Lawand's Heart Surgery

northern Iraq

Saying Goodbye With A Rush of Love

Posted on Fri, 02/04/2011 - 06:48 by Michelle_Bradburn

It was a bitter-sweet time last night as we bid farewell to three families who have become very precious to us. Ronyal, Lawand, and Abdullah had all been released by the doctors to return home, and as we gathered to say goodbye, I sensed every heart was full. Nearly every eye in the room shone with tears as we exchanged hugs and paused to pray a blessing over these families on the last leg of this grand adventure; an adventure of love, of healing, and new life. I pray that even as it comes to a close in this place, it would only be the beginning for these dear families with new hope in their eyes!

I didn't know Lawand and his mother well (only arriving shortly before this time of their departure), but I was struck by the sweet, sweet love that glows between this mother and son. Lawand's mother is a quiet woman but the strength and gentleness of her character was displayed beautifully in each day she cared for her and encouraged her son. The waiting is always hard, but she didn't let the fear take hold, or disturb her son's happy confidence. With patience they endured, and when it came time for them to leave on Friday morning, it was with an overwhelming and unexpected rush of love and thankfulness that I hugged them goodbye.

With tearful eyes and hopeful hearts we said goodbye, trusting in God's faithful, loving hand to guide them home. As I remember Lawand's big, beautiful eyes that sparkle when he grins, and his mother's sweet countenance as she walked around the kitchen humming the Kurdish worship songs she'd learned, I find myself so thankful for the love God's shown to this family. I pray that as they return to their home they would always remember and hide this love in their hearts, smiling at the miracle God has done and taking hold of the special plan he has for their lives.

Lawand Released to Return Home

Posted on Tue, 02/01/2011 - 06:48 by Donna_West
Lawand's visit today revealed the good news and the bad news. The good news is he is released to return to Kurdistan and his family, and the tunnel created to direct blood flow to his lungs is working great. The bad news is he has a remaining hole (VSD) in his heart and may require another surgery in the future. It will be especially important for them to keep up with follow-up monitoring of his heart and how it functions. It is not a healthy heart to begin with, so it will need to be watched closely. The doctor advised a return to Sheba in a year. It may take a while for the impact of this news to settle in, because for now the joy of returning to family is the only thing on their mind.

After a joyful stroll around the outdoor park at Sheba we had a light lunch and returned to the Shevet House. We plan to celebrate the good news and ask you to join us in prayer about what the future may hold for Lawand, for he said to cast our cares upon him. Thank you, Lord, for the great things you have made possible for Lawand and the good plan you have for his life.


Looking Forward to the Plane Ride Home

Posted on Tue, 01/25/2011 - 06:48 by Donna_West
Lawand went for his echo today with a tummy ache and fear that someone was going to put another needle in his hand. He was taken off all medicine and asked to come back in a week. His echo looked very good according to the doctor.

On the way back to Jerusalem, Lawand enjoyed a pita sandwich and saw several airplanes on the ride back. After not having any blood work to endure, he was all smiles and I know he looks forward to the plane ride home.

His mother was able to contain her disappointment that today was not yet the final echo, although I saw her struggle. Please continue to pray for them.

Lawand Back in Hospital With Fever

Posted on Sun, 01/16/2011 - 06:48 by Mary_Dailey

Last week when we took Lawand for his first echo after his surgery, they said he had a slight infection in his right ventricle but since there was no fever he could come back to Shevet Achim and return for an echo today. We had quite a wait but when his turn came up it was good. The volunteer lady who's been there for 26 years was great with him. She is even learning some Kurdish words and how to count to ten in kurdish.This really impressed Lawand's mother.

Lawand was much more at ease and happier until he found out he had to stay for another echo tomorrow. The doctors said that he still had the infection and through our Israeli/Kurdish friend Ilan translating we found out that Lawand had not been sleeping well and his mother said that he may have had a little fever, so it is best if he is admitted tonight. Please pray that whatever's causing the infection will be found out and that the Lord will cause his body to be healed. I am claiming Isaiah 8:18 for all our children. "Behold, we and the children whom the Lord has given us are for signs and wonders in Israel from the Lord of hosts."

