Hemin's Heart Surgery

northern Iraq

Hemin's Last Battle in Israel

Posted on Sat, 12/18/2010 - 00:00 by Jonathan Miles

His last battle was with a balloon, and Hemin overcame this challenge on Friday in the garden in Jerusalem just as successfully as he did his surgery (click the play arrow above).

Then Saturday it was to the airport in Amman, Jordan for the flight back home to his proud Papa, happy to see his only son home again safe and with a bright future.

We thank God for the grace He has poured out in Hemin's life, and for the good future He has prepared for this serious, hopeful young man.

"Echo Finished" for Hemin

Posted on Mon, 12/13/2010 - 06:46 by Donna_West
Monday, Dec. 13, 2010
Hemin and his mother waited for their last echo at Wolfson Medical Center this morning with a patient, peaceful demeanor. Weve had many joyful moments this week when a child could declare, "Echo Finished!" After enjoying a big lunch at the hospital cafeteria, we went back to the nurses station to get the discharge papers. It was recommended that we pick up the discharge papers another day, as they anticipated a long wait. We are preparing for a great celebration of thankfulness this week. Thank YOU, Lord!

Echoes of the Sea

Posted on Mon, 12/06/2010 - 00:00 by Laura_Waris

The first rainy day of the season coincided with Hemins second post-operative echo. As the rain was a welcome relief to this parched land, so was the news after Hemins echo to his waiting mother.

We arrived at Wolfson with four children in tow this morning. There were many other children also waiting to be seen. Hemins turn came after Ahmeds, and when I entered the darkened room, he was calmly on the bed watching his heart thumping on the monitor. He saw me and smiled, and gave me his usual thumbs-up and cheerful ok!

Hemin will return for one more echo and the removal of his stitches. After the procedure this morning, I asked the doctor for the latest on his heart. Her answer was what everyone---his mum, me, you, all who love himhave long hoped to hear: Perfect. Watching him run down the hall, hand in hand with his buddy Ahmed, and then frolic on the lawn in the ecstatic flush of youth and playfulness, it is hard to comprehend the critical procedure he went through only a few weeks ago.

Wolfsons walls faded into a beach view at Jaffa, as we finished our trip with a visit to the sea. The children and their mothers had never seen the sea in all its endless resplendent beauty or been close enough to hear its foamy waves breaking on the shore. I think they were enchanted. Thankfully, the rain had also stopped and the sunlight played with the waves, then bid us farewell with a little rainbow on the horizon.

As the day draws to a close and I think of all the good in it, the positive results and moments of beauty, I can only copy Hemin, the Thumbs-up King, and also give a big resounding and thankful ok! to our Heavenly Father.

A Thumbs-up Echo for Hemin

Posted on Mon, 11/29/2010 - 00:00 by Donna_West

This morning Gadi transported a van full of women and children to Wolfson Medical Center. Three little boys from Kurdistan - Hemin, Hastiyar, and Ahmed - were to have follow-up echocardiograms. Jenn took the families to the echo room as I went to the ward to collect medical charts. When I arrived in the echo department, the three mothers of the three boys were seated along the wall, watching Jenn play with the children. The time and appointments progressed quickly today and all three boys got an excellent progress report. Each mother is wondering how many more echoes their child will have before being released to return home to their families. Hemins medication has been discontinued, and this is a positive step towards being released. Please continue to pray for his recovery and healing.

Hemin Returns to Jerusalem with Reason for Joy

Posted on Sun, 11/21/2010 - 00:00 by Michelle_Bradburn

After a successful surgery, Hemin was released to return to our home in Jerusalem today. He doesn't smile much for the camera, but this entire evening after arriving home he's been simply shining with smiles and big, happy eyes! Overall he's doing very well, the doctor said. However, there was a slight infection in the blood-test they performed this afternoon, so they cautioned us to keep a close eye and be alert to anything that comes up. Yet they were confident enough to send him home, and we pray that God will use these next few days to clear away whatever infection there might be, and continue strengthening his heart which has already healed so well.

This evening as we were sitting and explaining the new medicines to the children, Hemin looked up at me from his chair and began singing the words to one of our favorite Kurdish songs, their translation of the song from Psalm 118: "This is the day that the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it." We ended up singing through the whole song together, and I was happy to see how the words had stuck with him after the time being away! I pray those words will stay in his heart, and that he would understand the truth and meaning of that joy; and that the hope that it brings would remain bright in his eyes!

"I thank you that you have answered me
and have become my salvation.
The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.
This is the LORDs doing;
it is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day that the LORD has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it".
(Psalm 118:21-24)

Hemin's Surgery Day Begins and Ends Well

Posted on Wed, 11/17/2010 - 00:00 by Donna_West

Hemin and his mother were the only two that seemed to be easy to keep track of in the busyness of the morning today. Harseen had been wisked off to the operating room earlier than usual and the other two Iraqi mothers in hospital were in and out of ICU checking on and caring for children that were beginning to awake and realize they were in an unfamiliar situation, to say the least. But Hemin was smiling and in good spirits, a little hungry but mostly just needing a little entertainment for distraction. A trip to the playroom and time with the other Kurdish mothers seemed to give him a sense that it was just another time to be together, in a different place.

At about 12:30 PM he was taken for a little ride to the ICU, where there was not much unfamiliar about having sticky patches and wires connected to his chest and to monitors.

Very soon, Hemin was sleeping peacefully with the help of a little medication and his mother was in the waiting room with the realization she didn't have to be strong for anyone else right now.

