Hussein's Heart Surgery


Increased Danger Back Home

Posted on Wed, 03/26/2008 - 00:00 by Elly_Miles

I had a chance to visit with Hussein and his mother today at the hospital. They are still staying in the intermediate ICU. Hussein's mother told me that he was recently coughing up some blood, although everything else is going fine.

Hussein's mom looked very drained while we were talking, and after a little while of sitting with her, she got a phone call from her husband that made her upset. He told her that there was a great increase of conflict in the city where they live in Iraq, that it was dangerous in the streets and on the paths leading into the city. He told her that he feared for the timing of her return with Hussein. This was very upsetting news.

Please be praying right now for peace in their city, and for peace in Hussein's mother's heart as she continues with Hussein in recovery, and in preparation for their return home.

Uncomfortable But Still Smiling

Posted on Thu, 02/28/2008 - 00:00 by Hank_Dannecker

Hussein continues hooked up to an external pace maker since his operation and his heart is still not able to function 100% on its own. The nurse in charge told me today that if the heart does not keep a steady beat on its own after two weeks, then the most likely remedy would be to have a internal pacemaker.

Hussein seems to be in discomfort most of the time but he is always willing to force a smile when the focus is on him.

Keeping A Steady Beat

Posted on Wed, 02/27/2008 - 00:00 by Hank_Dannecker


Hussein is out of ICU but he is not ready to wrestle! Although his operation went according to plan, his heart is not keeping a steady rhythm. So at this point his heart is hooked up to a little electronic box called an external pacemaker. This is to keep that steady beat. Hussein and his mother could use your support so please keep them in your thoughts and prayers. Please click the link below to drop them both a short e-mail letting them know how much you care!

Hussein Survives First Tests

Posted on Sun, 02/03/2008 - 06:46 by Hank_Dannecker

Hussein and his mother were ready and waiting at the Shevet house on Hanevi'im Street in Jerusalem. This was the morning of their first trip to Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, near Tel Aviv.

We left at 7:30am and arrived at 9:00am for their pre-admission testing. Hussein underwent different tests, starting with a series of blood tests, EKG, echocardiogram, and x-rays. Both mom and Hussein received a tuberculosis test.

I have watched many children of differing ages go through these same tests, some with great bravery, some in fear, some in pain. Some laugh, some cry, some scream, and some kick. My hat's off to the brave doctors and nurses who administer these tests!

I can honestly say the ride back to Shevet was Hussein's highlight of the day!

Hussein Arrives in Snowstorm

Posted on Wed, 01/30/2008 - 00:00 by Martha_Berg

After a 12-hour journey on snowy roads in Jordan and Israel, Hussein and his mother arrived in Jerusalem at 10:00 tonight. Snowplows were out in full force, and schools were closed today because of the big storm. Big by Jerusalem standards, at least.

When Hank pulled up to the Shevet house in the faithful Ford van, four-year-old Hussein was sleeping in his mother's arms. Stepping gingerly through the slush and snow, we carried Hussein and the luggage into the room they'll call home until Hussein's turn comes for his heart surgery. "Home" happens to be the building which housed the first children's hospital in the Middle East in the late 1800s, and which now houses Shevet Achim's volunteers, Iraqi patients, and office. I think Hussein already feels at home here--he's snoring peacefully while the storm rages outside his door.

Hussein's Surgery a Success; Recovering in ICU

Posted on Thu, 01/24/2008 - 00:00 by Simantov_Allalouf


Hussein came through his open heart surgery this morning and was in the ICU when we arrived in hospital. The surgery was a success and doctors say Hussein is stable and is now beginning his recovery.

Mom was emotional when they finally allowed her into the ICU and she saw all the tubes and wires and the artificial respiration; but she was encouraged with the report from doctors and the nurse.

Please do pray for Hussein and his mom to get through this next couple of days. If all goes well nurses may begin the process of taking Hussein of the respirator tomorrow.

Hussein to Surgery Sunday Morning

Posted on Tue, 01/22/2008 - 00:00 by Brenda_Giangregorio

After a few trips back and forth, Hussein enters Wolfson Hospital tonight to ready for his early morning surgery Sunday February 24th. His new temporary home in the children's ward finds him full of energy and giving us a 'show stopping' entertainment as he introduces himself to the medical staff.

I think we have a young man who is looking forward to his new energy, if you can believe he needs more than is now apparent to everyone even before his surgery. Pray for his Mom....she looks tired.

Visit to the Dead Sea

Posted on Sat, 01/19/2008 - 00:00 by


What does it take to bring joy and happiness to three Iraqi women and their children when they've endured so much already? These families have been away from their husbands and other children, left their country for indefinite lengths of time, and watched their children undergo difficult surgeries. So it was my family's desire to pamper the mothers of Hussein, Tara and Mustafa.

