Deeman's Heart Surgery


Can't Hold Back the Tears

Posted on Fri, 04/16/2010 - 07:43 by Jonathan Miles

It gave me joy each time Deeman came tottering up to me in recent weeks wanting to be held. I know we all loved this precious little girl. But still I was surprised by the tears from both my coworkers and the mothers of Deeman, Parwa, and Abubakr when it came time to say goodbye in our Jerusalem courtyard Thursday afternoon. See how they loved each other!

We reached Amman about midnight Thursday on the first leg of the long trip back to Iraq. My wife Michelle and I were blessed to host the three kids and their moms for the night, then turning them over to Dirk and Manuela for more hospitality before the families flew out Saturday. Deeman had a little singing doll which she spent most of her time caring for.

When I remember how frighteningly blue Deeman was when she first arrived, I can only give thanks to God and to you all for the way you have reached out to her with love.

A Thankful Last Day at the Hospital

Posted on Mon, 04/12/2010 - 07:43 by Donna_West

Thank You, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!! God loves a grateful heart. And a grateful heart is something three year old Deeman, the "great imitator" has learned from her mother's example. If you remember from the day of Deeman's surgery, the first thing her mother did was thank God openly and unashamedly for his mercy and healing.

There is not much you can do in front of Deeman that she doesn't immediately imitate. She tried very hard to imitate Bakr's bravery with him by her side as her last stitch was removed today by Dr. Alona. Start singing "Happy Birthday " and she chimes right in relentlessly. The little girl who was too blue and weak to eat or walk, much less dance, now doesn't care if you are in the waiting room at the hospital when she needs a dance partner. As much as I feel awkward dancing in a waiting room, I refuse to deny her. When she couldn't dance, I picked her up and danced with in my arms her at home. And now she asks me to dance, Praise God! Thank You, Thank You, Thank you, Lord, for what you have done for Deeman!

At the tender age of three, she is already a giver, whether it's putting her favorite bracelet on your arm or going to get you a grape out of the refrigerator. She patiently gave Bakr the next opportunity to receive a twisted balloon toy at the hospital today. But when she got hers, it was just another opportunity to be thankful as you will see in the following video.

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And now, not being in constant need of comfort, she has even given away the pacifier. Father, we thank you for the Gift of Life for Deeman and the beautiful example her mother sets before her. Please continue the good work you have for this family and thank you for allowing us to share in it.

A Bundle of Loving Energy

Posted on Tue, 04/06/2010 - 01:00 by Donna_West

We took Deeman back to Wolfson today for a three week follow up echo. The blonde haired, three year old is becoming a bundle of loving energy. She squeals with delight and loves to endlessly chant peoples names at more than a moderate volume. But when it was time to take off her shirt and lay down on the echo table, all she wanted was the comfort of her pacifier and her mother's hand. In a very short while, the doctor told us which medications we could discontinue as Deeman continues to improve. One more echo next week and we expect to be planning a farewell party for Deeman. Thank God for the work He is doing on these young hearts. May He continue it for a lifetime.

An Entirely Different Child

Posted on Mon, 03/29/2010 - 01:00 by Mary_Dailey
Deeman went for her first echo after her surgery today and oh what a beautiful day it turned out to be. This little girl who had been so sick and so blue was like an entirely different child.

In fact she was, because she had a new heart and she was not blue anymore and she could play with lots of energy and climbing whatever she could. She loves to play and dance and is so loving. Before her surgery she was always sick and cried all the time.

Today's echo turned out very well and her mother is so happy. Thank you so much for your prayers. Even Dr. Tamir said what a blessing it is to see her like she is now.

She has been given a new life and this is what God has done. He says He heals the broken hearted and that's exactly what He's done for her.

Deeman Leaves the Hospital

Posted on Wed, 03/24/2010 - 00:00 by Donna_West

Tiny Deeman was playing quietly, with her hair adorned with butterflies and bright colored hair barrettes, waiting to "fly the coop" as we entered the echo department today. The only blue near her fingers was the blue magic marker with which she was coloring. Her healthy pink fingers and lips stayed busy with child's play and making new friends while we waited for the busy doctors to complete all the paperwork involved in the release for many patients before the Passover holiday begins.

Smiling mother and child said, "Bye Bye, Hospital!" as we departed for the Shevet House in Jerusalem only six days after Deeman's heart repair. Please keep Deeman in your prayers as she continues to recover and her body adjusts to the radical changes that have taken place at the hands of skillful doctors and nurses. May the Lord continue to work on her behalf.