Four mothers with children at different stages of the surgical process was a little more than just two arms (for hugs) could handle alone. It was a relief to see our Jewish Kurdish friend Mazal enter the building bringing reassurance, translation and an extra set of arms for giving hugs.

By 4 PM we passed Dr. Tamir in the hall and he told us Hemin's surgery was completed but it would be a while before they brought him to ICU. (Which usually means, other than a passing glimpse of the child being rolled into ICU, it will be about another hour and a half before mother gets to see her sleeping child.) The knowledge that it is over and the doctor has no bad news is the best she hopes for at this point, until she was finally allowed into the ICU and found her son resting and on the normal post-surgery mechanical ventilation.

So as we leave Wolfson Hospital tonight, all is well with the members of our Kurdish family and we entrust them into the care of our faithful God and capable doctors.

Hemin Hospitalized for Surgery

Posted on Tue, 11/16/2010 - 06:46 by Jennifer_Chang

Suhail and I left for Wolfson early this morning with Hemin and his mother, but we first had to make a stop-over at the Erez Crossing to bring in four other families from Gaza to the same hospital as well. Upon arrival at the hospital close to noon time, we walked into the children's wing and found the place abuzz with activity and with lots of crying babies as many parents waited their turn for their children to be attended to. As a result, we were asked to sit in the waiting area ('Fish Room'), to be called upon once the nurses have cleared their patient load at the nurses station. What a long wait it turned out to be - about 3.5 hours! I was thankful that Ahmed's mother (who arrived some days earlier) and Hastiyar's mother (who arrived yesterday) came over to keep them company while waiting to see their own son (both in the ICU - Ahmed in post surgery and Hastiyar in pre-surgery). As they were exchanging updates, in walked another family from Shevet (Harseen and her mother) and I could tell that they were all happy to see one another. Four families in the same place at the same time...it was a good arrangement; almost divine, I would say!

During this time of indefinite waiting, I must have walked back to the nurses station about 3 times to find out when Hemin could be attended to, as they both were growing restless and Hemin was getting a little hungry. It was when Mary was buying him a packet of chips from the vending machine just outside the waiting room that the nurse finally came to call for him at around 3.40 pm.

As is the usual pre-admission procedure, Hemin had to undergo some routine tests first but he took these all in his stride...without any grimace or whimper. What a brave boy he was indeed. The doctor must have felt thankful and relieved that this was one hassle-free case he had handled that afternoon!

Once all the tests were completed, Hemin and his mother went to join the rest of the Shevet families back in Harseen's room. Hemin's heart surgery is tentatively scheduled for tomorrow afternoon but this would be confirmed later in the night or early tomorrow morning so that the mother could facilitate the necessary preparations for her son. Since it was also getting late and time for us to leave, we bade them farewell and left them to enjoy their little chats. We pray for God's blessing upon Hemin's surgery when it takes place.

Hemin Bravely Faces His First Exams

Posted on Wed, 11/10/2010 - 00:00 by Donna_West

It was a nine-hour-day for Hemin and his mother at their first diagnostic visit at Wolfson Hospital today. The hospital was very busy but continually made every effort to acknowledge our presence and work us in. Hemin was very pleasant and quite brave for a five-year-old little boy. He watched as head nurse Nava connected him with many colored wires and clamps for an ECG reading. He laid perfectly still and didn't make a sound during the bloodwork (although tears rolled out of the corners of his eyes). Lunch came and went as we waited in the echo department while the doctor was delayed with other urgent matters. Even though you could hear the sound of "rumbling tummies" there was not one complaint. Hemin took great interest in watching the beating of his heart on the screen of the echo machine.

As the paperwork was being completed, I called Ilan (our Jewish Kurdish interpreter) so that Dr.Seggi could tell Hemin's mother the results and the plan for treatment. By about 3:30 PM we were released to return to Jerusalem and we decided not to make the trip on an empty stomach. We went to the Canyon (small mall and eatery area in the hospital) for some french fries, coke and an ice cream cone! Now that's a lunch worth waiting on!

We had drivers and team members at two other hospitals and by 4 PM they were in the high traffic time, so we made ourselves comfortable in the waiting room for a while. As several of the doctors associated with Hemin's case walked by and saw us sitting there they paused to speak with us. Dr. Tamir told me that he would be looking at the echo results himself but he had heard that Hemin's case is a rather straightforward repair of a VSD and they would work him into the surgery schedule within the next several weeks. By the time we arrived back in Jerusalem it was dusk and everyone was ready to join the rest of their 'roommates' for an evening meal together. The evening air in Jerusalem tonight was perfect timing to have a short sing-along on the roof this evening with some praise, worship and just plain silliness together. Thank you, Father, for the beautiful children you trust into our care, even if just a little while.

Hemin's Journey to a New Heart Begins

Posted on Mon, 11/08/2010 - 00:00 by Jonathan Miles

Five-year-old Hemin and his mother reached Jordan from Iraq just in time to share in the birthday festivities/Chinese dinner for my wife Michelle. The next day we set out by car toward Israel.

Hemin and little Sara (who is also traveling for heart surgery) enjoyed a cold drink together at the Jordan River border crossing.

By the time we finished with border inspections and reached Jerusalem it was already nightfall, but our staff and the other Iraqi mothers were watching for the new arrivals and gave them a warm and hearty welcome.

Hemin's first exams will take place at the Wolfson Medical Center on Wednesday.