When a simple request to visit the Dead Sea was made, I welcomed the opportunity to spend some quality time doing what we love best: fun, food, and fellowship. Summing up what Jesus said to Mary and Martha: the worries, the preparation and work surrounding Him will always be there, but Mary chose what is better, to sit at His feet and listen to Him, and He said, "That will not be taken from her." We at Shevet are compelled to do many things: administration, logistics, coordination, and all the things that go on within a well-tuned ministry. It would be easy, like Martha, to be consumed with the things pertaining to Jesus and His kingdom, but we want to be intentional about our first love, which is to make disciples of all nations. We do this at Shevet much of the time, through friendship evangelism but also recognize the need to share the Gospel in many different ways, like taking the time to build relationships and fulfilling the simple desires of the mothers and children. In turn, as we go through the day, we watch the "walls" come down, and many spiritual questions being asked.

So with eager expectation, Hussein, Mustafa, Tara, and their mothers got ready at 1:00pm yesterday for me to pick them up to begin their afternoon of fun. The women enjoyed the sights en route to the Dead Sea, but faces broke out in pure joy when glimpsing the sea for the first time. Mustafa excitedly shared with his mother, "My dream came true. This is the sea in my dream!" As we made our way down to the water's edge, basking in the beauty of it all, and sharing in some laughter, we soon found ourselves in ankle-deep water, with our shoes still on! The women and boys did many things in our short time there: took some pictures on cell phones, tasted the water (yuck!), threw some rocks, collected some "treasure" (Mustafa's mother's term for sand, rock and salt). But one thing we did not do was go swimming, as Tara's mother kept saying she wanted to do.

Dusk quickly settled in and dinnertime was approaching, so after a long walk back up the hill, we piled in the van and headed for home. Just a side note: as we were going through the checkpoint, ironically I was the only one to have my passport checked, which the women thought very funny! On our trip back to Jerusalem, all three children quickly fell asleep.

While we were out sightseeing, my wife Michele was preparing "a feast" at the request of Tara's mother, and was waiting for our return. Upon entering our home, all the children quickly found a spot on the carpet and played with puzzles together, while the mothers enjoyed paging through American magazines until dinner was served.

The fellowship was sweet, but all too soon, it was time to end the day and return them to the Shevet house, as the children were becoming tired. But a good day cannot end without some group pictures to savor the moments.

We were richly blessed by and thankful for this opportunity to show Christ's love. Our prayer is that we can say, like Paul in 1 Corinthians 2:14, "But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him."

Hussein Flies Home To Iraq

Posted on Thu, 01/17/2008 - 00:00 by Donna_Petrel

As I write, Hussein and his mother are about to fly out to Iraq. As we rode to the airport together this morning, the reality of Hussein's mom's brimming emotions about returning could be felt by everyone in the car.

She had an emotional departure from our house in Jerusalem two days ago, and it was obvious when we visited them last evening in the apartment here in Amman that her heart was still full of conflict about leaving the people and the place where Hussein had received the help he needed. She spoke of how wonderful the people are, that there are many good people in Israel, and how thankful she is for the help they have received. And it is clear to those of us who first met her at the echocardiogram screening in October that the experiences they've had have changed the heart of both the mother as well as the son.

Hussein is still a lively, happy little boy, but no long
er blue because of a need for more oxygen. He gladly hopped into the taxi to the airport this morning with his new friend Ariel, who accompanied him and his mother from Jerusalem to Amman.

Keeping him from being too rough might be the scenario his family will face now since he has a pacemaker implanted just below the surface of his lower chest cavity. He is freely affectionate and engaging, a sweet little boy with a bright future, thanks be to God.

Hussein's mother, on the other hand, was quietly emotional during the time we spent together this day. They return to a very dangerous area of Iraq, and it is beyond the comprehension of most of us the extreme contrast she is experiencing at this time. While with us, she so enjoyed the freedom to go about the city and know she was safe... now she returns to the reality of a life I honestly cannot imagine. She was carrying so many things in her heart! I felt as we rode home from the airport it was as if a revolution was being birthed within her, one which perhaps represents the desires of many others in her nation who have not had the opportunity to experience the things she has. I pray the stirrings and changes within her will truly be a catalyst for revelation as she considers everything she has seen and heard, and that who she is now can be accepted by those in her family and friends. May there be a harvest of the good seed sown in the good soil of her heart which will bring salvation. Please join me in praying for this beautiful mother and her son, and their family, as well as for the peoples in the land in which they live, to fulfill the good purpose God had when He created them.

Clean Bill of Health

Posted on Mon, 01/14/2008 - 00:00 by Keleigh_Glisson

Last Monday the doctors adjusted Husseins pacemaker and requested that he return to the hospital for one final echocardiogram on Thursday. Thursday came and Hussein was given a clean bill of health.

A few staff members have commented on how Hussein is much more outgoing since his arrival to Israel a few months ago. He enjoyed posing for a few pictures outside of the hospital just before leaving there for the last time. Also included is a picture of Husseins goodbye at the Save A Childs Heart home with Sarah and Nahro.

Hussein has been healthy and energetic while staying at the Shevet Achim house in Jerusalem as he and his mother await their departure to Amman.