Zhyar's Heart Surgery

Kurdistan, northern Iraq

There and Back Again

Posted on Mon, 10/02/2017 - 21:23 by Lindsay Martin
We had a praise report today for our precious Zhyar. He was in the hospital last night for observation after experiencing vomiting yesterday, so the doctors took some tests to see if he had any infection. Thankfully, those tests came back negative and today he stopped vomiting and was even eating better.
This is great news for Zhyar and his grandmother as they were able to come back home today. 
It will still be a couple more weeks before the doctors will be ready to perform Zhyar's surgery and his grandmother has become very tired in caring for Zhyar. However, it was a blessing today to get back from the hospital a little early and bless the grandmother with some extra sleep while we cared for little Zhyar. He enjoyed the time with our staff and eventually fell asleep himself. 
We thank God for His provision for Zhyar and pray for His perfect timing for his surgery. Please also pray for strength and endurance for his grandmother as she works tirelessly to care for him. 

Back to Wolfson

Posted on Sun, 10/01/2017 - 22:24 by Alexa Bigl

Zhyar struggled during his days back at our Shevet base. He cried a lot and was difficult to console, his grandmother has become quite exhausted with the effort. Zhyar fluctuated on how well he was eating and today vomited after feedings, so early this evening we brought him to be assessed by the team at Wolfson. Naturally, they were concerned for tiny Zhyar and did some assessments and tests before giving us the official word he would be admitted, at least overnight. 

His grandmother asked for prayers that she and her grandson will not have to be hospitalized for long. It's difficult because it is not an easy environment in the hospital, but we are very grateful for the constant care Zhyar can receive there from the medical team. Your prayers are greatly appreciated and may the Lord's plan reign. 
Zhyar and grandmother are now resting at Wolfson and we also pray for a good night's sleep for both. May Zhyar feel better soon! 

Zhyar and Grandma Back Again

Posted on Thu, 09/28/2017 - 23:22 by Coby van Wijhe

This morning we heard from the medical team that Zhyar could go back to Shevet house. He will be now only on bottle milk and hopefully will gain weight in the meantime. Grandmother was pleased to leave and said 'goodbye' to the nurses. I brought them home and they are doing fine. Please pray for an increase in weight and patience in waiting for the operation.

Patience and Blessings

Posted on Mon, 09/25/2017 - 22:42 by Alexa Bigl

Zhyar and his grandmother have remained hospitalized these past days. The Wolfson team was hoping to see a weight gain before Zhyar's surgery, but he is struggling to keep up his calorie quota with how many calories his body is using due to his heart failure. So, today Zhyar had a NG feeding tube placed. This will allow for Zhyar to intake the needed calories to gain weight. Please be praying for the feeding tube to be effective in this area. 

Zhyar's heart defect is complicated and due to how small his heart is, the doctors have elected to take the time to have a 3D model printed with Zhyar's exact anatomy. The model will allow the team a sneak peak at a literal representation of what they will be surgically correcting once Zhyar is in the OR. While it was difficult for Zhyar's grandmother to hear she would need to be patient because the printing will take some time, it was mixed with the understanding this model is a huge blessing. The surgical team will be able to have a big advantage in doing Zhyar's surgery due to the model; praise the Lord. Please also be praying for continued stamina and strength for Zhyar's grandmother as she is quite tired, her grandson frequently crying for long bouts. We are confident the Lord's strength will sustain her and her lovely grandson! 

First Day at Wolfson

Posted on Thu, 09/14/2017 - 21:57 by Alexa Bigl

Zhyar and his grandmother arrived to Wolfson ready to go this morning, but they ended up having to wait a long while before their assessments began. The children's ward first saw Mohammed and then Lawan and lastly they began Zhyar's day of tests. The children's ward nurses and doctors did all their typical assessments and examinations.

Zhyar's tiny, skinny body made it obvious his heart condition was affecting him very negatively. At 4.5 months old Zhyar is only 4.2 kg (9 lbs) and despite drinking a normal amount of milk for a baby of his age, he is severely underdeveloped and underweight. 

Dr. Alona confirmed during his echo Zhyar is in heart failure. All the calories from his milk are being used up to sustain his racing heart which is not pumping efficiently. He has a unique anatomy with his heart where both his main blood vessels are stemming from the same ventricle. Usually, the pulmonary artery would stem from the right ventricle and the aorta would stem from the left, but Zhyar's two arteries both stem from his right. The uncommon thing about Zhyar's situation is his vessels are just side by side but completely independent from one another; it more common to see them joined, at least partially, with this anomaly. Zhyar is a good surgical candidate. We are so thankful to learn the Wolfson team has high hopes for the outcome of Zhyar's surgery!

After the echo Zhyar and his grandmother had tests to check for tuberculosis antigens and then Zhyar had a chest x-ray. Because Zhyar is in heart failure and is severely underweight, the hospital has admitted him. They will keep a close log of his food consumption and also the condition of his heart. Please join us in praying Zhyar and his grandmother can rest at the hospital and be comforted knowing they are in great hands with the Wolfson staff. Zhyar's grandmother is dealing with some back pain so please also be praying for her. She is in the same room along with Mohammed and Lawan tonight (and right next door to Herdi and his brother) and we are so thankful these new friends can all be together. I can see having the other Kurdish families there is a huge relief to Zhyar's grandmother, what a beautiful provision of the Lord. 

Zhyar Arrives to Israel

Posted on Wed, 09/13/2017 - 19:31 by Alexa Bigl

Zhyar and his grandmother have arrived and are currently resting at our sea-side Jaffa home. They got through passport control and baggage claim quickly with the help of security staff at Ben Gurion, praise the Lord. Little Zhyar was crying as I assessed if his condition was stable. But he soon calmed down and I enjoyed rocking him in my arms for a few minutes as he stared up at me and all around the airport. He was doing well and we were comfortable to bring him back to the house instead of straight to the hospital. 

He and his grandmother have gotten some much-needed rest today and we hope and pray they continue resting well tonight and are ready for tomorrow when we head to Wolfson. At the hospital tomorrow Zhyar will undergo all his assessment tests like an ECG, echo, xray, and blood tests. His grandmother seems still a bit uncomfortable with her unfamiliar surroundings. We pray she can quickly feel enveloped by the love of the Shevet family, including by our other Kurdish families here. 
Zhyar has three older sisters and we had the opportunity to briefly speak with both of his parents on the phone today. They seem to be a lovely family! It's beautiful and encouraging to know the family of a child who previously received help through us from Israel, Nyan, referred and helped Zhyar to come here. We have seen this many times throughout the years, but it's such a beautiful thing. We can feel God's blessing extending as His works are made known throughout the nations.