Ahmed 's Heart Surgery


Wide-Eyed Ahmed Flies Off to His Future

Posted on Wed, 01/20/2010 - 00:00 by Jonathan Miles

Ahmed was excited and ready to go at 4 am this morning for the ride to the airport for the start of his journey home, and tonight we have word that he and his mother have arrived safely in Iraq. We're so grateful to have witnessed the grace of God touching this precious boy and his family, and prayed with him last night that he will grow to be a great man in Kurdistan!

A Wonderful Last Day inJerusalem

Posted on Tue, 01/19/2010 - 00:00 by
Lano and Ahmed have officially been released to go home to Iraq, and as such we had to have a last day celebration. Mary and I along with a bilingual friend, Vincent, took the two kids and their moms out to the Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem after much excited anticipation. Everyone bundled up for the overcast and chilly day, which meant to our delight we had the entire zoo to ourselves. The children giggled and squealed with happiness, pressing their faces up to the glass of exotic fish, tigers, leopards, elephants, monkeys, and exotic birds. We even passed through the petting zoo, where Lano chased a goat but Ahmed decided he was safer in his mother's arms!
Rain spattered throughout the trip, but thankfully never came down hard. At one soggy moment, the children wanted to pull out the umbrellas, and had more fun just carrying them open over their shoulders, even when the rain stopped. Next we approached a huge green house, filled with tropical plants, a stream, a waterfall, and lots of jungle birds. Being inside the green house itself, we were able to get up close to the birds, as you can see in the video below:
Strolling through the zoo and delighting over the animals was a wonderful time. Afterwards, we took the group over to the Garden Tomb for a chance to share the gospel and the significance of the site.
Back at the Shevet Center in Jerusalem we shared a homemade chocolate cake with all the families to celebrate the homegoing, and Ahmed joined with Lano to dance along as we sang our thanks to God:

Please continue to pray for their families, for safe travels, peace, healthy prognoses, and the hope and love of Jesus growing in their hearts.

Ahmed Released to Go Home

Posted on Mon, 01/18/2010 - 06:41 by Michelle_Bradburn
It's been almost a month since Ahmed's surgery, and today we took him in for his final echo. It was a bit of a wait before the doctor could see him, but though he and his mother at first became tired of waiting, it was beautiful how God blessed them with his peace today. Ahmed had fun meeting the other little children in the waiting room, and also as you can see enjoyed a book with our good friend and Kurdish translator, Ilan, who is always a great help at the hospital when communication is a difficulty.
While Ahmed was having a calm and cheerful time, I noticed his mom sitting on her own looking rather weary. I had just added a favorite Kurdish worship song to my Ipod, and remembering it I pulled it out for her to listen while she waited. As she did, she closed her eyes and sang softly along throughout the whole song, a song to Jesus- about how he knows our lives, how he is our salvation, and how we are waiting for him because only he can give us life. And it's a song about our love for him. How beautiful it was to hear her sing those words to herself, and to know those words were in her mind as she brought Ahmed in for his final echo. Pray that God will continue to comfort her heart with his presence these next few days, and that she would truly know the love that He has to give.
Once they were in the echo room Ahmed began to get a bit anxious, but with the help of his mother (who sat, so full of peace, beside him) and the cookie she gave him, he was soon quite content and even fell asleep during his echo.
After confirming that his heart looked healthy and everything was fine, the doctor gave the happy news that Ahmed is now released to go home to Iraq! What a wonderful work God has done in this little boy's heart. Let's pray that he will continue to bless this precious family as they prepare to return home within the next few days.

One Week To Go

Posted on Mon, 01/11/2010 - 06:41 by Donna_West

Ahmed, who was once one of the bluest little boys I have seen, is a joyful, outgoing and sometimes even mischievous little ball of energy. As we prepared to leave for Wolfson Medical Center today for another round of echos for five of the children, I was surprised to see Ahmed's mother bring a stroller along. The little boy never slows down! Soon I realized the stroller was no longer needed because he couldn't keep up with the others, this time it was needed to help us keep up with HIM!

