Zhino's Heart Surgery

northern Iraq

Goodbye, Zhino!

Posted on Thu, 08/09/2007 - 07:54 by Dirk_Kleinloh

We were so happy to see Zhino and Younis back here in Jordan safe and sound after their surgeries and their time in Haifa. The mothers were full of praise for the friendliness and love of the hospital staff and the church.

Zhino shows her scar to everybody... and her toy cat, which she received from the hospital staff when she left. Both children were welcomed back here by the neighbour children. They were wanting to go home so much and this morning we left at 08:00 to take them back to the airport. Zhinos mother and Younis mother say thank you to all of you from all of their heart!

On the Town

Posted on Sun, 08/05/2007 - 07:54 by Lee_Liang_Chian
Last night, Zhino's mother was rather concerned that the scar on Zhino's chest may burst open as it had done so before. Even though I assured her that the wound was healing well and that the scab which came off was a good sign of the healing, she could not be consoled until this morning when I brought them back to Rambam Hospital, where the doctors all told her the same: Zhino's surgical wound is healing well. That put Zhino's mother at ease at last, and she was in the mood to go for some grocery shopping with me thereafter. Earlier in the day, as we could not get a taxi from our apartment, we had to take a shared taxi to Hagefen and then get onto a public bus.

So Zhino had an interesting day, first on the bus and then at the supermart.

In the afternoon, the landlord Abu Amir and his wife Mary invited us over to their lovely apartment for a delicious home-cooked meal. We thank GOD for friends who look after us well!

The Drama Queen

Posted on Thu, 08/02/2007 - 07:54 by Lee_Liang_Chian
Yesterday, both Zhino and Younis were officially discharged from Rambam

Hospital, and are now back at the apartment in Haifa. They have a week to rest and relax till next Wednesday 8 August at 8am, when they will need to return to Rambam for their 'final' echoes before heading back to Iraq.

Zhino is recovering very well after her operation, and while she was at the hospital, her main sources of entertainment were the television and the shows put up by groups of clowns visiting Rambam--a hard act for me to follow through and provide for once back at the apartment!

But Zhino herself is a "drama queen," speaking in Kurdish with exaggerated gestures and all, as if to imitate me when I try to communicate with her mom. If
only I can understand what this chatty little girl is trying to say, I believe she is entertainment personified!

This morning, as she watched how I coaxed Younis to eat his cereals using the camera to capture him taking his breakfast, Zhino also wanted part of the action. She pointed to Younes' plate of cereals, chattering away in Kurdish and nodding her head up and down, and then pointing to herself. Message understood. Zhino has her plate of cereal as well as her photo taken (see above).

Meanwhile Um Zhino seems rather stressed with the pressure of having to take responsibility to care for Younis (besides her own active daughter) when it
is time for Um Younis to deliver her baby, who is due in a week's time. Somehow it has been agreed between the two ladies that they will return to Iraq together only after Um Younis and her new-born baby (her second child) are deemed stable to leave Israel.

Please pray for Um Zhino to be able to handle the 'expected' responsibility well, and that she will not feel sidelined when much attention is being given to
Um Younis who is at the final stage of her pregnancy.


Zhino's Halter

Posted on Tue, 07/31/2007 - 07:54 by Lee_Liang_Chian
Today Zhino heroically showed me the two staples at the top of her chest where the surgery wound had opened up during her shower yesterday. Another echo - cardiogram is required before she can be discharged from Rambam, and although the cardiology department's schedule seemed tight, I met Dr. Orman who agreed to give her the checkup today. The echo was done swiftly and the result was very good.

Next, Zhino was wired up with a halter which she has to wear for the next 18 hours or so. This contraption will monitor her heart and body for the various vital signs. The wires connect with a tiny cassette recorder which is put inside a cute black and white spotted animal bag which is strapped onto Zhino's back. (The bag is pictured at the bottom of today's blog entry.) She has to keep the wires attached to her body, but the little animal and its contents can be unstrapped when she sleeps or rests.

Because Zhino has seen photos of Omar who had gone through a similar process, she didn't make a big fuss of the ordeal. I'm appreciating more and more the usefulness of the digital camera with its big LCD screen for playback of both photos and video clips. Thanks be to GOD our Creator who has inspired man to create this modern invention!


Beaming with Joy

Posted on Sun, 07/29/2007 - 07:54 by Lee_Liang_Chian
When I visited Zhino at Rambam this morning, both mother and child were beaming with joy and eager to report on how well Zhino is recovering from her surgery.

