intervention, his life and health are endangered. 
Tomorrow will be Zhyar's initial visit to Wolfson Hospital, where doctors will evaluate his current condition and make plans towards cardiac surgery. We trust that God has many good things in store for this young man's heart and life.