Bilal 's Heart Surgery


Bilal Says Bye-Bye!!!

Posted on Thu, 10/29/2009 - 06:43 by Donna_Petrel
29 October 2009

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After Bilal's final echo, his mother was full of thanksgiving and excitement knowing that Bilal was free to go home. The day we planned to leave, we had car trouble, so we met together with all three of our departing patients' parents in a joint decision about the travel plans for their long-awaited return to Iraq. The new plan was to leave one day later, so Tuesday evening we had a big farewell dinner with all of our families and staff.

Very early Wednesday morning they embarked on their mega-travel day. We left Jerusalem a little after six in the morning, and by day's end, Bilal, Mohammed B, and Noor were all home with their families in Iraq. Our trip to the border went well, and because it was early in the morning there was no wait to get through passport control on the Israel side. We walked out of the terminal directly onto the bus as the driver had been kind enough to wait for these little ones once he understood they were on a tight schedule and were headed straight to the airport in Jordan.

While the timing for their travel was wonderful, it meant our goodbyes were very brief. Bilal didn't really understand what was happening, and he was not willing to give out hug after hug as we all said goodbye. However, we saw his happy face from the bus window as we all waved to one another, and were full of joy to know he is going home with a healthy heart. Let's remember this special boy in our prayers as he enjoys a new opportunity for life back in Iraq, and his dear family who love him so, as God's loving care for them continues.

Bilal Released and Headed for Iraq!

Posted on Mon, 10/26/2009 - 06:43 by Robin_Miller
, October 26, 2009

Today was a happy and sad day for Bilal, as he came to the hospital today for his final echo. From the very start little Bilal has had such a wonderful disposition before during and after his open heart surgery. Bilal has Down syndrome, and he has had the greatest attitude towards everyone and everything. He will really be missed as all of the children are.

One of the wonderful miracles is that before his surgery he did not communicate much at all, except for a little hitting to get someones attention. Now he cries and calls out my name (well, at least I think he is doing it). To get my attention at the Jerusalem house, he will call over to me and wave, a HUGE miracle from God in his communication. One day after his surgery while we were at the hospital, Bilal cried out while holding a plastic toy to his ear, like he was calling on the phone. Small but HUGE miracles in my heart and seeing how the Lord is working so much in him and his mother's heart. Today Bilal was released to go back home to Iraq, and I will definitely miss this little guy. Please continue to pray for him and his family, for healing, and for his communication skills to improve. I am sure the Lord will be faithful in that.

Bilal's Surprise Release from Hospital

Posted on Sun, 10/04/2009 - 06:43 by Justin_Strong

October 4, 2009

Bilal was healthy enough today to be released from the hospital back to our center in Jerusalem. The surgery seems to be a distant memory for Bilal as he has returned to his usual congenial self. Bilal and his mother were excited to go back to Jerusalem and were anxiously walking around the hospital until we were finally able to leave. Bilal doesnt seem to be hindered by any pain, he was able to trot away from his mother trying to escape a face cleaning, and he had no trouble fighting with the car seat on the ride home. The families were excited to see Bilal and his mother since Bilals dismissal today was a surprise.

Bilal Battling Unexplained Fever

Posted on Sat, 10/03/2009 - 06:43 by Donna_Petrel
, October 3, 2009
Our visit to the hospital this evening for Ikram's admission occurred at the same time that Bilal was being placed in a room for isolation. Bilal has been battling an ongoing fever which is sometimes caused by fluid accumulation around the heart or lungs following surgery.

The medical staff has been monitoring Bilal closely, and since his echocardiograms have been good, they now will check him for influenza. His mother is feeling frustrated and disappointed that the fever continues to nag him, and adding to that is the confrontation which occurs each time Bilal needs to take his medication. He somehow has perfected the art of seeming to swallow everything, and then spitting it out long after anyone thinks he could still have medication in his mouth or throat. The nurse and his mother working together, along with me blowing bubbles to distract him we were still not able to get the full dosage of medicine in this little one. So for now Bilal will be in isolation until the source of the fever is determined, or he begins to keep enough medication in to treat it. He was pretty lethargic when we arrived until Ikram came in blowing bubbles, just before we knew Bilal had to be in isolation. Pray for peace for his mother as she continues to care for Bilal, especially when it's time to administer his medications. Please pray for God's wisdom for the doctors to help them determine what is causing the fever so Bilal can get well and leave the hospital soon.

