Delir 's Heart Surgery


Delir's Family Welcomes Us In Their Home

Posted on Wed, 05/14/2008 - 01:00 by Donna_Petrel


One of the first families we had opportunity to see on our recent visit to northern Iraq was the family of little Delir. They welcomed us into their happy home with great joy, and the feeling on our part was mutual. His thankful parents have called repeatedly over the past 15 months to express their gratitude for helping their son, and so that "Delir could say hello." :-)
 Delir came to the October 2007 screening as one of the most urgent cases, going straight from the airport to the hospital for oxygen when they entered Jordan for the admission to Israel for surgery, and needing a big tank at the apartment for Delir to use as needed. After a few days, when the visa was released for the families to travel, Delir was admitted upon arrival to Wolfson Hospital, having surgery within days - just in
time. Praise God, he is now a healthy and happy 3 1/2 year old. By looking at him, you'd never know he'd been sick. He was running in and out of the room and the house, playing with cousins and neighbors while we were there. During Delir's surgery and recovery in Israel we were great friends, but when it came to saying hello while I was at his house, he was extremely shy! Only after many hours together would he look at the camera for a photo.
His parents and other family members were wonderfully gracious to us, and had contacted other families we'd helped so they too could come and visit with us. We had opportunity to see both Diyar and Aryan in Delir's home, all of us rejoicing together in what God had done for their children. Just before we left that evening, we also found out the Um ("mother of") Delir is expecting another baby, and in fact they should be celebrating the event in the coming week or two. We left them that evening with yet another reason to thank God for His grace to their family.

Delir Leaves Israel

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

After several weeks of follow-up echos for Delir, Hussein and Diyar, 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 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.

Building Strength

Posted on Thu, 12/27/2007 - 00:00 by Donna_Petrel

The day before Christmas I had a chance to visit with the families at the Save A Child's Heart house, and it was a wonderful time together. I had not seen Delir since his dismissal from the intermediate ICU, and when I walked in, I found him in a stroller enjoying the activity of all the children around him. He was shy for only a minute, and then enjoyed both the attention and the camera. Hearing him laugh was a treat as we played together while lunch was prepared. After the meal and after we all shared tea, Delir's mother was thrilled to show me his progress at walking. He is building the strength in his legs, and doing a great job walking almost without assistance. All in all he was delighted with whatever he was doing, and whatever was happening around him as well.

His mother is full of thanksgiving to know that soon she will be able to take her son home to Iraq again. Thank you for praying for this mother and son, and joining us as we watch God at work in their lives.

Fluid in Lungs; Release from Hospital Delayed

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

I visited Delir today, and had a chat with the nurse. She said he has some fluid and so he is recovering very slowly.

Delir's mother was ever so thankful for the visit, especially because she had hoped to leave the hospital late last week.

All Set to Leave the Hospital

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

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Barely two weeks have passed since Delir had his operation, and today, he is all set to go to the Save A Child's Heart house tomorrow. That is where he will rest until his next echo-cardiogram appointment which will confirm if he is fit to be released to return home.

It was so heart-warming for me to see Delir smiling when I approached him, instead of looking away shyly as he used to do. He is definitely feeling great, and confident about himself, after his operation! How I wish I could have more time to play with him, now that he seems more open to relate to me... but I'll get to see him one last time tomorrow when I visit him and the other Iraqi children staying in Azur before I head for the airport to take my flight home.

His mother kept thanking GOD for her son's recovery, and she was delighted when I handed her some photos taken of Delir on the day when he arrived at Wolfson, of him after operation, as well as the recent photo of him eating Haw flakes! Praise GOD for this opportunity to meet with this family, and may they know Delir's ultimate Healer in a more personal way in time to come.

First Smile on Camera

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

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We were blessed today with one of Delirs first smiles for the camera. We actually got him to smile by pretending to eat his candy bracelet (truth is I really wanted a bite). He has finally been moved out of ICU and is resting more comfortably in the childrens ward.

Eating Bread, and Haw Flakes

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

Delir has two of three tubes removed from his body and is now in the intermediate ICU. He was happily tearing bits of bread and eating some, when I visited him this afternoon after attending to Rayan and Tara before they left Wolfson after their respective appointments in the morning.

Delir's condition is stable but there is a wee bit of fluids in his body where there should not be, and once this is cleared, he will be moved out of the intermediate ICU into the children's ward.

