Sara's Heart Surgery

northern Iraq

Sara Every Inch the Queen of Her Party

Posted on Fri, 12/24/2010 - 00:00 by Laura_Waris
It is a sunny Christmas Eve in Jerusalem and my thoughts turn to giving. Now is the season we give gifts to one another in imitation of Gods most loving gift to us: his Son. In this spirit, last night we gave Sara a goodbye party and gifts. She had waited patiently all day for the party, as we made Christmas cookies and visited the Garden Tomb and played in the park.
When it came time to gather, she was decked out in all her jewelry, her hair in bows and a pair of sunglasses close at hand. She smiled and giggled and basked in the attention we gave her, every inch the princess of her party. And well she should be!

We celebrated the gift of healthy life she has been given. We gave her a soft teddy bear that has I love you inscribed on its fluffy belly and she loved it, even pulling it out this morning as we gathered for our final goodbyes in the courtyard.

Now Sara and her mum are on their journey home, first stopping in Amman before flying back to Iraq tomorrow. I am thankful for the gift of her health and successful surgery, for the gift of knowing such a precious mother and daughter and the time I was given to spend with them.

Im also pleased to send them on their journey, healthy and happy, themselves a gift for their family members who have long waited to see them again. I hope Saras bear will be a reminder for her and her family of the greatest gift we give: our love.

Victory for Sara

Posted on Wed, 12/22/2010 - 00:00 by Laura_Waris
Saras last echo was unusually scheduled for a Wednesday. This is a day her mother has been patiently waiting for, as she has said goodbye to all the other mothers and kids who had surgeries at about the same time as Saras. Usually on echo days there are many children waiting to be seen, but today we were blessed with a peaceful day as we were the only ones there. As we sat in the waiting chairs, Um Sara did her hair in little ponytails. The change in Sara from before and after surgery is remarkable. I recall being at the echo that was done right before her surgery, and she had to be sedated in order for it to happen. This time, she was calm, even smiling as she lay down on the bed, waiting for the doctor to begin.

Her heartbeat flashed on the screen and I watched as her mother silently prayed. The news was good: no more echoes needed, and she is good to go home! She will not even need to take any medicine anymore! We waited for Dr. Tamir to come and give the final okay and sign the papers, and after a bit more waiting and visiting with other mothers in the ward, we returned with Saras letter of discharge.

Two instances are imprinted in my mind: one, her relieved and happy mother walking down the hallway today calling her husband in Kurdistan to tell him the good news. Also, I smile as I recall putting Sara to bed last night as she whispered funny little things to me. She asked me if she would get to have a party on Thursday. This is something we do for all the kids that leave, and she too, has watched all her little friends leave before her. Now its her turn. This precious, healthy girl is on her way home, and we praise God for her healing and her life!


Echo: Sara's Heart Healing

Posted on Thu, 12/09/2010 - 00:00 by Donna_West

Sara arrived at the hospital for her echo with her friend Harseen on Thursday. She had her eye on her new wristwatch, waiting to go to the Sea afterwards.

The echo showed a continued healing process in her heart; Dr.Alona prescribed a reduction of her daily steroid dosage. She is still on very strong medication, however, as she continues to improve. Her body is adjusting to the different (normal) way it is now designed to function. Children with Sara's diagnosis usually have a more successful surgery when it is had before the age of two. Sara is five, so we are seeing an extra measure of God's grace and mercy for her.

After the hospital, Sara and her mother enjoyed the Sea and time with friends. Lord, please let the healing continue for this dear little girl.

Sara, Smile!

Posted on Mon, 12/06/2010 - 00:00 by Connie_McGuire

Today we took beautiful Sara from Jerusalem to Wolfson for her follow up echocardiogram appointment. We drove to Holon through the first rain of the season. The change in Sara and her mother since Sara's surgery is remarkable to me. They smile all the time and chat pleasantly on the drive. All of the fear that was apparent when I first met them is gone. Sara's mom is a good mom and she is a very pleasant child. She is also very fashionable :)

Sara received a good report on her echo today and needed no changes to her medications. She will return to Wolfson on Thursday for a follow up echo and to have her sutures removed.

Sara Finally Returns to Jerusalem

Posted on Sun, 12/05/2010 - 00:00 by Mary_Dailey

After a successful echo for Sara on Friday morning, Laura, Gadi and I had the pleasure of picking her and her mother up from Wolfson Hospital and driving them back to Jerusalem. When we got there Sara was beaming. She was the happiest I have seen her since she was admitted to the hospital for surgery. She could not wait to come back, and was even happier when she saw that Laura with us. She had a bag full of goodies that had been given to her for the Hanukkah holiday to share with the other kids. Her mother was also happy to be coming back.

Sara had some trouble with fluid around her heart and lungs, and is still on a lot of medication. When you're praying, we'd appreciate it if you would agree with us that God would give her a healing touch, that he would dissipate the fluids around the lung and heart. She is scheduled for another echo Monday at Wolfson.

Matthew 18:19 says, "If two of you agree on earth about anything that you may ask, it shall be done for you by My Father who is in heaven." We are many more than two, so just think if we all agree, it shall be done.


