Rezhin 's Heart Surgery

northern Iraq

Rezhin Leaves Israel

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

This was Rezhin and Tarza's last week in Israel. These two girls are just precious and full of life. Every day they've talked about when they would get to go home to see their families. You could see the anticipation growing in them each day and never would have imagined that these two girls running around playing, recently had had heart surgery. It's exciting to think who they will become as they return home with new hearts.

They are deeply appreciative for the nurturing care they've received from the staff at Shevet and truly love the women here. They made thank you notes in their Sorani dialect for Donna, Keleigh, and Mary thanking them and making sure they knew they would be missed. Last night they even invited Donna to share one last meal with them before preparing to leave.

Everyone woke up this morning freshly cleaned and with their best clothes on. Packing must have begun last night, leaving things only to be tidied up today. After waiting several hours, we all loaded up in the van mid-afternoon to head to the border crossing. It was a beautiful day, providing for a nice drive and great views of the country. Once at passport control things went fairly smoothly and they were able to make a couple of quick purchases from the Duty Free Shop before going outside to wait for the bus.

Sadly they faced a long wait on the other side of the border crossing, making what was already a long day that much longer. After a quick nap, they'll awake early in the morning to head to the airport to return home.

What a privilege it has been to meet these two beautiful girls. How grateful we are that they have many more years of health and life ahead of them!

Rezhin Released to Return Home

Posted on Sun, 11/30/2008 - 00:00 by Donna_Petrel
Our day began with a visit to the Save A Child's Heart house where some guests from Australia wanted to meet the patients being treated by our partner organization. After the guests met everyone we headed to the hospital, where Dr. Tamir did a final echocardiogram for Rezhin and gave her the green light to return home. She and her mother were delighted with the news, and are counting the days till we head to Jordan on Wednesday, together with her companion-in-surgery Tarza, below left.

As we waited for the final report from Dr. Tamir, we took time for a little snack outside as the moms talked excitedly about their journey home. There was still a bit of a 'dark cloud' on Rezhin's countenance however as she was due to head to the dental surgeon this evening. The antibiotic prescribed for Rezhin by the dentist last week did fast work at knocking out the pain from her toothache caused by a bad cavity. This improvement gave her mother pause for considering whether they might wait until their return to Iraq to have the tooth treated, and she began indicating this choice to me yesterday. But before contacting the dentist to cancel the appointment, we wanted to be sure that her mother understood that the treatment here could save the tooth, and we were not certain if a dentist in their city could do so. After getting this news translated for Um Rezhin, her decision remained the same, and since the choice is hers to make, I contacted the dental surgeon to let him know we wouldn't be coming. Only then did Rezhin become full of smiles, and she hasn't stopped smiling through the evening.

Please remember Rezhin's need for this dental procedure as you pray. She is a fearful girl, and reacts very strongly to even the thought of something being painful happening to her. Yet we've made sure her mother understands the importance of having the tooth treated and the implications on her heart if she doesn't. Pray too that Rezhin will begin to realize what a precious girl she is in God's eyes so that she is no longer fearful and fretful, but instead is joyful and fulfilled in the knowledge of this love.

Excellent Echo Report, Now To The Dentist...

Posted on Mon, 11/24/2008 - 00:00 by Donna_Petrel

We set out early this morning for Tel Aviv so that Rezhin and Tarza could visit the Save A Child's Heart house near Wolfson Medical Center in order for some media and some supporters of the doctors' organization to meet the Iraqi children who are being helped. Since the Iraqi families stay with us in Jerusalem before and after surgery now instead of at the Save A Child's Heart house, this was their first visit there, and they were not quite sure what to make of it at first. But the girls enjoyed being at the house after they were offered bead-making materials to pass the time. We were also relieved to be able to move their echocardiograms up one day rather than make another trip tomorrow.

Rezhin began having a toothache last night, so I was concerned that the doctors know about it since tooth decay can affect the heart. In conversation while waiting for Rezhin to have her ECG, one of the volunteers mentioned that she had been a dentist before retiring, so I asked her to look at Rezhin's tooth. It was clear there is a bad cavity there, but Rezhin misunderstood what was happening, and thought this volunteer was about to pull her tooth when she subsequently asked her to get on the examining table for the ECG. She began to cry and did not want to get on the table until we could convince her that this had only to do with her heart and not her tooth. Please pray that we can find a good dentist who can take Rezhin quickly and get this tooth out of the way so the new one can come in, and the possibility for infection will be gone. We are hoping to have someone donate their services for this need.

Rezhin had an excellent report from her echocardiogram and will need to come back in one week for her final echo. That means after just one more week she could be on her way home. This news brought a smile to both Rezhin's and her mother's faces.

Please keep praying for Rezhin. We look forward to seeing her complete the purpose of her trip, and return to her family with a healed heart.

Echo Shows No Water In Lungs

Posted on Mon, 11/17/2008 - 00:00 by Keleigh_Glisson

We made our way to the hospital this morning for Tarza and Rezhin's follow-up echos. After waiting nearly an hour, each girl was taken in for her echo. Afterwards, the report was that they are doing really well. Neither of the girls has any sign of water in her lungs, nor are they on any medications, only vitamins.

After they left the echo they met up with Ali and his father as they were walking outside. Both mothers and daughters sat outside with Ali and rejoiced with Ali's father.

We left Wolfson and made our way to Schneider Children's hospital about 20 minutes away. There, we were able to visit Lawk's mother a few hours after Lawk came out of surgery. The girls passed the time by watching the fish in the fish tank just outside of Lawk's room.