I asked in my broken Kurdish with pantomine language if Delir has been eating well, and his mother smiled and said, "Humdillah" (thanks be to GOD). I offered Delir some Haw flakes, for a change of taste. (The Chinese believe that Haw flakes help whet a child's appetite.) He ate some but somehow found it more entertaining to tear the paper wrapper, break up the pieces of Haw flakes and after sampling a bit, started to fling them away.

After a couple of minutes of such wasteful liberty, he stopped when I indicated to him by shaking my head and my index finger that it was not good to do so. His mother spoke to him in Kurdish and I presumed she was explaining to him what I was trying to tell him in my sign language.

One would have thought that this boy would shun my friendship after being "ticked off" but surprise, surprise! He actually started looking at me sideways and smiling too. To my delight, when I offered him my hand, Delir took it and our friendship was sealed. Now that is what I call "Delir is making great progress"!

Not long after, Delir was fretting for milk but his mother seemed reluctant to ask the nurse for it. So I approached the nurse on her behalf and that's when I was told that Delir's mother has been feeding him continuously every time he whined. The nurse explained that this is not good for him as he tends to regurgitate when he over-ate. The nurse affirmed us that she would give him his milk when it is time for him to feed again. About half an hour later, she kept her promise and Delir had nothing to complain about. So it seems that indirectly, Delir is being weaned off from eating only for comfort.

When Can These Tubes Come Out?

Posted on Fri, 12/07/2007 - 00:00 by Donna_Petrel

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Little Delir was awake when we visited him in the ICU today, and despite the angelic pose he struck at right, he was soon realizing he was not very comfortable as he continues to recover. His mother is still anxious over his condition, but the doctor reports that he is doing very well. He still has the chest tubes draining fluids post-surgically, but as soon as they are removed, he will be transferred out of ICU. They hope to be able to remove these tubes in the next day if he continues to do well.
Asked today how Delir is doing, his mother replied, "Thanks be to God." Click the play arrow below for a look: 


I had the pleasure of passing this news to Delir's father this morning when he called from Iraq. He had his supervisor speak to me in English, then an interpreter who could understand both English and Kurdish translate for him. All this while they stood in the middle of an oil field in Iraq -- another amazing use of the blessings of modern technology! The boss was not aware of this situation until he reached me this morning, and he said from the look on Baba Delir's face, he was happy to hear the latest report of this progress of his son.

Keep praying for this precious little boy and his mother. He normally has a very good disposition, and is responding well overall, but does cry as he experiences the pain of recovery. His mother seemed more rested yesterday, and was able to visit some of the other mothers when Delir fell asleep after his bottle. Thank God for his continued work in these lives!

Still Stable and Resting

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

Delir was still stable and resting today when I visited him in the ICU. Nothing new to report--which is good news for this early stage!

Unstable This Morning, But Resting Now

Posted on Wed, 12/05/2007 - 00:00 by Donna_Petrel

The day began with a little difficulty for Delir as he had to have a new tube inserted to drain the chest fluids which accumulate as a normal part of open heart surgery. Apparently he became very unstable this morning, and the procedure was done to replace a blocked tube. When I arrived, he was resting, but was agitated and couldn't get comfortable for a time. The doctors did their rounds while I was there, and I couldn't get an update from them until they were finished. I did ask the nurse for information though, and she informed me about the problem, and said he is stable now. As soon as I had the information, Delir's mother wanted to know it, and I shared it with her the best I could since she speaks mainly Kurdi. I could see from the monitor that all the numbers agreed with the report I'd just been given. Delir remained somewhat restless, and as the doctors continued their rounds, I decided to go check on Diyar's progress towards his catheterization today.
I returned later in the afternoon to find Delir awake and peacefully looking at his mother and his surroundings. He was still sedated, but seemed to be able to focus on her, and to hear and see me when I spoke with him. I had a chance to speak with Dr. Alona, and she said that he is doing very well, and that they are very pleased with the outcome of his surgery. They are hoping to be able to extubate him in the next one or two days and send him to the intermediate ICU or the children's ward. When I told his mother this, she was very thankful. She wants me to keep her husband informed by keeping all the current information on the internet, since he is watching regularly to see pictures and updates of his family here. Praise God for modern technology and what a blessing it can be in cases such as this!
As I left I encouraged Delir's mother to be sure to get some rest, as she seemed pretty tired. Please pray for her to maintain the stamina needed to care for Delir as he recuperates. Ask God to touch this little boy in such a way that everyone knows it is because God loves them that Delir is doing so well.... truly His lovingkindness endures to all generations.