Lamo's Heart Surgery

northern Iraq

Lamo's Homegoing, and Relationships Beyond Borders

Posted on Sun, 11/06/2011 - 14:21 by Stephanie Ventura

To get a glimpse of how delightful it has been to have Lamo with us, watch this video.

Friday was Lamo and her mother

Wearing Yellow and Healing Fast

Posted on Mon, 10/31/2011 - 18:20 by Kristina Kayser

As Jerusalem days grow cooler, our children's clothes grow warmer. This morning, Lamo's sunny smile was matched with a bright yellow sweat suit. She looked like one of those marshmallow Peeps you can buy at Easter. Please refer to exhibit A:

Not even the dark rain clouds hanging over Tel Aviv could dampen her spirits as we approached Wolfson Hospital. Her mother seemed delighted by her daughter's cheerfulness, a refreshing change from previous hospital visits.

While Lamo's fears over car seats and waiting rooms have been conquered, the echo exam still evokes frightened tears. Dr. Alona was once again pleased with her findings. Lamo's heart grows stronger by the day and continues to be free of any unwanted fluid. Having slowly been weaned off of one final medication (Prednisone), Lamo is set to have her final echo this Thursday! The countdown has begun for this beautiful toddler's stay in Israel to end. We rejoice in every mark of progress she has made and give glory to the Father for His faithful healing. 

Lamo's Tears and Triumphs

Posted on Mon, 10/24/2011 - 22:25 by Kristina Kayser

At the tender age of nineteen months, Lamo is easily roused to tears by the unfamiliar. Today, although medically successful, was full of tearful moments. If only Lamo could comprehend that each obstacle she faced today was for her good. (Then again, adults can be just as difficult to reason with on such matters.)

Car seats, to begin with, are not Lamo's cup of tea. These funny contraptions are nothing but a nuisance in her mind, making for a difficult trek to Wolfson. However, like sunshine breaking through the clouds, a smile lit up on her face when the warmth of her mother's arms surrounded her once again. Unfortunately, the joy ended momentarily as Lamo was soon called into see the doctor (a.k.a. "The Lion's Den," or so it would seem). A fresh wave of screams and tears began as Dr. Alona began the examination.

Suffice it to say, the echo showed beautiful results! Lamo's heart and lungs are free of post-surgical fluid buildup, indicating that the steroid medication, Prednisone, is working effectively. For having endured a full repair of the complicated condition called Tetralogy of Fallot, this little girl is doing splendid! She will now be gradually weaned off Prednisone with the hope that her body will continue healing on its own. A follow-up echo is scheduled in one week...this time, may it not be quite so daunting!

The hospital visit ended for Lamo just as it should have--held by the one she loves most, her mother. In retrospect, I learned a poignant lesson from this toddler today: in each of our hearts, perhaps, are underlying fears, and when provoked, we cry out for comfort, for safety, for love. Do we, do I, as Lamo did, find ultimate sanctuary in the arms extended to us? "The eternal God is your refuge, and his everlasting arms are under you" (Deuteronomy 33:27a). May God's perfect love continue to cast out fear in us all. 

Fluid Treated with Steroid, Lamo Returns to Jerusalem

Posted on Wed, 10/19/2011 - 10:49 by Stephanie Ventura

The condition that kept Lamo in the hospital, where water had collected around her heart, has now subsided to the point that the doctor and nurses signed release papers for Lamo and her mother to join us back at the Shevet home. As of now, Lamo will be on one final medication

Disappointing News: Water on Lamo's Heart

Posted on Mon, 10/17/2011 - 22:19 by Donna_West

Lamo's  mother was so happy to see the Shevet team arrive at the hospital today. She was planning to return to Jerusalem with us. Even little Lamo (who had been so shy with me that she would let me hold her for about 20 seconds before reaching for her mother again) reached for me as I was leaving the room. An echo had to be completed before Lamo could be released. 

As we waited our turn, Lamo became playful and was no longer content just to sit on her mother's lap. She wanted to sit at the brightly colored play table. From the play table she pointed to the play house. As her mother was on her way to take her to the play house we were intercepted by the doctor for Lamo's turn on the echo table - certainly not what she was expecting as you can see from the different expressions in the following pictures.
Then the disappointing news came. There is quite a bit of fluid gathering around Lamo's heart and she is not ready to be released yet. Her mother knows the decision is for her good but disappointment seemed to be the theme of their day on the elevator ride back down to the ward. Lord, would you please draw the water away from Lamo's heart?

A Rush of Delight

Posted on Sun, 10/16/2011 - 00:00 by Kristina Kayser

As soon as I rounded the corner into Lamo's hospital room this afternoon, I was greeted by outstretched arms and a smile that lit up the whole room.

It was as if we were long lost friends and finally reunited! It had been one week since I had seen Lamo, but to her it might as well have been one year:)

Her mother was equally happy to have visitors, as evidenced by her warm embrace. I brought greetings of peace to her from all the Kurdish mothers in Jerusalem and struck up a dialogue about Lamo's present situation.

By the looks of it, Lamo is recovering smoothly with very pink skin and a cheerful disposition. I believe Lamo will soon learn how to walk, especially with all the exercise she's doing in her crib--her legs were almost constantly kicking or bouncing up and down.

Bubbles brought a new rush of delight, as evidenced by the picture at left and by the video below. Lamo's mother laughed with joy at her daughter's exuberance!

The only thing that seemed out of place in the room was an IV bag still attached to her body. After finding the pediatrician, I learned that Lamo developed a fever from an unknown source several days ago and is being treated with antibiotics. After the last dose is completed tomorrow, the doctor stated she could be discharged on Tuesday if she remains stable. Her heart is mending well, and no other complications have arisen since surgery.

This was good news for her mom, who is now the only Kurdish mother in the hospital and longing to be surrounded by the familiarity of home again. Nevertheless, she is ever-patient and loving with her little girl, responding to her toddler babble with deep affection.

Having come to Wolfson today with the desire to bless to this family, I instead walked away blessed with their gift of friendship and love. Praise God for the work of healing He is doing in Lamo's heart and body!


The Day After Surgery

Posted on Tue, 10/11/2011 - 00:00 by Stephanie Ventura

It is the day after her major surgery and already Lamo was wide awake with piercing eyes and kicking her feet. When I walked into the ICU, I saw Lamo

The Father's Provision through Surgery

Posted on Mon, 10/10/2011 - 00:00 by Stephanie Ventura

I was walking into the children

Lamo's Surgery Delayed One More Day

Posted on Sun, 10/09/2011 - 16:57 by Tracy Honafius

Lamo and her mom anxiously awaited the doctor