Diyar 's Heart Surgery


Reunion in Iraq

Posted on Tue, 05/12/2009 - 01:00 by Dirk_Kleinloh


On our recent trip to Iraq, we were so blessed to see many of the patients who had returned home after their heart surgeries. People just started showing up even when we were visiting other families. We met Diyar in Delir's house. He came with his mother and older brother and he is doing fine. They say "thank you" for the help they received and urged us to come again and visit them at home.

Diyar Leaves Israel

Posted on Sun, 01/13/2008 - 00:00 by Donna_Petrel


After several weeks of follow-up echos for Diyar, Hussein and Delir, they were dismissed from Wolfson and the Save A Child's Heart house today to begin their joyful return to their homes and families. Each of these three boys came over as urgent or emergency cases, and are going home with new hope for a life and a future. Not only does this show on their faces, but it also shows on the faces of their grateful mothers. Really, everything about their lives has changed with this opportunity to come to Israel for the heart surgery they needed. Today was a celebration of the relationships made along the way, the encouragement from completed cases to arriving patients, the emotion of saying goodbye to friends made while sharing a very unique journey during which they all shared a bond of understanding others could never know.

The return to Iraq began with saying goodbye at the Save A Child's Heart house. Although the picture may look chaotic, the reality on the ground was that all of the women wanted to say goodbye to these three mothers and children who had reached the goal - well enough to go home at last! Hugs and tears were everywhere among us.

From the Save A Child's Heart house, we went to the hospital to say goodbye there. Hussein and Mustafa and their mothers had been together since the screening in Amman in early October, and had become very good friends. I watched as they parted, Hussein's mother both comforting and encouraging Mustafa's mother - this dear woman who had been so full of fear before, now nearly aglow with confidence in Mustafa's success after his second surgery. It was a sweet scene to me to see one able to help the other in time of need. And these women do this so beautifully.... the previously vulnerable ones becoming the strong encouragers.

Next we drove to Jerusalem so the families could see the Temple Mount and Garden Tomb. We shared some lunch, and though just a few weeks ago we were able to to in the afternoon, today were too late to catch the window of time when the area is open to all faiths, so we walked through the Western Wall plaza to the gate nearby where our guests could go and pray to thank God for their child's health.

Afterwards we drove to the Garden Tomb only to find it closed because it is Sunday.

I realized as we set out on that walk that Diyar had been walking all this time and keeping a pretty good pace... Praise God! When he arrived in Israel he could not walk across the room without needing oxygen! Having accomplished our purpose for passing by Jerusalem, we left for the Jordan border.

God faithfully answered our prayers about the timing of our arrival on this very full day. Three of our Shevet efforts were converging at the Israeli-Jordan border early this evening, and it was my prayer that no one would have to wait for a long time for any of the others. With God's help, our van of departing patients arrived at the same time Dirk brought three new families from the Jordan side to enter Israel for their surgeries. Since two of the new patients (Bestoon and Diar) were going to Haifa, we had another van there to drive those families to their new host homes. We brought Rebar and his mother here to Jerusalem, and Dirk took the three families going back home to Amman to await their flights. Security in the Israeli terminal allowed us to work through the slight wait we had while the new patients finished clearing customs on the "Arrivals" side of the terminal. This allowed the new families to meet the ones departing with new hearts - what an encouraging way to begin their stay in Israel!

As we walked Hussein, Diyar and Delir and their mothers to the bus which would take them with Dirk over to Jordan, there were many thanks to God and to us as representative of Shevet Achim for helping them come. They said to thank the doctors and the Save A Child's Heart house staff. They are different women now, having experienced a new land and culture, endured the trial of their child's surgery and recuperation, and grown as they've persevered and encouraged each other to do the same. Your prayers have helped carry them through every step! Please continue to pray that they will understand that the God of love has been there as well, for each and every one of them.

Final Echocardiogram Today

Posted on Thu, 01/10/2008 - 00:00 by Donna_Petrel

Diyar had what is expected to be his final echo today, praise God! He was the first person I saw when I arrived at the hospital as he waited for the taxi to return him and his mother, along with Hussein and Dilshad and their mothers, to the Save A Child's Heart house.

We hope to be able to take Diyar, Diler and Hussein to the border on Sunday, going back home with new hearts and hopes. This young man is looking forward to that event, and so are we. Please keep praying for him as he leaves, that the love of God he's experienced will also do a work on his heart.

Beating the Virus

Posted on Mon, 12/24/2007 - 00:00 by Donna_Petrel


When I was at the hospital last week with Rayan before he returned home, I found out that Diyar was about to leave the hospital after he had been re-admitted for a respiratory virus which has been sweeping through all of Israel. He seemed to feel quite well as he strolled the hall while waiting for his dismissal papers. To see him moving about without signs of exertion like any movement required before the surgery is such a joy - and it shows on both his and his mother's faces.

The most recent report is that Diyar was having an echo done when I arrived at the hospital Monday. I saw his mother as I entered the children's ward, and she told me that he is doing very well. I went down the hall to visit Hussein, and by the time I left Hussein and his mother, Diyar and his mom had returned to the Save A Child's Heart house. We hope to find out in the next days how soon he might be released to go home to Iraq. Praise God!! This young man, who the doctors were not sure would be a good candidate for any surgery, will be going home with a new heart! Let us keep him and his mother in our prayers as his healing continues.

