Shkar's Heart Surgery

northern Iraq

Shkar Begins His Journey Home

Posted on Tue, 09/02/2008 - 07:52 by Keleigh_Glisson
Sunday morning Shkar and his mother went to the hospital for what would be Shkars final echo. He had one last stitch that needed to be taken out and then he was cleared to go home. Sunday evening we received word from our workers in Jordan that someone would be able to travel to the border in order to escort them to Amman. I think Shkar was more excited than his mother once he found out that he would begin his trip back to Iraq the following morning.
They were scheduled to leave Shevet at 2:00 PM, but our Jordan workers were ready earlier than expected so their departure from the Shevet house was moved forward. We gathered around the courtyard and prayed for them one last time. As usual it was a tearful goodbye.
Before his surgery, Shkar and his mother arrived in Amman and crossed over into Israel with all of the other children that are now staying at the Shevet house. Because the problem with Shkars heart proved relatively easy to repair the doctors were able to fit him into the surgery schedule as soon as he arrived in Israel. As Shkar and his mother leave the group that has been their family over the last six weeks, the other children continue to wait for the day they will be called in for their surgeries.

We all stood outside in the street and watched Shkar and his mother drive away, not going back inside until their car was out of sight. It was reported that twenty minutes after Shkar and his mother arrived to the Israel/Jordan border they were already in the hands of our Shevet workers in Jordan. Usually this crossing takes a couple of hours.

Shkar and his mother will remain in Jordan until a flight to Iraq is available. Praise God for Shkars health, for quick and safe travels, and continue to pray for traveling mercies as they complete their long journey.

Shkar's Final Echo Scheduled for Sunday

Posted on Tue, 08/12/2008 - 07:52 by Keleigh_Glisson
Shkar was released from the hospital a week ago. Since then, he has been staying at the Shevet house in Jerusalem. He was blessed with a quick recovery. A few days ago I walked into the dining room and found him not feeling well. When I asked his mother what was wrong she said, nothing and then explained that after surgery he wasnt able to eat large amounts. Now that he is able to eat he tends to overeat and then feels sick afterwards.

We went to the hospital on Sunday for what Shkar and his mother hoped would be his last echocardiogram. Despite the fact that he doesnt have any fluid in his lungs and is doing really well, the doctors decided to keep him in Israel for another week as a precaution. This Sunday he will return to the hospital for what we think will be his final echo. Following this, he should be able to go home. Thank you for your prayers. Please continue to pray for Shkars recovery and safe travels as he and his mother prepare to make their journey home.


Shkar Up and Walking Around

Posted on Tue, 08/12/2008 - 01:00 by Keleigh_Glisson

When I arrived to the hospital today Shkar was sitting up in his bed eating lunch. The minor surgery that took place yesterday was a success. He and his mother are very thankful that Shkars surgery is over and he is doing well. Today Shkars family called and he and his mother were able to share the good news with those back home.

Shkar was anxious to get out of bed and get moving, so his mother asked the nurse if they could go for a walk. As I was leaving the hospital I was able to snap a picture of them as they made their way back to his room. Please continue to pray for his recovery.

Shkar Recovering Quickly, but in Need of Second Surgery

Posted on Sun, 08/10/2008 - 07:52 by Keleigh_Glisson

I went to the hospital today to take Kale in for her first echocardiogram and to check on Shkar and his mother. I was surprised to find Shkar out of the ICU and in the ward. When I walked in he was sitting up, playing with legos while his mother sat at his feet. His mother informed me that tomorrow Shkar is scheduled to have another surgery. Later I was able to ask the doctor for more information and she explained that one of Shkars arteries has expanded and needs repair. Tomorrow Shkar will undergo a second, minor surgery to fix this problem. Please continue to pray for Shkar and his mother.

