Kale 's Heart Surgery


Joy and Concern: Visiting Kale at Home in Iraq

Posted on Thu, 05/21/2009 - 01:00 by Donna_Petrel

It was with both joy and concern that we headed to the home of Kale and her family during our recent visit to Iraq.

The joy was because of the special relationship which was formed in Jerusalem last year when Kale and her mother were here with us. This precocious little girl captured the hearts of everyone who met her. Kale's mother was very kind to all the other mothers and children, and a leader among them even though she was younger than several of the other parents. We all enjoyed her company.

Our concern was because, shortly before our trip, we'd heard from the family that Kale was having some difficulties with her heart. We had a happy reunion, and a wonderful dinner prepared by the family.

One of our friends had his guitar along, and we enjoyed some music during our visit. Kale's little brother Mohammed especially liked the music.

Although the problem Kale was having came up in discussion during the evening, it wasn't until after our delicious meal that we talked in depth about Kale's current condition. Dirk explained that we would soon have another echocardiogram screening in Jordan, and with Dr. Tamir's permission we could add Kale to the list of children coming so he could check her and determine the problem. We were able to contact Dr. Tamir the next day and he has invited Kale to the screening tenatively planned for next month.

Meanwhile, please pray for her and her family. She seems quite well, but her heart is not functioning properly and is slowing her down significantly. Pray for her mother as she and Kale prepare again for the trip to Amman, and perhaps another trip to Israel to address the problem Kale is having.

The Rainbow: A Sign of God's Mercy and Healing

Posted on Wed, 10/29/2008 - 00:00 by Donna_Petrel

After four months in Israel and a successful heart surgery, Kale and her mother are on their way home tonight. The first leg of their journey is the flight from Tel Aviv to Amman, Jordan, and early tomorrow morning they will meet Shanaw and her aunt in the airport to fly back to their families together. They were full of thanks and joy as they left even in the midst of the challenge of clearing customs at the airport.

Seeing Kale's grin grow wider through the day as the time approached for them to leave was a real treat. This morning she brought me a bookmark she and her mother had designed and hand-sewn as a farewell gift which I will treasure. A few hours later there was a tearful goodbye to Shanaw and her aunt who were crossing by car into Jordan this afternoon. Even though they will see each other in the morning, Kale's mother and Shanaw's aunt have grown so close that they were sad to miss even a little part of the journey together.

Just before we left for the airport a thunderstorm moved into Jerusalem, and just before it arrived at our house, we had the view of a beautiful rainbow arched over the Old City. I was reminded of this being the sign for God's mercy, and thankful for how His mercy was apparent in the healing of Kale's heart.

The customs officials allowed me to accompany Kale and her mother until the final departure concourse. They were thorough yet patient as they grasped the reality that this mother and daughter had been here for four months as Kale received the surgery necessary to save her life. All of their questions were answered satisfactorily after they brought an Arabic translator to us. The routine search of the bags was to check on a jar of honey Kale's mother wanted to take to her family, and a pair of shoes for her daughter, and then all was clear to send them on their way. During this process it was precious to hear Kale's mom explain that I will have a place in her heart always, and I assured her that they will also have a special place in mine.

As I watched them pass through the final security screening area, they would turn every few minutes and wave and blow kisses to me. What a sweet way to see them leave us ... and what a sweet reunion they will have tomorrow with their family back in Iraq! We thank God for all He has done.

Let's keep them in our prayers as they travel home tonight and tomorrow. Many good seeds were sown in their hearts during the time they were with us, and God's word will accomplish the purpose for which He sent it.

A Good Report-- Kale Can Go Home

Posted on Mon, 10/27/2008 - 06:47 by Sheeba_Cherian
Kale's final echo was to be done today. My husband Cherian, and our kids, Joshua and Nikita had the privilege to go along with this beautiful girl and her mother to the hospital. As we waited, Kale joined Shanaw, Joshua, and Nikita in a soccer game, playing as vigorously as the rest of them. During the hour long drive, Kale and Nikita played Dreamer on the Game Boy (every little girl loves horses!). They giggled and talked as if they had been friends forever. Once at the hospital, they were joined by Shanaw who was also scheduled for an echo. They ste
nciled, colored and wrote thank you notes to the doctors as they waited.

Kale came out of the echo all smiles. The report on her heart was good. Praise God for the healing of her heart. They can now make final preparations to go home. But Kale was not done just yet; she went around saying final goodbyes to her friends Ali's father, Sara and her father. Before heading back to the Shevet house we stopped by McDonalds and Keleigh bought the kids ice cream cones one last time.

