Ghaith's Heart Surgery


Following Final Echo, Ghaith Leaves Israel

Posted on Mon, 07/07/2008 - 01:00 by Keleigh_Glisson

Thursday, June 26, the doctors released Ghaith to go to Jerusalem in hopes that on Monday he would have his final echocardiogram. On Monday I was scheduled to escort Aros and his mother to Amman. If Ghaith were to be released, he and his mother would travel with us.

Monday was a very long day. We left Jerusalem at 8:00 a.m. bound for the hospital. A few hours after we arrived to the hospital and Ghaiths echocardiogram was finished we got the news Ghaith was free to go home!

Our journey to Amman began around 2:00 p.m. It took some time for us to cross the border, but we did so without hindrance. We arrived to the Shevet apartment in Amman around 10:30 p.m. I thought we would go right to sleep, but the mothers were so excited, we stayed up talking and munching on snacks. Finally around 1:00 a.m. we began to make our way to our bedrooms.

On Tuesday, the following day, we went shopping and ate lunch at a mall nearby. On the upper level of the mall is a play area with rides for children. Jody, a close friend of the mothers, and also a pastor of a local church in Amman, volunteered to watch the boys while the rest of us went shopping. Aros and Ghaith were able to play around a bit while their mothers bought some last minute souvenirs.

After arriving to Israel, Ghaith and his mother waited nearly two months at the Save a Childs Heart home for his surgery. During this time they saw many children come and go, all with successful heart surgeries. Before his surgery Ghaith was upset that he didnt have a scar in the middle of his chest like most of the other children in the house. The day before his scheduled surgery, Ghaith was taken in for a CT scan. It was necessary to sedate him for this. After he woke up he was disappointed to see that after, what he thought was his surgery, he didnt have a scar. Following his real surgery he wasnt so excited about showing off his scar because he was in too much pain, however, now that he is feeling better things have changed. I had a friend living in Amman join us during our shopping excursion. When Ghaith heard us talking about his surgery, he quickly pulled up his shirt to show us his scar as if it were his trophy.

Both Ghaith and Aros mothers didnt sleep that night. When I woke up at 4:00 a.m. to say goodbye to Aros and his mother, Ghaiths mother was also ready to walk out the door. Her ride was scheduled to pick her up at 10:00 a.m. to take her to the airport. At 9:30 a.m., both Ghaith and his mother were looking out the window in anticipation. Finally, her ride arrived and we said goodbye.

Ghaiths mother once told us that it took her years to get pregnant with Ghaith and how saddened they were when they found out that their long awaited son was sick. I remember immediately after his surgery one of the surgeons telling us how complicated it had been. When we translated this to his mother she began to cry. Through her tears she said, (in Arabic) This is a miracle. In Iraq this could have never happened, this would have never been possible. Now, one month later, Ghaiths mother was finally headed home with her healthy son.

After Weeks in the Hospital, Ghaith is Released

Posted on Mon, 06/23/2008 - 01:00 by Amy_Denney

Ghaith is doing extremely better now that he is staying at the Save a Child's Heart house. He had an echo today that had a good report, but the doctors said he will need a follow-up echo on Thursday. Ghaith and his mom have to stay in the Save a Child's Heart house a few more days, but they are hoping to come to Jerusalem following his echo on Thursday.

Ghaith's Fast

Posted on Tue, 06/10/2008 - 01:00 by Gigi

Beginning today, the doctor stopped giving Ghaith food, until there is improvement in the fluid in his lungs. Ghaith's mother is trying to keep him busy to distract him from his hunger. She herself cannot even eat, since Ghaith is awake and she can't leave him alone to go to eat.

This mother needs our prayers to continue standing strong. She is so patient with her son.

Moved to Children's Ward

Posted on Thu, 06/05/2008 - 01:00 by Andrew_Peck

Although Ghaith still has some drainage from his lungs, he has been moved into the childrens ward.