We are very thankful for all the wonderful changes we have seen in Ahmed. As his heart has been healing, he no longer displays a "just leave me alone" attitude. In fact, he seems to pop in and out of the office and kitchen many times throughout the day and evening just to smile and wave and say "Hello." I saw that same big smile on his mother today when Dr. Alona (above left) told her "Very Good! One more echo next week then back to Iraq!" Please pray Ahmed's healing process continues and this change of heart will follow him wherever life takes him.

Ahmed's Amazing Energy

Posted on Mon, 01/04/2010 - 06:41 by Michelle_Bradburn

Ahmed left the hospital several days ago, and it's amazing how much energy this little boy has! He often seems to be everywhere at once, walking through the kitchen to smile and say "hello!" or strumming on his little guitar with the happiest grin you could imagine. Here's a short video of when he first left the hospital, still not quite himself by this time, but you can see the sweet anticipation just shining on his face.

Today Ahmed had a follow-up echo which showed that everything looks good. They've lowered his medications and it looks like, if everything continues to go well, he'll be soon on his way home to Iraq. Thanks so much for all your prayers and support for this precious child. Please continue to pray in the next few weeks that God will continue to bless this little heart, strengthening and healing it with His grace and His love.


Blue No More

Posted on Mon, 12/28/2009 - 00:00 by Donna_West

Ahmed has improved so much that he has been moved to the ward. He is all smiles and ready to play. His cardiologist Dr. Alona said if all continues to go well he may be released tomorrow to return to the Shevet house in Jerusalem. Ahmed's mother has had him up and walking a little to help build his strength.

His fingers and toes are the prettiest shade of pink a person would ever want to see on a "blue boy."

Thank you for your prayers and support for Ahmed and his mother. We are so thankful for this gift. There was a time when Ahmed was thought to be inoperable. We can plainly see that prayer changes things!

Ice Cream and Kisses

Posted on Sun, 12/27/2009 - 00:00 by Donna_West
It was good to Ahmed looking refreshed and disconnected from tubes today. As I entered the intermediate ICU I saw a smiling little bright-eyed boy enjoying an ice cream sundae.
I didn't get too spend much time with him this trip but I was happy to receive a sweet little kiss blown toward me as I finished showing him his picture.

Ahmed Adjusting to His New Heart

Posted on Fri, 12/25/2009 - 00:00 by Donna_West

Christmas afternoon the Shevet team made an unexpected trip to Wolfson Hospital. We had medication to pick up for one of the children here at the house. It made a great opportunity to visit the families and children who have recently had surgery. Ahmed had already been released to the ward on our last visit, but today we were told that there had been some fluid building up around his heart so he was returned to the intermediate ICU to be monitored continuously.

Please continue to pray for Ahmed that his body will adjust to the changes made in his surgery. We pray that God will give the formerly blue little boy a heart healthy enough to hold all the joys life has to offer him.

Waking Up After Surgery

Posted on Wed, 12/23/2009 - 00:00 by Donna_West
Today we found Ahmed resting quietly with the mechanical ventilation tubes already removed from his airways. He was asking for water, as children commonly do on teh day after surgery, but they couldn't give it to him yet. Ahmed is still being sedated to keep him resting but is expected to improve daily, with Mom at his bedside. You can tell she is very grateful and thankful.

Thanking God After a Good Surgery

Posted on Tue, 12/22/2009 - 00:00 by Donna_West

When I arrived at Wolfson at 7:45 a.m. this morning, they had not come to take Ahmed down for surgery yet. On my way I had prayed that I would get there before they came to take him down. It was around 8:15 when they came to get him (pictured above). He seemed fine while we were going down, but when they went to take him into the the operating room he wouldn't let anyone touch him, so they had his mother put on scrubs and carry him in.

When she came out she was crying and we went up to visit a couple of other mothers. They brought coffee and breakfast in the room and we ate, but Ahmed's mother could not eat and was crying and praying. We had a longer waiting time then we had with Lano earlier this week. After lunch we went to see if they had brought Ahmed to the I.C.U. yet but they hadn't. We went over to see the Gaza children in the next building, and when we got back they had brought Ahmed back from surgery, and told us that his mother would have to wait to see him while they stabilized him.

When we finally went in together Ahmed's mother checked him and was looking up with raised hands praying. I believe she was thanking God. We stayed for a short while. Before I left I asked them how everything was and Dr. Houri said "everything was good." Thank you all for praying; our God is an awesome God.