Kale will leave in a few days. Kale's mother is grateful and happy. When I asked about her other children (Kale's sister and brother) back in Iraq, she said sadly, "I miss them." Please pray as they journey back to Iraq to be reunited with their family.

Quick Progress in Recovery

Posted on Wed, 10/22/2008 - 00:00 by Keleigh_Glisson

Kale had another echocardiogram today to determine if the water around her heart was decreasing. We arrived at the hospital around noon only to discover that the doctors were on their way to a meeting and wouldnt be back for another couple of hours. Usually when we have time to pass at the hospital, we make our way to McDonald's and buy ice cream cones, but today their ice cream machine wasnt working. We were forced to sit in the eating area with the food we had brought from home and wait. Surprisingly, the time went by pretty fast. Kale and Hevi were entertained by taking photos of themselves. Some of these photos turned out pretty good!

Once Kale was called in for her echo, it was determined that the water around her heart had decreased although some water remains. She has progressed so quickly in her recovery that the doctors said next Monday may be her final echo.

Even though we as a staff have become attached to both Kale and her mother, we are excited to see Kale return to Iraq with a healed heart. Please continue to pray that this day will come soon.

Unscheduled Echo Reveals Water Around Heart

Posted on Sun, 10/19/2008 - 00:00 by Catriona_Logan

Keleigh and I went to WolfsonHospital today, with Kale, her mother, Shanaw, and her aunt. Both girls were scheduled to have echocardiograms.

When we arrived to the hospital we found out that Kale wasnt scheduled for an echocardiogram today. The doctors decided to do an echo anyway and it was a good thing they did.

They discovered that Kale has a bit of fluid around her heart, which wasnt there a few days ago when she had her last echo. Apparently this water, if left untreated, can build up and put pressure on the heart. This sort of thing is not uncommon after surgery and is easily treatable. She is due to go back for another echo next Wednesday.

Following both Kale and Shanaws echos we walked down to the childrens department to visit Sara who, we discovered had recently been transferred out of the ICU and into the ward. We also were able to spend some time with Shada, the child from Gaza that arrived today and awaits surgery.

Back at the Shevet house Kales cough is continuing to improve while she keeps us on our toes. Kale, Shanaw and Hevi have been continual entertainment. Not only have they had fun learning some English songs and games (Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes is their favorite so far), but they also have a very good doctor routine going. They use the plastic medical play-kit to perform surgeries on the other children. It has been a hit with the kids (and us)!

Thank you for supporting Kale and her mother while they awaited Kales surgery and also as Kale recovers. They are very excited about their return home. Your support has been appreciated, especially by Kale's family.

Admitted for Observation

Posted on Thu, 10/16/2008 - 06:47 by Catriona_Logan
Nancy, Hank and I went to Wolfson Hospital today, partly to visit children who are currently recovering from surgery, but also taking along Kale and her mother. Kale needed to be checked out, as her cough has not gone away, and lately has seemed to get worse.

She doesn't particularly like needles, and we knew she'd likely find any repeat blood tests hard but she did well when the bloods were taken. It probably helped a lot that Hank kept distracting her by taking photos she's very good at smiling for the camera!

Her breathing was checked, and according to the doctor her lungs were clear. She also had to go and get an x-ray, and echo (ECG) done. Her echo test came back with a good result, which is fantastic. We don't know the results of the x-ray.

The doctors decided to admit Kale for observation, waiting for results of the blood tests, as her cough is not improving. Kale really only got upset when she realized she wasn't coming home to the Shevet house with us. We left Kale and her mother to have lunch, and came back an hour or so later, to find Kale smiling again, and seeming happier.

Please pray that the doctors will figure out what is causing Kale's cough, and the best way to help her recover also for Kale's mother, who was at times distressed at seeing her daughter having to go through the blood tests. Thank you for your prayers and support!

Discharged After Just Six Days

Posted on Sun, 10/12/2008 - 00:00 by Donna_Petrel

A spunky Kale greeted me today when I went to her room for her dismissal back to Jerusalem. Her mother and Kale were so excited that she was already able to leave the hospital only six days after her surgery. Indeed, she has her beautiful smile and charming personality as always, but is moving a little slower than before the surgery. We expect that to change quickly in the coming days!

Shanaw was called in for an echocardiogram this morning, so these two special friends were able to spend time together during our visit with other patients. When they became impatient to leave, Kale, with her creative imagination, decided to become the ''mom" and escort Shanaw on their way to Jerusalem.

Back at the house, all the families joined again for a happy welcome to Kale and her joyful mother. Kale is scheduled to return to Wolfson in one week for her first follow up echocardiogram. We pray she will continue to have God's touch as she is healing, and her body strengthening once more.