By the end of the day the mothers were ready to get back to Jerusalem. Both Tarza and Rezhin will have another echo next Monday.

Rezhin Released from the Hospital

Posted on Sun, 11/16/2008 - 06:51 by Mary_Dailey
I went to Wolfson Hospital yesterday to bring Tarza and Rezhin back to the Shevet house. They were ready to leave when I got there. First I went in to see Ali and Abu-Ali. Ali was having physical theraphy and Abu-Ali was with him. He came out for a short time and walked down the hall with us and told everyone good-bye. We got a taxi and then a subsequent sherut (group taxi) back. The trip went well, the taxi driver was very pleasant, he couldn't speak english and he called another taxi driver over to translate to him what I was saying, they also told us to have a good journey. We were the first on the sherut so the moms got to choose where to sit. What even made it better was that Donna was waiting for us when we got off the sherut. Tarza had asked for her after her surgery. The girls are doing great and were glad to get back to the house. Lawk and his mom were also glad to see them. The hospital will let us know when they go for their echocardiogram. Thank you all for your prayers, the Bible says, "the steps of the righteous are guided by the Lord." I believe He was our guide and that is why our trip was so pleasant.

Recovering In Children's Ward

Posted on Wed, 11/12/2008 - 00:00 by Keleigh_Glisson

Yesterday Lawk's mother asked to go to the hospital and visit Tarza and Rezhin. I was a little reluctant to take Lawk to the hospital for the day because he is such an energetic boy, but it turned out to be a great afternoon. Lawk's mother, along with the mothers of Tarza and Rezhin and Ali's father had a room to themselves. I was asked to leave the ICU because they were performing a procedure on a patient, so I sat in the room with them and listened as they each shared with the others their story. It was a great time of encouragement for each one of these families as they deal with the cultural differences here in Israel.

Today, I found both Tarza and Rezhin out of the ICU and in the ward. While I was visiting this afternoon the girls were munching on Doritos and peanut M&M's. It seems as if they are on their way to a full recovery.

Doing Wonderfully After Surgery

Posted on Mon, 11/10/2008 - 00:00 by Mary_Dailey


Rezhin had her surgery today around 12:30 p.m. She had an ASD and her surgery lasted until around 3:00. Her mother was anxious, as was expected. It was good that Tarza's mother was there too, and Ali's father so he could translate for them. This takes away a lot of the tension during the long wait. When Rezhin came out of surgery, her mom had to wait awhile before she could go see her.

I asked the surgeon how Tarza had done and he said, "Excellent. She's doing wonderfully." To me, that's the best report you can get.

Thanks again! Another one of God's children has been given a new heart because of your prayers and support.

Surgery Scheduled For Tomorrow

Posted on Sun, 11/09/2008 - 00:00 by Mary_Dailey


We received a surprise telephone call this evening from Wolfson Medical Center telling us to bring Rezhin and Tarza up to the hospital, and that they would have surgery tomorrow.

Please pray for them. Pray that the Lord will give them and their moms peace. Also pray that the surgeries will go well, and that God will give the doctors wisdom and guide their hands.

The mothers speak only Kurdish but Ali's father is there to help with the translation. His calmness and attention helps them to have a peace they might not have if he weren't there.


ASD Repair Expected To Be Simple

Posted on Thu, 11/06/2008 - 00:00 by Mary_Dailey


We took Rezhin to Wolfson to get her echo this morning along with Tarza. They both had to get their blood work done and an x-ray first. Rezhin was naturally scared and it upset her when they took her blood, but with the help of Ali's father translating to her and her mother, it didn't take long before she was comforted and then she had to go for her DPT shot. After this we took to girls to get their echo. After hers was done, Dr. Alona had to leave to do an echo for an emergency surgery, so we had to wait for Tarza to get her echo.

We went down for lunch and returned for the echo and still had a long wait. During the wait everyone was getting restless and our volunteer couple, Marty and Shirley, decided to pass the time away by setting up a plastic bowling game they had there. Soon Rezhin and the rest of us joined in. Communication had been a little difficult until this and all of a sudden there seemed to be a break in the barrier. We were all having fun.

The report we got back was good. They found out Rezhin has ASD which should be simple and they hope to do her surgery soon. Pray that God will give these two girls and their mom's peace and comfort for these surgeries. We can tell the mothers are worried and I know that God cares for and will comfort these families.

Thank you all so much for your prayers and support.

Rezhin Arrives In Israel

Posted on Tue, 11/04/2008 - 00:00 by Donna_Petrel

Late this afternoon we arrived at the Israeli border to welcome Rezhin and her mother, along with Tarza and her mother, into Israel. We'd hoped to receive them Sunday evening but needed to wait until today. They were happy but tired, and after a little snack in the van rested as we drove up to Jerusalem.

Once here at the house, we were all thankful to have Sara's father to help us communicate with one another. Neither of these mothers speak Arabic or English, so one of our major prayer requests is for translation to be available for all of us during their stay here. We all hope that Sara and her dad will be able to leave quickly after her echo next Monday, but in the meantime are thanking God for his help to introduce the new moms and daughters to being with us.

Tonight at the house the three little girls (Rezhin, Tarza and Sara) are all feeling shy, and therefore have not yet begun to play together. Since Rezhin will not have her first echo until Thursday, we're hoping that they will enjoy playing with one another in the morning after a good night's sleep.

Please pray for this little one to be able to receive her surgery soon, and that her heart will be made new in every way while she is with us. Begin to pray for peace for her mother as they approach the initial exam here, and the healing process for Rezhin begins.