Mohammed's Heart Surgery


"This is Me!"

Posted on Sun, 06/21/2015 - 23:46 by Sophie

Three years ago Mohammed was a half-year old when he went to Israel for heart surgery,  but now he is growing up so fast. When I first saw him, he was sitting in the car with his father coming to pick us up; I didn't recognize him.


During the time driving, I showed his picture from three-years-ago. "Who is that?" I asked him.  At the beginning he was a little bit shy and only smiling, but soon he opened up to us and exclaimed, "This is me!"


He is a naughty and funny child, he made so many funny faces especially during pictures. You could not stop him, sometimes his father tried to stop him but it didn’t work! He loves running around the house and  chasing his siblings.

He has been doing good recently, but his one leg is shorter than the other, so he needs surgery to fix it. We hope everything will be fine! In a few years, he might need another surgery back in Israel. Please keep praying for this precious life; God's will be done!

When I saw Mohammed's mother, I was so surprised that she was eight months pregnant! She gives birth next month. For a pregnant woman, she really works so hard, but for their culture that is normal. She needs take care whole family (four children ). Her eleven-year-old daughter is her helper. Please pray for her to have the strength to take care of the family and give birth to a child next month.

The next day she prepared the delicious duoma, which is their traditional food. They make it for holiday or  a special occasion. I was so thankful for the chance we could spend with them!  May God bless and be with them!


Mohammed Departs from Israel

Posted on Wed, 08/15/2012 - 20:22 by Donna_Petrel

The day of departure from Jerusalem to Amman is always filled with a mixture of emotions for the mothers. They are experiencing the joy of their child's healed heart and new life, as well as anticipating the return home to their families in Iraq. They are feeling the the desire to comfort and encourage the mothers and children still waiting for their release, and the sorrow of parting from their now-like-family of other mothers and friends among the Shevet staff and volunteers. Almost twelve days ago now, that Friday departure seemed to produce those exact feelings for Mohammed and Hani

Farewell to Sweet Mohammed

Posted on Sun, 08/05/2012 - 22:43 by Kristina Kayser

While sitting at my desk this afternoon, Mohammed

A Clean Bill of Health

Posted on Thu, 08/02/2012 - 00:00 by Kelsey Cannon

This morning, Mohammed and his mother found themselves on their way to the Wolfson Medical Center for what was anticipated to be his last echo here in Israel before being cleared to return home. Always brimming full of kindness and hospitality, this time spurred on by the palatable hope of returning home, Mohammed

An Excellent Report for Mohammed

Posted on Mon, 07/30/2012 - 00:00 by Donna_Petrel

We left Jerusalem this morning with three happy children and three anxious mothers, all headed towards an anticipated "echocardiogram marathon". At about the halfway mark to the hospital, Mohammed became unhappy with his confinement to a car seat, and was not easily satisfied the rest of the journey. Although he fell asleep just before we arrived, he was unsettled to be awakened and moved from his resting place. Once we made our way to the echo clinic, the distraction of all the people and movement kept him entertained as he waited his turn. The "marathon" never happened - today's wait was not a long one. Entering the examination room was acceptable to our little guy, but as soon as he was placed on the table and clothing began to be removed, Mohammed let us know that he was not interested in cooperating. Not even nursing with his mother would soothe his shrill cries of dismay over being forced to endure the doctor's ultrasound probe as she investigated his healing heart. Thankfully for everyone, the echo was short, revealing excellent progress. Dr. Alona reduced his medications and wants to see him for his final echo in one week, praise God! As soon as he was allowed to sit up from the echo, Mohammed's mood improved. He visited the outdoor garden, and back inside, played happily as his friends' exams were completed. We are delighted for this good report for Mohammed and his mother, and pray that the coming week will hold the healing needed so that traveling home is on their near horizon.

Joy Through Mohammed's First Echo

Posted on Mon, 07/23/2012 - 10:00 by Ruth Zellweger

Having little Mohammed and his lovely mother back at our house in Jerusalem has brought much joy to all of us. Mohammed has one of the widest and most open smiles I have ever seen and this is a door opener to many hearts. 

While his smile has been ever present within the past few days, today brought more tears than normal as we headed to Wolfson for his first echocardiogram after his discharge last Thursday. It seems that he, like Hani, is a bit traumatized by his time at the hospital. As soon as he sees a stethoscope or a syringe for his medicine, tears start running down his cute little face. Whenever this happens, Kristina and I are very thankful for his smart, wonderful mother, as she starts to nurse him, bringing peace almost immediately. Despite the many tears, we still found moments where Mohammed was able to relax and bless us with his precious smile.

The results of the Echo were really pleasant. The doctors assume that he will have to undergo a second heart surgery at the age of seven or eight.

After the Echo we had some free time before Mohammed would have his blood tested at the nurses station. We decided to spend our time wisely...and went to the beach. For Mohammed, the beach was certainly not love at first sight, but for his mother it was. Although knowing that her long dress would get wet, she walked deeper and deeper into the water, posing for pictures several times. Mohammed watched everything from his secure place on her arm, but as soon as she put him down to let him feel the water, the tears began to fall. It seems that the waves are one of the unpredictable things he doesn

Mohammed Discharged!