Shkar Recovering After Successful Surgery

Posted on Wed, 08/06/2008 - 07:52 by Keleigh_Glisson

When I arrived to the hospital today I found Shkar's mother pacing the halls. She was very worried about her son. A few minutes later Shanaw came out of her catheterization deflecting Shkar's mother's attention towards her for a few minutes. Once Shanaw was situated in her room Shkar's mother and I made our way down to an area near the elevators where patients come up from the operating room. At this time, Shkar had been in surgery for a little over five hours. After we'd sat there for awhile Dr. Katz walked by and informed us that Shkar's surgery was over and that they would be transferring him to the ICU within the hour. An hour later we saw the doctors turn the corner as they wheeled Shkar towards the ICU.

The nurses told us that the doctors were able to do a full repair on Shkar's heart. They also told us that he would be in a medically induced coma for the rest of today, but tomorrow they will attempt to remove his breathing tube. All things considered, Shkar's mother is doing really well, however, tomorrow Hevi and Shanaw will be released from the hospital leaving her alone there for the weekend. Please continue to pray for Shkar as his body begins to heal.

Shkar Admitted for Surgery Tomorrow

Posted on Tue, 08/05/2008 - 01:00 by Keleigh_Glisson

Yesterday, Hank, Erica, Amy and I were able to take the children to the beach in Tel Aviv. Most of them had never seen an ocean before. It was amazing to me how this group of children reacted differently compared with previous groups. The last group of kids ran for the ocean, but this group required a little prodding. With every childs hand clinched tightly to an adult, our toes entered the water. With time each child began to feel more comfortable, but none of them went in past their knees. Their mothers also didnt want to go in the water. Instead, they enjoyed watching the kids from their seats in the shade.

Initially Shkar didnt even want to put his feet in, but by the time we left he was having so much fun that he didnt want to leave. He especially enjoyed jumping the waves.

Hevi and Shanaw were scheduled to be admitted for catheterization on Tuesday leaving Shkars mother as the sole woman from the group staying in Jerusalem. She was not looking forward to this, but Tuesday morning as Hevi and Shanaw were walking out the door we received a call from the hospital requesting that Shkar come for surgery. His surgery is scheduled to take place on Wednesday. Please pray as he and his mother prepare for his long awaited operation.


Long, But Fun Day at the Hospital for Shkar

Posted on Sun, 07/27/2008 - 07:52 by Anja_Kell

Shkar went to the hospital today in order for the nurses to determine the result of his PPD test. It turned out to be negative. He and his mother waited at the hospital for a few hours while Hevi and Shanaw had their echocardiograms. He really enjoyed playing with Sara and Shanaw in the little playhouse in the hospital waiting room. He also seemed more active and happier today than in the past few days. It was really fun to goof around with him. The doctors told us that he might not need a catheterization before his surgery, but they will know more in the weeks to come.

Shkar Comes Through His First Day at Hospital

Posted on Tue, 07/22/2008 - 01:00 by Anja_Kell

Today was a big day for Shkar as we went to the hospital for the first time (note the patient identification bracelet he is proudly wearing tonight). He was full of smiles throughout the taxi ride although I could tell as we approached the hospital he was slightly nervous. Whilst we waited for the echo he played with another child being helped by Save A Child's Heart, and even tonight he was still avidly exploring new playthings.

Shkar was very brave during the echo but was slightly tearful when having a blood test and injections. The doctors were very friendly and welcoming and gave Shkar some stickers to cheer him up. He found these stickers funny and laughed at them.

Shkar came out of the x-ray smiling and was cheerful as we shared a meal back in the Shevet center in Jersualem this evening.

He has been playing on the office chairs back at Shevet since then. He discovered how to spin on them in the hospital today!

Shkar Reaches Israel En Route to Surgery

Posted on Mon, 07/21/2008 - 01:00 by Hannah_Walsh

Today was an exciting day for six-year-old Shkar and his mom as they crossed from Jordan into Israel. The journey was long but we all arrived safely in Jerusalem and are ready for Shkar's first echo tomorrow morning.

Shkar spent the last week in Jordan waiting for his visa to enter Israel. Our Jordan coordinator Dirk and his family hosted them, and report that Shkar is a quiet boy who likes drawing and playing with Legos.