Shanaw 's Heart Surgery

northern Iraq

On Her Way Home

Posted on Wed, 10/29/2008 - 00:00 by Esther_Mueller
Today Shanaw left Israel. After a lot of hugs and goodbyes, she and her aunt got into the bus. Shanaw is actually on the way to Jordan. From there she will leave for Iraq, to see her family again after four months. We're already missing her cheerful personality.

Released To Return To Iraq

Posted on Mon, 10/27/2008 - 00:00 by Kay_Sherwood
When we arrived yesterday and met Shanaw, we would not have known that she had suffered from a heart problem. She was such an active and charming girl, smiling and talking with the staff and happily playing with the children at the center. 
Our team from Cornerstone Church in Americus, Georgia, USA, was privileged to accompany Shanaw to the hospital today to have an echocardiagram made for a final report. The news was good. The test was clear, and the doctor released Shanaw to go home. She and her aunt will be leaving Jerusalem in a couple of days for Jordan and from there to her home in Iraq.

Shanaw's Final Echo Scheduled for Next Week

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. 

Shanaw was first to have her test and everything looked really good. The doctors were very pleased with the progress of her recovery. Shanaw is scheduled for another echo next Monday and if all continues to go well, that will be her final echo. 

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. 

At the house and around the hospital Shanaw has been keeping us on our toes! She is very good at teasing and always makes us laugh. Shanaw, Kale 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 Shanaw and her aunt as they waited for her surgery and as Shanaw recovers. Your support has been appreciated especially by Shanaws family.

Shanaw Leaves the Hospital After Surgery

Posted on Fri, 10/10/2008 - 00:00 by Donna_Petrel

Shanaw began saying her goodbyes today to both the nursing staff who'd taken care of her, and some of the patients she's become friends with. Shanaw is a caring young lady who attracts friends with her personality and her smile. She even went back to the ICU to thank one of her favorite nurses. Her Aunt Sara too had numerous goodbyes to offer after befriending and encouraging some of the young Palestinian mothers with newborns who were going through some very difficult times with their infants. 

When it was time to depart, Shanaw at first said goodbye to the adults, and then to Kale (just five days after her own surgery). Kale informed us that she was going to walk Shanaw to the exit, and so we all left together until the final goodbye at the door. 

Shanaw enjoyed the ride back to Jerusalem, but was especially happy when we were back at the house and she was able to talk to her father on the phone.

Both Shanaw and her aunt were thankful to be finished with their time in the hospital, and back to Jerusalem with their 'surrogate family'. And everyone here was thrilled to see her too, especially Hevi and Sara!

Shanaw is scheduled for her first follow-up echocardiogram on Wednesday. She is doing very well even though she is still tiring easily after her surgery. Please pray for her healing to progress and her strength to return with God's healing hands on her life.

Cake and Smiles All Around

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

Today Mary and I got to visit Shanaw and her aunt Sara at Wolfson Medical Centre. Shanaw is doing really well. Once again, she had a beautiful smile on her face, and she gave us both big hugs. It was good to meet Shanaw and her aunt, who both welcomed me as if I was a life-long friend it was very precious. 

Shanaw was in ICU only a few days ago, but is now in the general ward, and is recovering very well.

One of our staff had baked a cake, and some was sent over for Shanaw with us she was very happy to hear that there was cake to eat! We also visited some of the other Shevet children at Wolfson Medical Centre while there, and picked up Sara and her father. When we went back into Shanaws room after seeing the other children, we found her with a big piece of cake in her hand. She had shared the cake with the other children in her room too, so there were smiles all round. Im looking forward to the next time I see Shanaw, and seeing her further progress.

Shanaw Walks Out of the ICU

Posted on Sun, 10/05/2008 - 01:00 by Donna_Petrel

Just as I was walking into the ICU to visit Shanaw today, she was about to walk out! She was dismissed to the intermediate ICU this afternoon, praise to God! She was able to walk slowly down the hall carrying the heart monitor she is wearing because of the arrythmia she is still experiencing. The nurse explained to me that Shanaw is receiving medication for this.

Shanaw said she was feeling good, and enjoyed a visit from some clowns who dropped by with balloons and some songs for the patients. Then she happily went to work on another piece of art to add to her collection.

Keep praying for this young lady as she recovers. Let us believe together for her arrythmia to be healed speedily in Jesus' name. Pray too for her sweet aunt as she faithfully and lovingly directs Shanaw, helping her along with the strengthening processes of breathing therapy, walking, etc. She is a real blessing for Shanaw, and for us as well.

The Same Beautiful Smile

Posted on Fri, 10/03/2008 - 01:00 by Mary_Dailey

Shanaw seemed very well today. She is still in ICU because she has an irregular heart beat. She is doing well except for this. She was asleep when we got there and woke up quickly when Donna came over to her. She was sitting up in bed and had that same beautiful smile as soon as she saw us. She also had that same sparkle in her eyes. Her Aunt Sara had just fixed her hair, she is a wonderful nurse for Shanaw. We brought her a notebook and some crayons and she drew and colored a picture for the girls at Shevet. We also played some games of x's and o's. She won most of them!