Bilal Leaves the ICU

Posted on Sun, 09/27/2009 - 06:43 by Donna_Petrel
27 September 2009

It was a nice surprise to find Bilal had just been moved to the ward when we arrived this morning with Hamza and Mohammed. His mother is delighted to have him out of the ICU, but Bilal is still quite aware of the pain in his chest, so is not his usual happy self yet. He was resting in his bed for most of my visit, but I did see him trying to walk with his mother's help -- my hands were full as I passed by the room at that moment, so I could not capture a picture this time! I managed one weak smile from Bilal when I showed him a picture of himself on the camera, but for the most part, he is still in the recuperation mode today and not feeling very friendly yet. A visit from Hamza sharing a balloon did seem to make him more content as we prepared to leave.

Please keep praying for Bilal's recovery, and his mother as she patiently and lovingly attends him. We are hopeful that he might also receive some speech therapy as he recovers so that he might better communicate, so I ask that your prayers would include this need for Bilal as well.

Bilal Has an Excellent Surgery

Posted on Thu, 09/24/2009 - 07:43 by Donna_Petrel

Yesterday morning at the very time patients are usually taken down to surgery the nursing staff came in with the orders for the day. We expected to hear whether Mohammed or Bilal would go downstairs first, figuring the other would have his turn for surgery immediately afterwards. Instead we got the disappointing news for Bilal's mother: there would be only one surgery for the day, and it would be Mohammed. Although Bilal's mother was clearly sad that he was not going to surgery, she was still supportive of Mohammed's mom throughout the morning as we all waited for the results. Since the decision was made early in the day not to take Bilal, he was able to eat breakfast at the usual time, so as far as he was concerned it was just another day in the hospital. He played contentedly in the room, or headed down the hall for the playroom, throughout the day. After eating a good lunch Bilal and his mother took a long nap together, and when I left the hospital in the late afternoon they were still sleeping soundly.

We were told Bilal's surgery was expected to go forward this morning, so I left early to be there and accompany them as they went downstairs. Although I arrived at seven AM, when I walked to the ward I discovered that Bilal was already downstairs in the pre-op area, so I took off to join them as quickly as possible. I found Bilal playing happily with a box of miscellaneous toys on his bed.

His mother was quiet and pensive as she kept Bilal occupied with the toys, and asked me once if I was sure they would take him into surgery today ... I am sure she was remembering the first time Bilal's surgery was delayed when Deya waited downstairs for several hours as Dr. Sasson operated on an emergency case. Today the pre-op process continued normally, and finally at around seven-thirty it was Bilal's turn to go into the OR for repair of his VSD. After his mother told him goodbye, he rode cheerfully into the operating theater on his hospital bed. When she'd released her pent up emotions in a flood of tears, we walked upstairs together to begin the relatively short wait for him to return from surgery.

Both Hamza and Deya had to come to the hospital today, so along with Mohammed's mother, there were several other mothers who had already been through this heartrending experience surrounding Bilal's mother with encouragement. In the late morning we walked down the hall to watch for Bilal to come upstairs, and just before noon he passed by on the way to the ICU. His mother was quick to reach the gurney to see her son and walk with him until the door to the ICU.

The staff told us that everything went well, and Bilal was doing well. As if on cue, just after she shed a few tears of joy and relief, her phone rang with a call from Bilal's father. We waited for the medical team to work on the medications, intubation and other monitoring equipment for Bilal, and then were allowed to enter the ICU. The nurse attending Bilal told us that he was already stable and his surgery looked very good. I explained to Bilal's mother how the various tubes and equipment were working to help her son as she checked under the covers to see for herself how everything looked. She tenderly carressed his head and gave him a kiss, and was ready to go out and telephone her family again.

