Aya's Heart Surgery

from northern Iraq

Angel or Butterfly? Aya Takes Wings to Home

Posted on Sun, 11/20/2011 - 00:00 by Co-authored

Part 1, by Caroline Brough

It is often said that friends are angels in disguise. I found this to be true with our sweet angel Aya, and her mother. I am so thankful to God that He placed them in the lives of those at Shevet Achim. The pair became a constant source of joy and I know the remembrance of Aya

Final Echo Shows Aya's Healed Heart

Posted on Mon, 11/14/2011 - 23:25 by Stephanie Ventura

As Aya waited in the play area next to the echo room, I managed to sneak a video clip of her fear of a little red stuffed pillow. Her mother laughed and stated that the heart on the pillow resembled a circle, which resembles an eye, and anything having to do with "eyes" makes her afraid. I think the cutest part is toward the end when she sticks her hand out at the pillow while looking at her mother as if to tell her to do something about it. See the video below:

Dr. Alona said her final goodbyes today to little Aya because her last echo turned out wonderfully. The condition of her heart, according to the echo, has done a one hundred eighty degree turnabout, and is headed in a new and healthy direction. Also, the antibiotics that she was given have helped tremendously with her bacterial.

When Aya

Aya Returns to Jerusalem after Hospitalization

Posted on Wed, 11/09/2011 - 23:20 by Donna_West
Aya was feeling much better today, full of her usual antics of mimicking postures and expressions. I told her mother I would speak to the nurse to see if she and Aya were going to be released soon to return to Iraq. When I stepped into the nurse

Suddenly, Aya is Back in Jerusalem

Posted on Mon, 10/31/2011 - 21:58 by Donna_West

There are days and days of waiting here at Shevet  Achim. We wait for the arrival of new children, for appointments, surgeries, doctors reports, releases, and permits for the departure for healed hearts to return home. Always the wait seems to end with a - "then suddenly!" moment. 

Such was the case for Aya's release from the hospital. SUDDENLY, late Thursday afternoon Aya was released from the hospital to return to Jerusalem. She greeted each of us with smiles and eyes full of delight. There was no doubt she was glad to be back to the place she thinks of as home.

As Playful As She Can Be

Posted on Thu, 10/27/2011 - 11:02 by Colin Mayhew

Suhail, our very knowledgeable and skilled hospital guide, led the way to the recovery ward where we met Aya's mother, and her baby daughter Aya. The mother was smiling, and the daughter was wide awake and as playful as one could be with medical devices of one kind and another strapped to one

Riding Her Way Into A Successful Surgery

Posted on Sun, 10/23/2011 - 23:24 by Donna_West

Aya's mother looked very tired when Tinka (new short term volunteer from South Africa) and I arrived at the hospital early this morning. The question on her lips was repeated over and over until we actually left the room on our way to the operating room, "Surgery today?" She knew she had gotten this far once before only to find the surgery had been cancelled.

Aya was very docile but seemed to be aware it was going to be a different sort of day for her. Being on her mother's lap didn't afford her the privilege of her mother's milk, because she was fasting before surgery. She didn't want to be put in that bed with the rails all around it and she wasn't about to lie down or sit in it. So as we followed her while she was being transported down the hallway, she looked a little like a surfer riding a wave as you can see in the video below.

At one point the sheet was slipping under her feet and I asked the transporter to stop long enough to reposition her for the rest of the "ride."

When we arrived in the waiting area, the operating theater was being prepared. Aya locked eyes with one of the medical team as though she was ready to have a conversation with him.

For a little girl who doesn't speak she has a way of communicating what she wants quite well. Next thing we knew, someone came in and turned on the cartoons for her and then she pointed to some balloons in the room which I promptly handed to her.

But when she wanted to get out of the crib to run and play, nobody could be persuaded by the bright eyes, big smiles or the tears. 

But soon it was time for mother and daughter to part company, and then the wait was next. Aya emerged from surgery and arrived in the ICU just shortly after noon, and by about 1 pm Aya's mother took her first big sigh of relief when she got to stand by her daughter's bed and stroke her hair. 

We are so thankful for the goodness of God in each of our lives and especially today for Aya.  Thanks be to God!

Surgery in the Morning?

Posted on Sat, 10/22/2011 - 22:31 by Donna_West
(This blog makes reference to Bilal, who was also admitted for surgery this evening.)
At the end of Shabbat everyone in the household was on a countdown to get the last two children on their way to the hospital for surgeries tomorrow. Some were preparing food to take to the hospital, some preparing a meal to eat before the families of Aya and Bilal left the house.
Once we arrived at the hospital we were greeted by many parents of children from Gaza. The medical staff was waiting to take Aya's and Bilal's vital signs, help the parents shower the children and find the right size pajamas. The admission procedures were nothing new to these two children and their parents as each of them have been through this process more than once now. 
So the big question asked over and over again in Kurdish was, "Tomorrow surgery? Surgery Tomorrow? Surgery in the morning?"  Yes, Lord willing!  May the Lord be willing.