Ziyad's Heart Surgery

northern Iraq

Oh, Happy Day!

Posted on Fri, 10/28/2016 - 14:05 by Sophie

After having good results on his last test, Ziyad was officially discharged. It has been such a joyful time for us. The mother was so, so, so, happy. Since they first arrived, this is the happiest I have seen her. Throughout their time with us, she always said, "If Ziyad is good, I will be good." So the final discharge report totally released her from all the worries and fears - she was overflowing with joy! That's amazing! She has seen and experienced God's faithfulness and unfailing love with her own eyes and heart during their time in Israel.

Ruth and I - after a long time of waiting for the discharge papers in the hospital - finally arrived at the farewell party with two more guests. Our Shevet Achim co-workers did an amazing job setting it up (decorating, preparing a meal and dessert). It was awesome!

Soon we moved to another room for singing songs of praise to God and sharing some memories and words of encouragement with Ziyad's mother (and also Ainda's mother, as they were also discharged to leave). Next, we presented the gifts to the mothers and children, and then we had the chance to watch Ziyad's "new heart" video together (a slideshow collection of the photos during their journey here)!

Such a blessing to be with them, as we shared everything we do is because of our Messiah. One of our guests mentioned: "Do not forget the Messiah." That is the main part; without Him we can do nothing.

After a very short time of packing and preparing, we had to say goodbye to them. We gathered together once again to pray for them and send them on the way back to Kurdistan!  May God continue to pour out his love and grace on Ziyad and his mother from this time forward!

One Last Test

Posted on Tue, 10/25/2016 - 21:48 by Alexa Bigl

Ziyad had his final echo today! He went home with a special monitor to ensure he is not having any dysrhythmias while he is sleeping. The computer machine has three leads on his abdomen and will capture his heart rhythm for the next 18 hours. Tomorrow morning we will bring the machine back to Wolfson. The doctors will go over the results and if everything is ok, Ziyad can return home to Kurdistan! 

It was difficult for his mom to fully understand that everything is very good with Ziyad, and this is a precautionary measure to ensure his new medication is doing its job 24/7. She now understands and is hopeful the results come back quickly tomorrow so she can know for sure if she can return home. Please join us in praying all is well with Ziyad's heart rhythm. We are so thankful the doctors are taking such care to ensure Ziyad is doing well. 

After the hospital, we headed down to the beach. Ziyad and his mom did not want to feel the water at first. They waited back by the edge of the beach area in the shade, but after some time Ziyad's mom came up with our whole group and even put her feet in the ocean! Ziyad also played with the rocks and shells before we headed home to Jerusalem. 

May God's final healing touch be over Ziyad. We lift up this final test to be fully in His hands! 

Back to Jerusalem

Posted on Sun, 10/23/2016 - 20:54 by Rebekah Yang

After a three day stay at the hospital to monitor Ziyad during a change in his medicine, today we have received the good news he can come back to Jerusalem.

Suhail and I arrived to Wolfson around noon time. We went right to the children's ward to pick up Ziyad and his mum. Both of them were so happy and eager to come back with us, and they already had their little bag packed and were waiting for us.

While I was waiting for the nurse to inform what medicines Ziyad is taking now, Ziyad was sitting on the floor and playing by himself.

After Sukkot holiday, on Tuesday morning, Ziyad has to go back for his echocardiogram follow-up. We're continuing to pray this will be his final echo. Then he may be able to return to his home in Kurdistan, northern Iraq. Thank you all for praying with us.

A Medicine Change

Posted on Thu, 10/20/2016 - 22:08 by Sue Ingersoll

Ziyad, our happy one year-old from Kurdistan, has been doing really well convalescing at our home in Jerusalem, and is nearing the end of his treatment in Israel. Yesterday he had a wonderful time at the farewell party for Yara and Hawnaz

However, he did need to return to the hospital today. The medicine he is currently on is difficult to obtain in his area of Kurdistan. Therefore, he needs to change to a different medicine and to have that change monitored in the hospital. We are still hopeful that Tuesday will be his final echo. 