Posted on Thu, 07/19/2012 - 08:35 by Kelsey Cannon

Mohammad was released to return home to Jerusalem today. The small welcoming committee that traveled to Wolfson was greeted by the smiling and exuberant faces of both Mohammad and his mother. I was touched and absolutely amazed at how this mother, who has been through so much watching her precious baby boy go through the process of heart surgery, extended such a warm and gracious welcoming of hugs and kisses to me, a new member of Shevet and a complete stranger to her. It was a testament to her warmth of character and her excitement over reaching such an important milestone in her son

Mohammed Moves Forward in Recovery

Posted on Tue, 07/17/2012 - 10:00 by Kristina Kayser

After spending nearly one week in ICU, mostly due to a fever, Mohammed was transferred to the children's department yesterday afternoon! I found him and his mother resting in bed when I arrived at Wolfson this morning. His mother's face brightened as Donna, Catherine, and I approached them. Her kind and generous spirit is unabated. Mohammed looked as sweet as ever with his big brown eyes and soft curls. It was also apparent that long days and sleepless nights have been wearying on both mother and son.

Mohammed is making progress in his recovery, albeit a bit restless. IV antibiotics were completed today, and his temperature remained afebrile. Medical staff are monitoring him closely, however, after some difficulty in removing the internal wiring of a heart monitor. Alarm was raised later this afternoon when his heart rate rose to nearly 200 beats per minute. Initially, his nurse thought it indicative of a problem related to the monitor wiring or a fever. Mohammed was simultaneously screaming with all his might. After some time, we were relieved to watch his pulse decrease to normal limits while nursing. This baby is eating his way to health and has earned himself the reputation of always being hungry! He soothed himself into a deep sleep that no hospital raucous could disturb.

As we sat by their bedside, Mohammed's mother voiced her longing to return to Jerusalem quickly for some peace and quiet. Despite her noisy surroundings, she has been spending a lot of time thinking. Now it was time to share those thoughts. God was gracious to help us answer each of her questions one by one until her mind was more at rest. Most of her concerns pertain to Mohammed, naturally, because of her great love for him. We spent a lot of time discussing the likelihood of Mohammed needing an additional surgery before the age of ten. Last week's operation was successful, but in the future, surgeons will replace the current artificial conduit in his heart with a new one. Hopefully, this final repair will last long into adulthood. Mohammed's mother accepted this news graciously, gazing tenderly at her baby boy. 

I miss Mohammed's big smile and his mother's warm presence in our home, and I pray it won't be long before they rejoin our community in Jerusalem. If all goes well in the coming days, we may be able to welcome them home by week's end! As we kissed Mohammed and his mother goodbye, she found one more way to demonstrate hospitality with a bag of ripe purple plums. Just as we all enjoyed the sweetness of this gift, may Mohammed and his mother continue to "taste and see that the Lord is good!" (Psalm 34:8) 

A Mother's Joy

Posted on Wed, 07/11/2012 - 23:08 by Ruth Zellweger

We came today to visit little Mohammed one day after his open heart surgery. In what condition would we find him? When I entered the waiting room in front of the ICU, his bright smiling mother came to me. Since Kristina was looking for a parking spot and couldn

Mohammed's Surgery: Answered Prayers

Posted on Tue, 07/10/2012 - 22:53 by Donna_Petrel

Our early morning drive to the hospital produced perfect timing to see Mohammed and his mother just before they left for the operating room. We found him sleeping peacefully beside his mother, who showed visible signs of tears before our arrival. We learned that Mohammed cried much of the night because he was not allowed to nurse after two o'clock, thus his mother was quite tired before this intense day began. The medical staff allowed her to carry him all the way to the pre-operation room where we waited for only a few minutes before the OR nurse came to take him from her arms. The tears were already flowing by then, and the swiftness of the parting was hard to bear. 

Once upstairs, Mohammed's mother chose a specific waiting area and made herself comfortable as phone calls from family in Iraq began to punctuate the lengthy watch for Mohammed's reappearance.

After about an hour and a-half, Dr. Tamir passed through the room, and noting our group seated together, explained to Kristina that Dr. Sasson had decided which of the three possibilities was the best option for repairing the unique complications found in Mohammed's heart. As a nurse, she was then able to explain in simple terms to Mohammed's mom exactly how her son's heart was being operated on, using online images of heart defects for optimal understanding. The relief of more information brought with it more tears, but continued encouragement from those of us beside her, and caring communication from her home steadied her for the rest of the wait. 

Around one-thirty I left for the cafeteria for two more trays of food so everyone could eat. I noticed Dr. Sasson approaching, and was anxious to ask him the outcome of the surgery. He said everything had gone well, and he believed Mohammed would be fine. Further, he stated that Mohammed should be upstairs in about fifteen minutes. With this news I changed direction and began looking for Mohammed's mother. My coworkers had coaxed her out-of-doors at last, and she hurried inside to hear the news of Mohammed's arrival. Already her expression was one of pending joy, and she was on the phone to her husband. Soon Mohammed was wheeled past us toward the ICU, and tears of relief and joy mixed with prayers of thanks to God erupted from her lips. Our hearts were filled with gratitude to God for His mercy, and we entered her joy as we followed the gurney to the door of the ICU. 

Having seen her son's face again, knowing he had come through his surgery well, Mohammed's mother broke her fast soon after a time of prayer. We shared lunch together with Hani's mom while the ICU staff settled Mohammed into his initial recovery phase, and after about forty-five minutes we were allowed to see him. He had a peaceful look on his face, and roused at the sound of his mother's voice. As she laid her hand on his head and spoke to him, it appeared he was responding with a hint of his adorable grin, even though it seemed impossible to imagine! But there's no denying that this mother and son have a very deep love for one another, and the strength of that love brought forth a definite response between them. Praise to God for His marvelous design of the body in its responses to medical intervention, as well as its responses to the love language shared by those who fully love each other. Observing a life-saving miracle brought forth a response from us too, one also of love, directed toward our heavenly Father who showed His mercy by giving Mohammed a new heart today.