Ilham's Heart Surgery



Posted on Mon, 09/13/2010 - 00:00 by Agnes_Wiggers
Today I had the privilege of going with Donna to Wolfson hospital in Tel Aviv to take Ilham and her mum for Ilham's last checkup. It was an exciting day! As we left Jerusalem early in the morning Ilham was very quiet and rather serious, and then fell promptly asleep in the car. When we arrived to the hospital she looked distinctly worried, but carefully smiled at everyone who talked to her. We went to the place where she was going to have her echo and to my surprise she was called straight in. The doctor who performed her echo was very gentle with her, and was also kind enough to explain to me a bit about the process. He showed me on the electronic screen of the echo machinery where the hole in her heart had been, and how it was now completely closed. Another doctor entered the room, and they discussed the results of the imaging. After speaking together they told us they were very happy with the results, and that she was going to be discharged! 

It was wonderful to see Ilham's mother all smiley, giggly and laughing, calling everyone she could think of presumably to tell them Ilham was better and that they could come home. The only Kurdish word I could understand as she spoke on the phone was "hallas, which means: finished!! Donna told me she'd never seen her so happy. When we left the echo room and Ilham realized that we were not walking to another doctors office but to lunch, she too began to brighten, giggling and laughing like her mother.

All in all I was very impressed with the atmosphere at the hospital: Palestinian children side by side with Israeli kids, and of course our little Ilham from Kurdistan. Everyone was treated with the same respect, concern and care. Amazing!!

A Perfect Echo

Posted on Mon, 09/06/2010 - 01:00 by Donna_West

A peaceful morning ride from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, in which our darling girl Ilham slept quietly on her mother

Ilham Released To Jerusalem

Posted on Mon, 08/23/2010 - 01:00 by Donna_West
Ilham was very nervous about having her echo exam today. She is very sensitive in her chest, due to the heart surgery incision, so was resistant at first, but as always Dr. Abraham distracted her and I was able to make her laugh.

The results of her echo today showed that she has a small amount of fluid on her lungs, and yet was able still with this report to be able to come back to the Shevet center in Jerusalem, her home away from home. Ilham and her mother, Roshna, were excited to be coming to the house with the rest of the returning families. Dr. Abraham told Ilham the good news and I shared with her mother that the exam was "bash"(good) and that Ilham was released to return to Shevet Achim.

Ilham has had a wonderful recovery so far, and will be returning to Wolfson in a week for another echo. Dr. Abraham adjusted her medications to compensate for the fluid that she has been experiencing in her lungs.

So please be praying for Ilham that the fluid will resolve itself with the new medications and the excitement of being back with the rest of the Jerusalem community that has formed around her and her mother at Shevet Achim.


Ilham Released From the ICU

Posted on Thu, 08/19/2010 - 01:00 by Ellen_Husted

Ilham was moved from the ICU to the regular floor, and is recovering nicely from her surgery. She has had no complications thus far and the surgery was a complete success. Praise God for this good report!

Please pray that she would continue to heal and be able to return home soon. Both she and her mother have waited a long time to have this surgery, and both are anxious to return home to their family.

Ilham and Her Mother Come Through Surgery Day

Posted on Tue, 08/17/2010 - 01:00 by Ellen_Husted

Ilham had a successful surgery today! Praise God for healing her heart!

Her mother said her final goodbye in the pre-op waiting area early this morning (pictured at right), and by afternoon Ilham was taken to the ICU where she is now recovering and will continue to be closely monitored, sedated, and on artificial respiration for the next 24 hours.

Both Ilham and her mother are doing well, and are preparing for the recovery period following the operation. Thank you for your prayers, and please continue to pray that Ilham would recovery quickly and well from the operation.

Ilham To Surgery Tomorrow

Posted on Mon, 08/16/2010 - 01:00 by Simcha_Kimsey

The Long Wait comes to an end, yeah! After a waiting more than a month and a half, Ilham will have her day of surgery on Tuesday. Ilham is a 5 year old girl from Kurdistan, Iraq who is a happy and fun loving girl. She enjoys making crafts with her hands and playing with cause/effect toys.