Friendly Staff Break the Tension

Posted on Thu, 01/13/2011 - 00:00 by Mary_Dailey

Lawand had his first echo after his surgery today and the service of the staff at Sheba Medical Center was very good. They didn't keep us waiting long and the doctor explained everything about the echo to me. He first asked how long Lawand was going to be here and I told him that he would be here until they felt he was well enough to return to Iraq. He said Lawand's echo was good except for a slight infection in the right ventricle but that he had no fever. He said that they would do another echo on Sunday and that Lawand could come back to Shevet Achim. We were to let them know immediately if any trace of fever should occur.

We called Mazal (our Jewish, Kurdish translater) and she told his mother about the echo. His mother seemed very tense until he had his echo, but the tension was broken because of the friendliness of the doctors and nurses. As we were leaving we saw the circle of bears outside the hospital and his mother would not leave until we took his picture with them.

Please pray that whatever is causing the infection will be cleared up and that the Lord will give his mother peace, and that she know the author of peace, the one who calms the storms.

Lawand Finally Returns to Us in Jerusalem

Posted on Thu, 01/06/2011 - 06:48 by Donna_West
Yesterday when we arrived to bring Lawand and his mother back to the Shevet House in Jerusalem, the procedure seemed to take quite a long time. We have learned a lot of patience during the days of long waits but we have also learned the Father has foresight into each of our needs. Lawand was anxious to return to see his friends in Jerusalem, but as the hours passed he began to complain of stomach pain, and then he began to cry in pain. As everything was almost completed the staff and doctors said they did not feel comfortable releasing Lawand while he was in pain. Although they sincerely felt the problem was constipation and it could be relieved overnight, they wanted him to remain under their watchful eye.

Between the tears of pain and disappointment, it was not a very nice photo event. Early this morning the doctor called to report they now had a happy Lawand to send home.

Upon arrival I could hear giggles coming down the hallway. It was the first time I have heard Lawand laugh and play. Another first was a desire to actually have pictures taken. So as we waited a short time while I checked on Ahmed, we got some wonderful pictures I hope you will enjoy. Welcome home Lawand!

Lawand In Children's Ward After Surgery

Posted on Sun, 01/02/2011 - 06:48 by Donna_West

At Sheba Hospital today it was a surprise to find a cheerful (yet still bashful) Lawand no longer in ICU. Lawand has not only been moved to the ward, but he is also up and walking around in the play area. Doctors report he will be returning to the Shevet House this week if all continues as well as it has.

Strong Emotions and a Stable Boy on Surgery Day

Posted on Thu, 01/28/2010 - 00:00 by Mary_Dailey
Lawand had the first surgery at Sheba Children's hospital this morning, so Donna and I left very early to avoid heavy traffic. When we got there his mother was getting him all cleaned up and ready for his surgery. She was very tense and they didn't come to get him until around 8:30 a.m. so we spent our time comforting her. When the medical staff came Lawand's mother released her child; it was all she could do to let the nurse take him. They were very gentle and this made it a little easier for her. She followed them as far as she could until they got to the O.R. and then she broke down and cried.

She was so full of fear and also so fragile. We never know how the mother is going to react to this time. For most of them it's really a heart wrenching experience, just imagine if it was your child and you. All heart surgeries are serious; this is the most vital organ in your whole body. During our waiting time we took Lawand's mother down to see Ahmed and his mother which was a good decision. It really helped for her to see how well Ahmed is doing after only recently having his surgery. This took her mind off the waiting and she was really glad to visit with them.

They brought Lawand from surgery to the the ICU about 2:00 p.m. and told us that he was stable and as well as could be expected. We had to wait out in the waiting room for a while until the mother could go back in the room. We stayed until we knew she was o.k. Donna gave her some TLC (tender loving care) which really encouraged her.

Pray that all will continue to go well; they said they have to watch him real closely to make sure everything goes well. Pray that the Lord will give his mother peace and that he will heal quickly because Um Lawand also has a 3 month old baby waiting for her at home. Thank you so much for your prayers.

Lawand Admitted for Catheterization

Posted on Tue, 01/26/2010 - 00:00 by Donna_West

A sleepy Lawand had a peaceful ride to Sheba Medical Center today. Lawand is a shy little boy that stays very close to his mother. He likes to play but it takes a while for him to warm up in unfamiliar environments. By the end of the day, he was admitted with his mother to the second floor Pediatric Department to wait for tomorrow morning's heart catheterization.