Shanaw was feeling so good that she was eating snacks and a candy bar. There are no other complications except for the irregular heartbeat and it probably won't take long for that to get adjusted. Thanks for all your prayers and support for Shanaw it is because of these that this precious little girl will be able to live a normal life. God is good and Jesus does love all the little children of the world. Each child you pray for and support will reap an eternal reward for you in heaven. May God bless you.

A Visit From Friends

Posted on Tue, 09/30/2008 - 01:00 by Hank_Dannecker

Today the Iraqi parents and children awaiting surgery in Jerusalem wanted to make the journey to Wolfson hospital to visit with Shanaw, her aunt, Ali, and Ali's father. Not only to uplift them but also to lift their own spirits. It's been a long wait for them as they are far from home and loved ones, at times they are coping from day to day. When we reached the hospital spirits were lifted and intimate connections made once again. 

As I made my way into the ICU I first saw Shanaw sitting in a chair by herself with a tray of food sitting in front of her. As I approached her you could see the discomfort on her face but as we made eye contact she began to smile. Her first communication was how bad the food tasted, a very good sign of the healing process taking place within her body. She was also back to doodling with pencil and paper.

The doctors gave a good report and said that she is doing very well in all areas of recovery.

As we were about to leave the hospital, the other children wanted to see Shanaw, so we opened the door for a moment so all could peek in without entering the room.

Joking Around After Yesterday's Surgery

Posted on Mon, 09/29/2008 - 01:00 by Ethan_Knapp

This morning we arrived at the hospital around 11 a.m. to find Shanaw awake, extubated, and already able to to drink small cups of water and slurp soup with little assistance. She said she hated soup and joked that she wanted hummus. Though she's not able to move around too much yet, the irrepressible smile was once again on display, albeit painted around the edges with the occasional wince of pain.

Her post-op examination results and vital statistics all look very good and her blood oxygen level hovered around 97 to 99% which is great. She suppressed laughter with us several times - because it hurt - and spoke intermittently and with evident effort. She insisted that she wasn't tired and didn't want to sleep. From her reclined position on her bed in the ICU, she had a good view and took an avid interest in the flurry of activity all around her, which included an African child named Mercy, a 23 day-old baby awaiting surgery, and Ali, also from Iraq. 
The atmosphere in the ICU was serious as always, but among our Shevet staff, Shanaw's aunt, and Ali's father, the mood was a bit lighter and there were smiles all around. Last night things were very uncertain as Shanaw had come out of surgery only to be sent back to the O.R. three hours later and have her chest reopened because of what turned out to be a loose suture. With morning, however, Shanaw's prognosis was looking very good. While Shanaw's aunt prayed outside (since it is the day before the end of Ramadan), we sat in the ICU and thanked the Lord for mercy He has shown so far, and asked for continued healing. Having one's sternum sawed open and major arteries moved around is no small matter, and there is still a great deal of recovery ahead for Shanaw, presuming there are no further setbacks. Please pray that she will continue on the path that she is on, both in terms of physical recovery, and in terms of spiritual growth, so that many others can have the blessing of knowing this impish little fountain of joy.

Still Smiling On Her Way to the OR

Posted on Sun, 09/28/2008 - 01:00 by Sally_Morton

Sally praying with Shanaw before surgery this morning
My husband Andy and I first met Shanaw last Friday and were immediately impressed by her love of life, her infectious laugh, and her mischievous smile, as she showed us the numerous examples of her talented art work, transforming the walls of Shevet's house into an art gallery.

Early this morning, this bright young lady's face was still illuminated with smiles as she was wheeled through the corridors of the Wolfson Center on her way to the operation theatre. Looking at her, who would guess that she now was facing major heart surgery.

Together with Shanaw's aunt, two temporary volunteers from the USA named Mary and Linda, plus Alex and Ethan from Shevet Achim, we accompanied Shanaw like a press crew rushing after an adored celebrity! Click here to watch it on video. 

It seem apt to quote from Psalm 100:3-"With my whole heart, I will praise His holy name," and we show our grateful thanks to God for giving Shanaw peace at such a time as this. Later in the waiting room we sat and shared in the wait with Shanaw's gracious and lovely aunt.

UPDATE (by Alex Pettett):
Shanaw came through surgery in three-and-a-half hours. This is relatively short for open-heart surgery. All seemed fine until they noticed some blood in her chest tube. She was rushed back to the operating theatre to investigate. The surgeons discovered that one of her stitches had come loose. It was quickly repaired and Shanaw is once again back in the ICU tonight, sedated and on artificial respiration. Praise the Lord for His mercy and provision in her life.