Today we received a call from Wolfson hospital, and they asked that we bring her in as soon as possible to be admitted for surgery. Roshna, Ilham's mother, was so excited for her daughter. She has been patiently waiting for Ilham to have her surgery scheduled, and was so encouraged to be going to the hospital with her daughter today. So we caught a taxi and went in to Tel Aviv for Ilham's admission.

Nurse Olga readied a bed for Ilham and scheduled her bloodwork and EKG to be done after admission. Ilham was instructed to eat lunch and then the pre- operative tests would be completed. So after her lunch, Ilham enjoyed a cherry popsicle and was seen by the doctor who encouraged her to eat her popsicle as she listened to her heart.

Ilham is happy to be in a room with Wahaj, another Iraqi patient from Shevet Achim and this will also be an encouragement for her mom after surgery.

Waiting during the surgery can be a very stressful event and this is when staff can be most supportive. Ellen, our current volunteer nurse in training will be traveling to Wolfson tomorrow to be with Roshna during Ilham's surgery. Your prayers for Ilham will be appreciated and much needed as a support for her surgery tomorrow. Please pray for a successful surgery and no complications.

Ilham Will Need Surgery

Posted on Wed, 07/21/2010 - 07:46 by Ellen_Husted

Ilham had her first catheterization today. The procedure went well, but the doctors have decided that Ilham will need surgery; we were hoping that the VSD would be able to be closed with second catheterization, but in the examination today the hole is simply too large to be closed without surgery. Ilham will be in the hospital tonight recovering from her catheterization, and will be returning home tomorrow. At the moment, we do not have an exact date for her surgery, but we hope to have this information in the morning before she is discharged.

Please pray for her and her mother as they spend another night in the hospital; Ilham is in pain from the procedure, and as Kurdish speakers, they are isolated from the hospital staff and other patients.

Ilham Called in for Catheter

Posted on Tue, 07/20/2010 - 01:00 by Ellen_Husted

Ilham was scheduled for catheterization next Wednesday, but I received a call from the hospital this afternoon around 3:00 pm informing us that there had been a cancellation. Therefore, Ilham's catheterization was moved to tomorrow! Roshna (Ilham's mother) was so excited and hurried to pack a bag. Simcha dropped the three of us off at the hospital while she went to the airport to pick up our new volunteer Gillian. The evening nurses brought Ilham her hospital clothes and got her blood taken.

Then Ilham was admitted into the room where Sharwin is also staying. Two Kurdish mothers in the same room at the hospital is such a blessing. Ilham's catheterization will either be tomorrow morning or tomorrow afternoon.

Ilham Successfully Diagnosed

Posted on Sun, 07/11/2010 - 01:00 by Ellen_Husted

Ilham had a successful echo today! Thank you for those who prayed (her last echo was a bit if a disaster). She was diagnosed with a large, muscular VSD (Ventricular Septal Defect) that was 2.1 cm in diameter. Basically, this is a large hole located between the right and left ventricles of the heart. Ilhams VSD is quite large, but the doctors are hoping to resolve this issue with a catheterization alone without utilizing open-heart surgery. However, because of the size of the VSD, the doctor must consult a fellow peer on this issue before any procedures can be scheduled. Please pray that a catheterization or surgery will be scheduled soon, and that God would continue to giveher and her mother peace about the situation in general.

Ilham's First Exams at Hospital in Israel End Abruptly

Posted on Sun, 07/04/2010 - 07:46 by Ellen_Husted
We took Ilham to the Wolfson Medical Center to get her admission procedures done today. Her bloodwork and EKG went well, but her echo was a bit of an adventure; Ilham was nervous for the echo, so we did our best to quiet her (it is very important that the children remain still during the echo, otherwise the images will be poor quality and the procedure will have to be repeated). Ilham began napping, but woke up suddenly in a panicked state and began yelling in Kurdish. We had no idea what was wrong, but her mother was pointing at her leg to explain the reaction. The doctor attributed her anxiety to the procedure and did her best to complete the echo.
Subsequent events revealed that Ilham actually had to use the bathroom, and panicked when she couldnt leave the procedure room. Due to the upset, her echo images were not clear. The doctor stated that another one would have to be performed, and Ilham is scheduled to have another echo on Sunday. Please pray for little Ilham that she would not have anxiety about any of the procedures that take place on Sunday, and that she would be given the measure of courage she needs.