Rebar's Heart Surgery

northern Iraq

Rebar Leaves Israel

Posted on Sun, 03/23/2008 - 00:00 by Donna_Petrel
I was amazed to have the opportunity to see Juliana and Arya again when I returned from America last Wednesday night. Exchanging hugs and seeing the joy on the mothers' faces and the health of the children after their surgeries was a delight!
I had escorted Rebar and his shy mom to Jerusalem the night before I left Israel, so we didn't have a chance to get to know each other, but we could rejoice together nonetheless over what had happened in the time I'd been away.
I had not seen Shinyar since the screening in October apart from checking the blogs, so it was a thrill to see her spunky personality too as the children all played together in their final stay in Jerusalem before they left for home. 
I would have loved to go with them to the border, but because we had so many able
to return at once, along with all their luggage, we bade each other farewell here at the house after praying for each one in the courtyard.
It is my prayer that their visit here will have changed every heart in a way that will cause them to know the depth of God's love for them, and everything He has done to prove it. I give Him thanks for letting me make friends with these mothers and children in His divine plan.

Overnight Trip

Posted on Wed, 03/12/2008 - 00:00 by Hank_Dannecker

Since his release from the hospital, Rebar has been recovering at the Save A Child's Heart house.

This week, Save A Child's Heart arranged an overnight trip to the northern part of Israel, for Rebar, Juliana and Shinyar and their moms. While they were packing the van to leave, Rebar sat patiently on the curb with some warm milk and his pacifier.

Thank you for continuing to pray for Rebar and his mother during the recovery process.

A Day of Rejoicing

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

A day of rejoicing! Rebar and Mom headed home to the children's house in Azur today after being discharged from the hospital. It's been a little over a week since he entered the halls of the children's ward, and now we wave goodbye to life in the hospital. He will continue to recuperate at Azur with his Mom. However, we do need to keep a watchful eye on him for a little longer. It seems a urination problem may require surgical intervention in the near future, in which case a decision will be made as to when this procedure will take place. In the meantime, keep smiling with him.

Catch Me If You Can

Posted on Wed, 02/20/2008 - 00:00 by Brenda_Giangregorio
Tuesday, Rebar was transferred from ICU directly to the children's ward and continues his journey to full recovery at a fast pace. He is very quickly getting back to the curious lifestyle of a vibrant 'catch-me-if-you-can', three-and-a-half year old. His heart defect seems to be a part of his past, as they say. He is challenging everyone who comes to visit with an engaging smile and twinkle that provokes one to take him on with a battle of balloons, generously given to the patients by volunteers.
The most precious sight of all, is the moment in the day that he had totally exhausted both himself and his mother. We caught this awesome photo below, and could not resist sharing it.

Rebar Comes Through Surgery

Posted on Mon, 02/18/2008 - 00:00 by Brenda_Giangregorio
A followup evening trip to the hospital Sunday night brought us once again to Rebar's bedside. Being in an induced coma since 3 pm, he was still heavily sedated at 9pm, and prompted an update and inquiry to the nighttime medical staff which revealed that he is doing fine, however, he needs a lot of rest and was still on his ventilator. We waited with Rebar's mother at his bedside until late in the evening, then kissed him goodbye for the night, took mom's hand and prayed for both of them and left the premises promising to return on today.
Today, Rebar was indeed 'out of the woods,' laying in his bed in the ICU watching everyone. As I came into the ICU to see him, his eyes followed me to his bed as he smiled, acknowledging the presence of someone familiar. Rebar was obviously pleased that he now has his ventilator tubes removed and was quite content and comfortable less than 24 hours after his surgery. Because he was now awake and alert we took the opportunity to show him his new airplane and big red car, toys brought as gifts from caring well-wishers from the church in Tel Aviv. 
His calm disrupted when his nurse needed to fit him with some oxygen flow to help his breathing. Um Rebar came to his side as we tried to reassure him without much result so decided to let him try to rest for a while and mom and I set out for the children's ward to visit the other moms. As of 5 pm tonight, Rebar is smiling, bringing a sigh of relief to his Mom as she patiently waits for her son's recovery.