One More Step

Posted on Tue, 10/18/2016 - 20:48 by Rebekah Yang

One particular thing our Shevet families enjoy doing is their post-op echo follow up. This is especially true if all the families can go together. It is a blessed time of fellowship for them. Today is exactly one of these wonderful days, and we thank God. We had Hawnaz and her father, Yara and her mother, Hani and her grandmother, plus Ziyad and his mother. The families were divided between two vehicles in order to go to Wolfson hospital. Upon our arrival to the echo department, our kids began to start their echos right away.

When it came to be Ziyad's turn, he was quite upset and crying a lot at first. However, after his mum nursed him, he gradually calmed down and became peaceful.
It did not take too long before Ziyad's echo was done. Dr. Alona was very pleased with his results so she reduced Ziyad's medicine and sent us to the children's ward to check his EKG and removed his chest tube stitches.

Afterwards, Ziyad got to spend some time playing with his friend Tamara, from our Jaffa community. What a lovely picture to see them playing together.

Next Tuesday will likely be Ziyad's final echo. It may be the last step before he leaves Israel to return his sweet home in Kurdistan, Northern Iraq.
Please continue to lift our cute Ziyad in your prayers. We trust our Messiah's healing power will bless him and strengthening him and his new heart. Amen!

Discharged from the Hospital

Posted on Thu, 10/13/2016 - 21:46 by Sophie

Today we had a birthday party for Ainda, and we invited all the families to be part of the celebration. Ziyad was happy there, and we enjoyed the very nice ice cream cake together.

While we were at the hospital, the doctors came and told us Ziyad was discharged and he needs to come back for an echo on Tuesday. Such a joy to share this good news with them! They were ready to leave and go back to our Jerusalem base.

God is so good to us. His love endures forever - let's all say Amen. After a long time of struggling, now is the time to be rejoicing even though he still needs some special medication to control the different heart rate pattern. It is the time to celebrate for the good progress God has done in this precious life. Let's give all the praise to His holy name and continue to pray for perfect healing of Ziyad's heart.

A Big Step Forward

Posted on Mon, 10/10/2016 - 20:32 by Ruth Zellweger

Ziyad had been monitored in the ICU for 11 days after his open heart surgery. That time was a challenge, not only for the his mother, but also for the medical staff of the ICU and our community, as we all tried to be supports. The happiest I have seen her has usually been whenever she had the chance to make a video call to her husband from inside the ICU. Since her phone has some issues, the only way for her to do that was to connect her through a hotspot to our personal phones. The modern technology can be a curse, but also a blessing. 

Today, the day finally came that she had waiting for so expectantly. Ziyad was moved out of the ICU, to the ward! His medication was changed a few days ago to treat and prevent any arrhythmias. So far, it has been successful. The doctors felt confident to release him to the ward where he will still be monitored but not as closely. If he continues to do well there, then he will be allowed to return to Shevet within the next three days. This was wonderful news for Ziyad's mother. In the ward she eventually was able to connect to the Internet and talk with her husband without anyone's help or hotspot. 

Ziyad was the same smily and cheeky boy he has been over these past weeks and enjoyed eating his meal. We pray for complete healing of his heart and for there not to be any more incidences of heart arrythmias.

Out of the Darkness and Into the Light: A Team Effort

Posted on Thu, 10/06/2016 - 10:49 by Deborah Burke

A team of volunteers and fellow Kurdish parents offer support to Ziyad's mother

My co-worker, Sophie, and I arrived at Wolfson hospital today with a plan in mind that she would spend most of her time with Ziyad and his mother and write Ziyad's blog, and I would write another. Well our plans do not always work out in the way that we think they might. In chapter 55 of Isaiah the theme is of God's mercy and in verse 8 He says, "...For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways..." Another version uses the words "...and my plans are not your plans..." Today became a team effort - a big team effort. So I write this on behalf of the team with God the Merciful front and foremost. 