Please keep praying for this sweet little boy and his gentle mother as Bilal begins healing. We hope to be able to bring this little one with his happy disposition back to our house in Jerusalem very soon, and then return them home to their waiting family in Iraq.

Bilal Admitted for Surgery

Posted on Tue, 09/22/2009 - 07:43 by Donna_Petrel

We received a call from the hospital yesterday informing us that Mohammed and Bilal would be admitted today for surgery tomorrow. Mohammed's Mother has been very anxious about when he would have his turn, and when I told her she was filled with relief. Yet for the next several hours she asked me numerous times if I was sure it was her son going in, and not the older Mohammed who is also waiting his turn for surgery in the house with us. Once convinced, she was thankfully it was their turn to go, and she began planning for the day by cooking something special to take with them. We prayed for them before leaving the house this morning and then were on our way.
Even though he is only three years old, "Little Mohammed" as we call him, believes he can do anything the bigger boys can do, and that he's in charge all the time. He weathered the IV placement okay because he knew he could go to the playroom afterwards, and that is where he wanted to stay! The only way we were able to get him out of there was the fact that the playroom closes when lunch begins, and since he was hungry, it worked out smoothly. Throughout the afternoon his mother had to keep him occupied in the hospital bed in order to keep him from wandering up and down the halls. Even when Bilal and his mother took a nap in the next bed, Little Mohammed kept right on playing. Maybe this will help him sleep tonight since he will not be able to eat or drink after midnight.

We do not know yet whether Little Mohammed's surgery will be the first or second one of the day, but we know he and his mother will need prayers throughout the whole day no matter what time he's in the operating room. Thank you for praying for his surgery to be completely successful, and for his mother to be surrounded by the peace of God while we wait.

Almost to Surgery

Posted on Mon, 09/14/2009 - 01:00 by Mary_Dailey

Today was the day Bilal and Deya was scheduled to have their surgery. They were supposed to be the first ones to have their surgeries so Denise, Donna and I left for the hospital around 6:00 a.m. and arrived there at 6:50 a.m. just before they came in to get Deya. We went downstairs where Deya was taken in to wait for her surgery. Donna stayed with her and her mother while Denise and I went up to stay with Bilal and his mother. As it turns out, another child was already brought in for surgery as an emergency case. We waited with Bilal and his mother for around two or three hours and kept him entertained with a balloon and a few other things.

Donna called down and said that they may postpone Deya's surgery. As it ended up they canceled both Bilal and Deya's surgery and told us to take them back to Jerusalem and they would let us know when they would be rescheduled. It's not anyone's fault because emergencies can happen to anyone. All it took to make Bilal and Deya happy was a meal and something to drink but that's not the case with the mothers.

Please pray for these moms, it really is stressful when they're expecting the surgery to be done and it's not. All they know is that they'll have to go through all this all over again. I know time is in Gods hands and there has to be a reason for this, pray that the Lord will give these mothers peace.

Safely through Catheterization

Posted on Fri, 09/11/2009 - 01:00 by Mary_Dailey

Today Bilal, Mohammed and Ikram had their heart catheterizations done. By the time Donna, Denise and I got to the hospital Bilal was already finished and we found him in his room; Mohammed was having his catheterization and Ikram was being wheeled to the 1st floor to have his.

Because Bilal is so young he had a harder time keeping still. They have to lay straight for at least 4 hours after the cath. We had to help hold him down because he kept wanting to move his legs, turn over or sit up. Other then this he did very well and after about 4 hours he drank water and ate a McDonalds meal we had gotten him. It came with a toy dog and he seemed to like it.

His mother was very tired but stayed right by him. Doctor Alona told Donna that everything went well. Be praying for him. Pray that all 3 of these children will have good reports coming back. We really appreciate all of you.

Admitted for Catheterization

Posted on Wed, 09/09/2009 - 07:43 by Donna_Petrel

Today Bilal was admitted for his catheterization, the first step in the healing of his heart. Every time Tim or I went into the room we found him sleeping this afternoon, clearly enjoying a nice long nap. Our visit was rather brief today, but we assured Um Bilal we'd be there tomorrow to sit with her during her son's catheterization. Please pray for both ot them during the procedure.