Fluid on the Heart Keeps Sara in the Hospital

Posted on Thu, 12/02/2010 - 00:00 by Mary_Dailey

Little Sara had an echo today at Wolfson Hospital. It could have been her final echo before release, but because the doctor observed a small remainder of fluid around her heart she will need to stay in the hospital for at least one more day. She is scheduled for another echo tomorrow, Friday. A blood culture run today for Sara came back negative, which, so to speak, is positive.

We were at the hospital today for quite a while. At first you could not get Sara to smile, but with Harseen there to play with her she soon became brighter. And it is Hanukkah, and people were passing around donuts, candy, balloons and toys all day; this too helped little Sara.

It is so wonderful being a part of this special family and the only scripture I can think of now is Psalm 133:1 How pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity. I feel that the word unity means love and there is plenty of that here. Please pray for this precious little girl, that she'll heal quickly and be able to enjoy a normal life and do all the things a healthy little 5 year old can do.

A Day with Friends

Posted on Mon, 11/29/2010 - 00:00 by Donna_West
I arrived at the nurse's station at Wolfson Medical Center this morning, intending to find charts for three of our children. I then began looking for Sara in different patients' rooms. But she wasnt in a room; I saw her behind me holding her mother's hand. Her eyes were bright and she was smiling. I told Sara and her mother that as soon as the echoes were done, we would be back to visit. The echoes were completed quickly this morning, and afterward Sara and her mother were surrounded by friends and compassionate playmates. We have not yet been told when Sara will be released to return to Jerusalem, but we expect it to be soon. Thank you for your continuing prayers for Sara and her mother as Sara recovers.

Sara Recovering and Waiting for Her Smile

Posted on Sun, 11/28/2010 - 00:00 by Mary_Dailey

Today was the first day we saw Sara after her surgery. When Gaddy and I arrived, I went to ICU and there the medical staff said that Sara was in intermediate ICU. So I went there and they were just getting ready to move her to the main childrens ward. When I saw her, she really looked good. She has a sweet rosy glow to her skin now instead of a blue tint. I didn't get to talk to a doctor, but her placement in the ward, and without tubes, is a good sign that everything is going well. She's not smiling yet, but I've noticed that a lot of our children are like this for at least 2 or 3 days after being extubated. This is not surprising; it must be an enormous shock to the whole body.

Mazel (our interpreter) and her husband came to see Sara and her mom. This really brightened up the mothers day. It looked like much stress had been lifted off of her. Please continue praying that her body will heal quickly and that she will also get that beautiful smile back. Pray also that her mother will get rested up so that she can keep up with this little lady when she's totally healed.

A Day of Thanksgiving Sara's Surgery a Success

Posted on Thu, 11/25/2010 - 00:00 by Mary_Dailey

When we went to Wolfson yesterday for Sara's admission, we were told that her surgery would be early this morning. So we left about 6:00 a.m. and got there at 7:10. Sara was still sleeping and was able to sleep for a good while because, as it turned out, it was after 9:00 before they came to get her. When she did wake up she was in a peaceful, pleasant mood. When they came up to get her we followed them down to the O.R. and they took her right in. Her mother didn't have time to tell her good-bye. After this came the time when the mother did not have to be strong for her daughter, and this is when momma needs ministering to. Just imagine how you would feel if you were in her place. You're in a strange country that is considered your enemy, away from all your family and you can't understand most of the people. Also you are entirely dependent on them for most everything and all you know is that this is the one chance to save your childs life. We think our moms are the bravest people there are.

During the waiting time Ahmed (another Shevet child) and Um Ahmed, Jennifer and Gadi came up for Ahmed's echo. They stayed until we left and this was really good for Sara's mom. Um Ahmed was really a big help and wonderful comforter. One of the doctors stopped by and told us he would call us when they were through and let us know when they were bringing her up. He called us around 1:30 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. and said they were finished and everything was o.k.; they brought her up to I.C.U. about 2:30. We stayed until we could go in and see her. They said the surgery went well. Being that this is Thanksgiving Eve we want to give thanks to God for Sara's surgery and the awesome way He takes care of our children and moms, for the wisdom He gives our doctors and for all of our supporters. May God bless everyone.

Sara Admitted to Wolfson for Surgery

Posted on Wed, 11/24/2010 - 00:00 by Mary_Dailey

Wolfson Hospital called this morning telling us to bring Sara to Tel Aviv for surgery tomorrow. Her mother was very pleased; the doctors were thinking it would be a longer wait. But even though the mother was happy, Sara was not so happy about the blood work she had done. None of our children like it, with the needles. But it must be done, and the doctors really try to make it as easy as possible for them.

Sara's surgery should be the first surgery in the morning tomorrow, and Connie and I will be there as soon as we can be. Please be praying for Sara and her mother: pray that her mother will have peace about it and that all will go well with the surgery. As I said, Sara was crying a lot today, but by the time we left she was smiling again. Our children are so precious; no wonder Jesus said, "Let the little children come unto me and forbid them not."