Out of the ICU and Relaxing

Posted on Tue, 03/23/2010 - 00:00 by Mary_Dailey

When I arrived at Wolfson I was pleased to see Deeman in the children's ward laying in her bed with her legs crossed and looking as if she was perfectly fine. She was even smiling. I asked the doctors how she was and they said fine and that maybe she'd be able to come back to Shevet Achim tomorrow.

Deeman's mother really looked great. She had such a peaceful look and was so proud that her daughter was doing well. Thanks so much for your prayers. This little blue girl is no longer blue, she is a beautiful normal child with a pink rosy glow to her skin. God is so awesome and He loves our children more then we could ever know. We give Him the praise for all He's doing.

Wonderful Progress

Posted on Mon, 03/22/2010 - 00:00 by Donna_West
While at Wolfson Medical center today we looked in on Deeman. Her mother was smiling and periodically still lifting her hands upward toward the heavens in thanks as she spoke of her daughter. Deeman is still in the ICU but the doctors said she is doing great. She is no longer connected to so many tubes and monitors. It appears she is waiting in the ICU while some patients from the ward are being dismissed to go home and free up more bed space. We tried to get pictures of her little pink fingers and toes but they were always moving even though she was in lying in bed.

She was busy taking pictures of everybody with Mom's cell phone, and as I noticed the tape holding the phone together, I was not surprised when her mother could not make a phone call. As I pointed to the tape her mother said one word with a smile, "Deeman."

We are delighted to see the wonderful progress being made in Deeman's health and the openness to the love of God. We know God loves a grateful heart and we pray He will come to fill it with His life.

Pink Fingers and Toes At Last

Posted on Thu, 03/18/2010 - 00:00 by Donna_West

Tiny Deeman was very frightened when we met her at 7:30 this morning. The look on the faces of mother and daughter reflected each other's feelings as though they were one. As Deeman was wheeled to the operating room, the elevator filled before the four of us could get on. As we raced down the stairs to find Deeman's mother, we rounded the corner just in time to find her standing in the hallway, alone and bewildered. It was at that moment that she no longer had to be strong for her daughter, because her support group was there for her. Deeman was asleep on the operating table, completely unaware of any risk or pain and in the capable hands of very skilled surgeons. Deeman's mother was OUR patient for today. It was the four of us that had the privileges of being mother, father, sister, brother, husband and friend to this woman whom God has placed in our care. In so much silence (due to the language barrier) hand holding, back rubs and hugs were the key way we had to show love and support. I tried to remember the five languages of love I had read about, to see it I could think of any other ways to communicate with her. We were giving her quality time, telling her we loved her, providing physical touch, giving acts of service and even giving small gifts like sweet rolls and tea, a stuffed animal for Deeman and tissues for her tears. We listened to worship music in Kurdish together on my IPod and I introduced her to a few children's games on the IPod which did make her smile a little.

But the biggest smile finally came at mid afternoon when her precious daughter was finally wheeled past us and into the ICU.

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When we were allowed to enter (and she saw all the tubes and wires connected to so many machines), experience had taught her by now that the numbers on the monitors were right where they should be for a healthy child. She looked at her daughter's fingers and toes and smiled again as she showed me how nice and pink they had already become.

She then went straight to her room to kneel and pray to thank God for her daughter's successful surgery as she has been accustomed to doing. As I agreed with her in thanksgiving and gratitude, I asked the Father to meet her right where she is, to reveal himself to her and to help her to pray in spirit and truth. As you pray for Deeman's continued recovery, please remember there are two patients here that need a touch from the living God.

Deeman Admitted For Surgery

Posted on Tue, 03/16/2010 - 00:00 by

Deeman turns three today!!

She also returns to Wolfson today to be admitted for her surgery later in the week. The staff of Shevet Achim, volunteers and the other families living here gathered in the courtyard this morning to sing "Happy Birthday" to Deeman and then it's off to the hospital.

Deeman is so well behaved and so brave. She does not cry on the long van ride and plays so well with the other children while we are waiting for her turn to be admitted to the hospital. She lays down quietly and without fuss for her vital signs, 12 lead EKG and the Emla cream that is applied to numb her skin prior to her IV. She is changed into pajamas without complaint and for the next hours she plays and sings.....

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Keeping Deeman Safe As She Waits

Posted on Wed, 02/17/2010 - 00:00 by Donna_West

Three-year-old Deeman awaits her surgery at the Shevet house in Jerusalem as doctors monitor her weight, blood pressure and electrolytes. With little to no appetite she often just staggers when she walks. This blond-haired, very blue little girl needs your prayers. She is a very sick child and her mother tries all she knows to do to get her to eat. We ask that God will hold her in His hand and keep her safe during the wait. We also ask that God will give her mother peace and an understanding that she can trust Him with her beloved daughter's life.