A discussion with Dr. Ilan confirms that the closure of VSD (Ventricular Septal Defect) is complete and in 1-2 days he will most probably move from the critical care unit. He still is being medicated for the presence of some level of pain as a normal precaution for his condition. 

Rebar Comes Through Surgery

Posted on Sun, 02/17/2008 - 00:00 by Elly_Miles
Rebar successfully completed his surgery this afternoon. We went in to the ICU to see him afterwards, and he was still sedated, since if he awoke he would cry from pain, and likely feel as if the mechanical breathing apparatus was choking him. He should be weaned from the ventilator and start opening his eyes tomorrow.
This is a particularly difficult time for Rebar's young mother. Since the other Iraqi moms are either with us in Jerusalem or at the children's home, there is no one in the hospital who speaks her native Kurdish. Please be praying that God will continue to give her grace and comfort throughout this period. 

The Day Before Surgery

Posted on Sat, 02/16/2008 - 00:00 by Jonathan Miles

It was a big Shabbat today for Rebar (above right), who received word Friday that his heart surgery is now scheduled for Sunday. In the morning he raced, leaped, and cavorted as he led a group of four Iraqi families to attend worship at the Narkis St. Congregation in Jerusalem, where friends gathered to pray for his surgery.

After Shabbat's end we drove to the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, and a sleepy Rebar marched into the surgical ward in soldierly fashion, though occasionally clutching at his pacifier.

Once admitted to the hospital, it was time for a pre-op shower, weighing, and examinations by the Israeli doctors:

I trust these pictures will encourage you to join us in praying for this spunky and courageous young man during Sunday's surgery. We'll update this page Sunday night.

A Joy To Everyone

Posted on Sun, 01/20/2008 - 00:00 by Elly_Miles

Rebar is currently staying at the Shevet House in Jerusalem, waiting for his surgery. He has been a joy to everyone here. His bright smile lights up the whole room! He is a very affectionate boy, and loves the camera. Without exaggeration, he can conjure up a dashing smile on command at almost any moment. I probably snapped a good 10 shots of him, and every time without fail his smile was impeccable. Martha Berg referred to him as "a little model."

Please be praying that everything goes smoothly in the next few weeks with the rest of his stay here, his surgery and his recovery.

Rebar Offers Chips

Posted on Tue, 01/15/2008 - 00:00 by Alex_Pettett

Cunning nurses know that the first thing one has to do in testing a child is to stick him with a needle. This is the only chance they get to do this without a tantrum. From then on, even taking his temperature can be a challenge.

Rebar was no different when he began his tests today at the Wolfson Medical Center. Here is a young boy willing to smile at anyone for anything, but try to examine him, and you get the full fury of a boy unwillingly poked. Still, as all children, his attitude changed quickly once he was reclothed and given free reign of the hallways.

Just an hour or so after the prodding, Rebar found Baveel in the ward and offered him potato chips. It is wonderful to watch children quickly forget recent wrongs, and then use the same hand stuck by a needle to offer help to another.

Rebar Steps Into Israel

Posted on Sun, 01/13/2008 - 00:00 by Jonathan Miles

Two-and-a-half months after he was first seen by Israeli doctors in Jordan, little Rebar and his mother finally reached Israel tonight from the north of Iraq.

Now three-and-a-half years old, Rebar has a hole between the ventricles of his heart which can be closed by surgery. Without an operation this heart defect would soon become inoperable and eventually take his life.

Rebar has so far been an exceptionally well-behaved and likeable child. He was drawn like a magnet to a toy truck as soon as he entered the Shevet Achim building in Jerusalem. Hell stay with us here tonight and tomorrow, and report to the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon on Tuesday for his first tests. Well post details and photos on this page as soon as they become available.