Nevertheless Zhino would start to whine very dramatically and cling onto her mom's little finger each time the doctors approached to check her!

As Omar was back for his check-up at Rambam, he visited Zhino and together with Younis, the boys compared their battle scars with Zhino's relatively fresh one. Then all three heroically showed off their trophies and shouted something which sounded like "Shuttle!", meaning "brave."

Breathing On Her Own

Posted on Thu, 07/26/2007 - 07:54 by Pastor_Philip_Saad
Praise the Lord, Zhino had a successful surgery. Her recovery was fast. The oxygen machine was disconnected in the evening of the same day, and Zino started breathing on her own. Right after she was awakened, she asked for LC and for Uncle Philip. Today I visited her and she was doing fine and happy to see me. Zhinos mother is thankful to God for Zhinos recovery.

Successful Surgery

Posted on Wed, 07/25/2007 - 07:54 by Lee_Liang_Chian
The doctors told us that the operation on Zhino this morning was successful, and the procedures were carried out as planned. The next phase depends a lot on Zhino's post-op recovery.
Zhino lies sedated in the ICU after her operation to repair the defects in her heart. Her still, small form is a far cry from the pre-op spunky girl who often expresses herself with great dramatic effect, such as yesterday when she showed me the intravenous tube attached to her hand.
Um Zhino is much more cheerful today, as the "most difficult part" (ie. the intricate surgery) is now over. Besides, Dr. Barel had personally explained to her some details of Zhino's condition and the procedures needed, when he dropped by at the ward yesterday evening. And of course, it was also a photo opportunity for Zhino with her surgeon-hero!


Posted on Tue, 07/24/2007 - 07:54 by Lee_Liang_Chian
Today it was Zhino's turn to be admitted to Rambam Hospital. She and Um Zhino had to wake up a few hours earlier than their usual time, so that they could be at the hospital by 8.00am this morning.

In the waiting room, Zhino wanted to pose for the camera to show how brave she was gonna be. Then in the doctor's darkened room, Um Zhino had to hold down the restless and fretful child so that the echocardiogram could be done accurately.

Zhino's big eyes were round with wonder when she heard the strange sounds of her heart amplified! She kept saying, "Halas!" ("Finish!") and scrambled to have her clothes on once the echo was confirmed over, whereupon she was rewarded with stickers galore and a pretty star pendant.

Zhino's oxygen level is relatively good-- in the 90's. This belies the fact that she has a hole between the two ventricles (chambers) of her heart, and a narrowed pulmonary artery, besides two other minor defects. Beginning at 7:00 a.m. tomorrow, the doctors will perform the operation to close the holes, as well as to widen the pulmonary artery.

Pray also for peace and patience to be upon Um Zhino, who in recent days has been challenged by Zhino's restlessness and demands.

UPDATE: Today at 5:00 p.m., we met with the surgeon, Dr. Barel. He explained tomorrow's operation to Um Zhino via an Arab parent in the same ward. Um Zhino felt more at peace after meeting with the surgeon.


Surgery Scheduled for Wednesday

Posted on Mon, 07/23/2007 - 07:54 by Pastor_Philip_Saad

Yesterday evening was a very special night at Haifa Baptist Church. It was a great time of praise and worship. The word preached was from Acts 2:14-21. At the end of the sermon my wife Violet shared a testimony about God speaking to people through dreams and visions.

Then Um Zhino shared about a voice she heard, while she was still waiting in Amman for the visa. She heard Jesus telling her, "Ahlan wasahlan." ("Welcome, welcome.") She knew that was Jesus telling her that she would get the visa and enter Israel for her daughters surgery.

Zhino will be admitted to Rambam Medical Center on Tuesday. Her heart surgery is scheduled for this Wednesday. Please pray for a successful surgery and a quick recovery.

Death at Home as Zhino Awaits Surgery

Posted on Tue, 07/17/2007 - 07:54 by Pastor_Philip_Saad
Um ("mother of") Zhino received today the bad news from her husband in Iraq that a relative was killed in a terrible bombing. She was crying. Um Younis is worried as well because she comes from the same city.

Yesterday both of these precious ladies with their children attended our service and came forward for prayers. It was a great time of worship. The title of the message was Jesus the hope of the world.

Please join us in praying that many in the Middle East will come to know that faith in God brings life, rather than death.