A Living Miracle

Posted on Tue, 12/18/2007 - 00:00 by Alex_Pettett

I visted with Diyar today at the Save A Child's Heart House. I was stunned by his initial appearance. Before me was a young man who was a shadow of his former self. Gone were the icy fingers, the lethargic motions and consistently pale skin. It was as if a photographer had given him a color boost. The picture above has no photographic manipulation but rather it represents a living miracle.

Awesome Progress

Posted on Sun, 12/16/2007 - 00:00 by Hank_Dannecker


Most of us don't even think about walking. We take it for granted as we move about from one place to another. But to Diyar, a 17-year-old Iraqi boy, walking five feet meant shortness of breath and total exhaustion. Just five short days ago, he underwent heart surgery and today when visiting him, Dr. Alona was amazed at such awesome progress. He was able to walk unassisted approximately 300 yards to the clinic for a post-op echo, without shortness of breath or fatigue. A picture of him walking down the hall says it best!

Dr. Alona said that normally it takes 2 1/2 - 3 weeks post-op to recover to this degree. Today Diyar will leave the hospital and spend the rest of his recovery time at the Save A Child's Heart house in Azur.

We want to thank you for your prayers and support on behalf of Diyar.

Oxygen Levels at 98%

Posted on Wed, 12/12/2007 - 00:00 by Lee_Liang_Chian

Diyar is looking rosy! This is the first time I got to see him with such a healthy glow in spite of the fact that he was lying very still, probably because of the aching pain from his surgery wounds. He could barely smile but he followed me with his eyes when I 'spoke' to his mother (using gestures and simple Kurdish and Arabic words for "good" and "operation" respectively).

Diyar's mother lost no time in pulling back his sheet to show me the various contraptions attached to his
chest, indicating to me to take a photo of it so that his father in Iraq can see it on our website.

Diyar asked for water several times during the half hour I was in the ICU visiting him, as well as saying goodbye to the staff in the ICU. Arsen the male nurse 'fed' Diyar some water using a syringe. Later, when another patient was wheeled into the room and the nurses were all busy, I helped to give Diyar some water in the same manner and that was when I found out that he could only have 50ml at a time.

I'm so glad to see Diyar having had his operation and looking much better, with his oxygenation level now up to 98% without the use of any oxygen mask or tubes. I had brought him some photos taken on the day he first arrived at Wolfson and one of them showed him lying on the examination bed and the monitor nearby showed his oxygenation level to be only 81%.

His mother took Diyar's hand from under the sheet and showed me how pink his fingernails are now. Praise GOD for the healing that is taking place in Diyar's heart, and we pray that he and his family will get to know his ultimate Healer in a more personal way in time to come.

Surprise Surgery Today!

Posted on Tue, 12/11/2007 - 00:00 by Alex_Pettett

When I walked into the lobby of the childrens ICU at Wolfson Medical Center I found Diyars mother tapping her toes nervously. It came as a shock to all of us at Shevet that Diyar had been wheeled into surgery around 8:30 AM that very morning.

Diyar had a tetralogy of fallot. This is primarily characterized by a hole between the ventricles and many levels of obstruction from the right ventricle to the lungs (pulmonary stenosis). Though TOF is a correctible condition, Diyars age makes it very risky. Diyar is one of the oldest children Shevet has sponsored for surgery. During his initial screening in Amman, the surgeons debated whether or not he was operable. By the grace of the Lord, through a daring and skilled surgical team, Diyars surgery was characterized as a success. He currently has a pacemaker but they hope that is temporary. When Diyars mother saw him for the first time after surgery, she almost immediately touched his toes and fingers, noticing a pink complexion as compared to a life-long shade of blue.

Diyars mother spent the next few minutes holding my arm and rattling off a multitude of praises to God and thanks to us. On a sobering note, Diyars age will likely make his recovery quite long and not without risk.

As Diyar has been given this surprise surgery and wonderful new life, let us join the mother and thank our Lord.

A Good Candidate for Surgery

Posted on Sun, 12/09/2007 - 00:00 by Lee_Liang_Chian


When I last saw Diyar on Friday, he was not doing well, looked a little blue and had to have his oxygen mask on. But today, he actually looked rosey and gave me a great smile!

Both mother and son wanted to know when his operation can be scheduled. Since I could not get any affirmative answers from two doctors whom I met today, I could only tell them what the doctors usually say, "The time will come for him to have his turn." But I did add that the doctors' operation schedule often times get changed at the very last moment when an unscheduled child's condition suddenly deteriorates and needs an operation immediately. I used Diyar's playmate 2-year-old Delir as an example of one who was given priority over other children who had been earlier scheduled, and both Diyar and his mother nodded their heads and smiled with understanding.

I spent the rest of my visit with them expanding my miniscule Kurdish vocabulary and Diyar's mother was most enthusiastic in teaching me how to count beyond 10, right up to 20! I quickly dug out my self-compiled English-Hebrew-Arabic-Kurdish word-list and added the new words for the numbers. Then I tested out my pronunciation of a few Kurdish words on my list, and to my dismay, I was corrected with different pronunciations altogether! I gather from Diyar's mother's response to my apparent confusion that she was telling me there are several Iraqi dialects. They laughed when I told them that my head is small, using all three words for "small" that I've been taught: koort, beshook, and finally berjook!

Sitting Up

Posted on Thu, 12/06/2007 - 00:00 by Jonathan Miles


When I visited Diyar today, he was sitting up and talking. He and his mother are anxious to hear the surgery results. We'll pass on the news to you too, as soon as we know.