We found him asleep when we arrived, but he eventually woke up during our visit. He was not feeling well and did not smile the entire time we were there. Ghaiths mother is also very tired, but she is cheerful and hopeful for her son.

Recovering Slowly Over the Sabbath

Posted on Sun, 06/01/2008 - 01:00 by Jonathan Miles

As of Saturday night Ghaith was still on artificial respiration, as a buildup of fluid (pleural effusion) complicated efforts to wean him from the respirator.

But medical staff in the ICU told us that overall they are satisfied with his progress, and hope to see good progress in the new week.

Ghaith Comes Through Long-Awaited Surgery

Posted on Thu, 05/29/2008 - 01:00 by Gigi

We thank God for a successful surgery today for Ghaith. A visiting doctor who was in the operating room told us afterward that it was a difficult surgery, and he was amazed by the skill of surgeon Lior Sasson, who is himself the son of Iraqi Jews who immigrated to Israel.

Ghaith is recovering tonight in the ICU, still connected to artificial respiration. His mother is very thankful to God for his mercy on her son, and his father back home in Iraq started to cry and was happy at the same time when he called the mother to check about his son.

Thank You Lord.

Second Catheterization Tomorrow

Posted on Tue, 04/29/2008 - 01:00 by Keleigh_Glisson

Ghaith was happy and playful outside the hospital today. He will have a second catheterization tomorrow (Wednesday, April 30). The purpose of this catheterization is to photograph the condition of the heart.

Ghaith is tentatively scheduled for heart surgery next Monday.

High Fever, Lack of Appetite

Posted on Sun, 04/06/2008 - 01:00 by Keleigh_Glisson

I visited Ghaith in the hospital today. It seems that he was admitted because of lack of appetite and a respiratory problem. When I saw him, he also had a very high fever. There have been a few patients living at the Save a Childs Heart house with similar symptoms, so this may just be some type of flu, but Ghaith needs our prayers nonetheless. Please pray for his quick recovery.

Ghaith Arrives in Israel

Posted on Fri, 03/28/2008 - 00:00 by Jean_Calvani

Ghaith, Nahro, Sarbast, and Aryan finally got the word that theyd be traveling to Israel on Monday, March 24. They along with 10 other children have been waiting in Amman for visa approvals and funds for their surgeries. Since the screening in early March, every day has been filled with the hope that it would soon be their turn to travel. The other families were encouraged that these four were finally traveling, yet disappointed that theyd have to wait a little while longer. Pray that they would stay encouraged, and trust God with the timing of their travel.

Before packing up and heading for the border, all the families enjoyed a beautiful day at the park. The children and their mothers had been looking forward to this outing for almost a week, and really enjoyed their time relaxing under the pine trees.

After eating lunch the time came for Ghaith, Nahro, Sarbast, Aryan, and their mothers to say good-bye to the other families. Many of the mothers and even some of the children teared up as they sent them on their way with the hope of joining them soon in Israel.

Since we got an unexpected late start, we didnt arrive at the border until it was almost eight. While Dirk was inside the terminal waiting for their paperwork to be processed, I took the families outside to enjoy the pleasantly warm evening. I enjoyed these last few moments with them as we spoke of the time they'd spend in Israel and what lay ahead in the coming weeks and months. The kids also took advantage of the time to run around and stretch their little legs. After about an hour of patiently waiting, the families loaded the bus and headed for Israel.

It was a joy and an encouragement to see these precious little ones on their way. Pray that the Lord will continue to give them grace, strength, and endurance for the road ahead as we look forward to seeing His healing touch in their lives.

Gigi, a regular visitor to "our kids" from Iraq and Gaza, took Ghaith and his mother to the beach, and accompanied them to the hospital on Sunday for preliminary examinations. Afterwards Ghaith and his mother returned to the Save A Child's Heart house, where Ghaith will stay until he is admitted to the hospital.