Already On Her Feet

Posted on Fri, 10/10/2008 - 06:47 by Mary_Dailey

Kale was in the same room with Shanaw when we visited today, sitting in her bed eating a snack. She looked so good. She didn't have the oxygen mask on any more and she was chattering away. She wanted me to come and sit with her and after I sat with her a short time I felt I needed to get her something to do since Shanaw was leaving. I quickly found an erasable writing board for her in the mall and when I got back she was up walking with no trouble at all. She is doing so well.

When we got ready to leave they all walked out to the mall with us (including Kale!) as far as they could go. It was hard for me to believe that this little girl could walk that far after just having heart surgery five days ago. God has done a miraculous healing in her life and her mother does give God the praise for this. All I can say is we have an awesome God who heals in many different ways. He has given these doctors the wisdom and knowledge they need to be a part of His marvelous love and we thank Him for them and pray that He'll bless them for what they are doing. It takes each one of us, the doctors, the nurses and all the workers, and the prayers and support, all these put together, working in unity. Thank you again and may God Bless you.

Hint of a Smile

Posted on Tue, 10/07/2008 - 00:00 by Keleigh_Glisson

As I walked into the ICU, I was able to catch Kale's eye and the hint of a smile under her oxygen mask. The doctors continue to say that she is doing really well. She shed a few tears as a tube from her neck was removed, and she seemed to be extremely thirsty, but otherwise in good spirits and on her way to a quick recovery. Kale's mother is faithfully sitting by her side with occasional tears in her eyes as she praises God for Kale's healing. Hopefully tomorrow she will be moved to the intermediate ICU.

Mary Dailey adds:

I saw Kale for the first time today since she's had her surgery. When we walked into the ICU she looked so little in that big hospital bed with the oxygen mask on her face. Fatima (a volunteer for "Save A Child's Heart") was beside her bed and I heard her tell Kile's mother that she was a happy child.

When we got to her bedside she was chattering away, even with her oxygen mask on. She told her mother to call her father that she wanted to talk to him. The nurse told them it was o.k. The only problem I could see was she was coughing a good bit but other then that she really looked good. She had that glowing complexion and what really blessed me was when I told her I loved her she answered back "I love you too," and you could really tell she meant it. Thank you everyone for praying for her and supporting her. This will be a big change in her life for the better. She'll be able to do all the wonderful things that children like to do without any worries about her life. The doctor said that this was a successful surgery and we know that this is another miracle of God because He loves and cares for His children. Thank you all so much because without you prayers and support this could not have been done.

"A Perfect Surgery"

Posted on Mon, 10/06/2008 - 00:00 by Donna_Petrel

This morning Kale went off down the hall toward the operating room, but there she had to have an unexpected last-minute check-up from Dr. Alona because of a persistent cough. After the examination, Dr. Alona said to Kale's mother, "Don't worry! Everything is fine, it's ok. The surgery will be perfect!"

The whole situation was rather dramatic, as the combination of nerves, not being able to eat before surgery, and coughing made Kale sick to her stomach as we waited in the pre-op room. The nurse who'd come to take her right at that moment told us that because Kale was sick, she could not go to surgery. She called for the doctor to come and verify the situation as Kale's mother's countenance fell and Kale became more distressed. Several of the OR nurses came into the room to examine Kale and ask questions of her mother until Dr. Alona arrived. Thankfully and happily, Dr. Alona's report gave the green light for Kale's surgery to proceed and Mom made her last goodbye.

Shanaw's aunt joined us, and later both Abu Ali and Abu Sara were with us as we waited together through the morning and early afternoon. Kale's mother prayed continuously and read the Koran. Shanaw's aunt Sara joined her in prayer support - these two beautiful friends have been such encouragers of one another. Dr. Alona came to give us two reports through the wait, both with good news on the progress. Then we had the great moment of relief for Kale's mother when she saw her daughter being wheeled down the hall toward the ICU.

Dr. Alona was the first one with the report that as promised "the surgery was perfect!" Kale's mother was full of thanks to the doctor, and we both thanked God together as we walked down the hall to await Kale coming up to the ICU.

After some tears of joy Kale's mother called her husband to let him know Kale was out of surgery. After about half an hour's wait, Kale's mother was allowed into the ICU. She observed her daughter for a few minutes, and then we requested permission from the head of the ICU to bring in her video camera so she would have a record for her family at home of how Kale progressed in her recuperation.

Please join us in thanking God for this good report of Kale's perfect surgery! Pray that her recuperation will also be perfect with God as the receiver of all the glory for her healing. Pray for her mother to have the stamina needed as she begins the supervision of Kale's recuperation day by day.