This morning Sophie found Ziyad still in ICU with a very distraught mother. She tried comforting her but it was as though this mother had already thought she was going to lose her son. My turn next to get some more medical details. Ziyad's nurse said that Ziyad's mother had been wailing inconsolably despite attempts to reassure her that they were doing their best to help find the problem. Ziyad is still having supraventricular arrhythmias (abnormal heartbeat patterns). The medical team have been unable to ascertain the cause of the arrhythmias so Ziyad has been hooked up to a holter cardiograph monitor for 24 hours. The readings are then run through a computer to try to find the problem. I said to Ziyad's mother "...it will be OK..." she replied, "It is not OK." I sought translation by phone with an off-site co-worker to try to alleviate the mother's anxiety, but it also seemed to work only for a small time. It was as though there was a shadow of darkness hanging over Ziyad's mother. In contrast, this cheeky little boy was all smiles, "high fiving" everyone who would join in, giggling and calling out. Behind this brave face is a very sensitive little soul who so obviously can feel his mother's pain. So she has been encouraged not to cry in front of him - a difficult feat when you feel helpless and hopeless.

After lunch Ziyad's mother had made her way to the children's ward and was wailing in the hallway. The wonderful Shevet collective guided her out into the courtyard where she received an outpouring of support, encouragement, and love from 2 of the other parents, and the workers. It was apparent that our Heavenly Father was soothing this distressed mother's soul, taking her hand and walking her out of the darkness and into the light because as Sophie said goodbye to her at the end of our working day, Ziyad's mother was in a more peaceful state, enjoying a biscuit with her son in the ICU.

Please pray with us that the peace that passes all understanding, who is the light of the world, our Saviour and Messiah, keeps the light of hope shining in this precious mother and puts a shield of protection around her son.

"As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it."

(Isaiah 55:10-11)

Comfort for Mother and Son

Posted on Sun, 10/02/2016 - 20:58 by Ruth Zellweger

These past days since Ziyad's surgery last week have not been easy for his mother. I have had the opportunity to see both of them almost every day. While Ziyad was usually smiling and being his happy and joyful self - even though connected to wires and bed-bound - his mother struggled a lot more. She has been constantly at his bedside, trying to comfort him when he wasn't well and fulfilling any wish her little son possibly could have - which has included many sweets!

Yesterday afternoon, I received a phonecall from her and I could hear clearly that she was in distress. Sobbingly she told me that something was not right with Ziyad, and that he was not allowed to eat. I rang the ICU and talked to Ziyad's nurse who confirmed that Ziyad had arrhythmia earlier in the day, but that he was now stabilizied with the support of medication. As he was doing better, he was also allowed to eat again soon. With the help of Mustafa's father, who has become a great friend and supporter to her, we communicated everything to her through the phone and she was a lot calmer. I realized once again how important good information is. It makes such a difference.

Today, Sophie and I went to visit them. She was tearful again and told us that she doesn't get much sleep at night, even though the ICU has kindly agreed to let her sleep beside her son. She wanted to know how much longer they would be in the ICU. I told her that I do not know, but that I know for sure that Ziyad is under the best care possible: by the doctors and medical staff, but even more so by God, who loves Ziyad and her very much. Both mother and son enjoyed our company. But the highlight for them was when they were able to make a video call to Ziyad's father from inside the ICU. This had not been possible before due to some phone issues. But today it worked out and the mother found great comfort in sharing her hardship with her husband.

When we left the hospital, she was a lot more at peace. We continue to pray for God's peace and comfort to dwell in the ICU and in the hearts of mother and son. 

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort."

2 Corinthians 1:3

A Mother's Milk

Posted on Thu, 09/29/2016 - 22:22 by Deborah Burke

I arrived in ICU this afternoon to find Ziyad crying. It wasn't a really distressed type of crying but more like an "...I need something..." type. His mother, however, was quite distressed and finding it difficult or a little frustrating trying to communicate to the staff. It seems that her son was either hungry or craving the physical closeness of his mother or the fulfillment of both needs obtained through breastfeeding.

That aside, it was remarkable to see this usually cheeky little boy with tubes in situ communicating his needs so clearly to his mother. He is making good progress and all of his vital signs looked very good.

Just as newborns and little ones crave and cry out for their mother's milk for nourishment, relationship and development, Peter exhorts us to be like newborn babies, to crave and cry out for pure spiritual milk so that we will grow into a full experience of salvation (1Peter2:2).

After receiving his mother's milk, Ziyad's mother happily reported that Ziyad rested, apparently nourished, satisfied and comforted. As we partake of pure spiritual milk and grow into the fullness of salvation, is it that we also find ourselves feeling satisfied, comforted and resting in the arms of our heavenly Comforter?