Yasna's Heart Surgery

northern Iraq

Going Forward with Exuberance

Posted on Sun, 06/09/2013 - 19:45 by Anna Gilmour

We are so happy for Yasna, who came to Jerusalem just under six weeks ago and has now completed her surgery and returned home to Kurdistan. Yasna tended to be quiet and reserved in the week before her surgery, but when she returned to Prophets' Street from her stay at the hospital, her vibrant, yet mellow demeanor beamed such personality that it could not be missed. We had a chance to get to know her better once the procedure was complete and she was confidently on the road to healing.

Yasna made good friends while she was at Shevet Achim, as four other young girls

Hallas! Finished!

Posted on Mon, 06/03/2013 - 20:45 by Sophie H.

Today was an unusual day. We had five families who had to go to Wolfson hospital for their Echo appointments. Yasna was one of these children. She is a sweet and shy girl who is always closely followed her mother

A Wish Fulfilled

Posted on Tue, 05/28/2013 - 02:32 by Jesse Tilman

Yasna received another echocardiogram today as she is close to being cleared to go home. She is doing so well, this may be her second to last. She is off all of her medicines and the next echo is scheduled for Monday. Today the cold of the doctor

Yasna Returns to Jerusalem

Posted on Mon, 05/20/2013 - 20:29 by Ruth Zellweger

The waiting during the times of recovery after open heart surgery can be challenging - for the parent as well as the child. It has been so in Yasna

Yasna: A Beautfiul Testament

Posted on Thu, 05/09/2013 - 18:52 by Sarah Powell

I entered the hospital today to find Yasna sleeping in the children's ward! Her rapid recovery is amazing everyone. At this rate, she will be moving back into the Shevet home in no time.

Shortly after I arrived in her room, she awoke groggily. While she cleared the sleep out of her eyes, her mother and I walked down to the cafeteria to pick up lunch for the two of them because it was almost noon. When we came back to the room, loaded with plates of food, her mother and I were disappointed to find that Yasna was not interested in eating anything. While her mother ate, I blew bubbles for her. A small smile crept up the corners of her mouth as she silently watched the colorful orbs falling all around her. Whenever I caught one of the bubbles on the wand, I would hold it next to her hand so that she could lift her little fingers to pop it. Though the sparkle in her eye showed her joy, her weak smile showed her exhaustion. A little while later, she began to grow restless and started crying on and off until she was able to fall asleep again.

While I had been playing bubbles with Yasna, her mother had gotten a call from her husband. The whole time they talked, I kept thinking how joyful both sounded. They definitely have been very blessed with a quick and smooth process so far. When her mom finally said goodbye to her husband, she looked at her phone and said,

Yasna Breathing on Her Own

Posted on Wed, 05/08/2013 - 22:54 by Ruth Zellweger

In the course of the morning we received wonderful news from the hospital: Yasna had been freed from the respirator and was breathing on her own! A few hours later Kristina, Muna, and Marilyn went to visit her and Kawyar at the ICU. Yasna's mother was sitting beside her bed and tried to comfort her daughter. According to the doctor she was doing great; but Yasna seemed not to be too happy. From experience, however, we know that the first post-op day is a day with many transitions - and it is not unusual for children to feel unwell. Her mother and our Shevet friends tried to cheer up Yasna as much as possible. The doctor told Kristina that her chest tube would be removed this evening, and if she continues to heal well that she will be transferred to the children's ward tomorrow! By the time they left, Yasna was sleeping peacefully.  It had been a day with many impressions for her. Please continue to lift up Yasna and her tired young mother, who is a wonderful example of unceasing love and care.

Bubbles, Tears, and Hearts

Posted on Tue, 05/07/2013 - 22:30 by Sarah Powell

Today, God gets all the glory for another little life made whole. Yasna received a full heart repair this morning with no complications, and she is doing great! Her mother is doing well also.

When we first arrived at the hospital early this morning, Yasna and her mother had already been moved out of their room and were sitting anxiously in the pre-op waiting room to be called in for surgery. As we walked into the room, Yasna's mother's face lit up with a beautiful smile where just moments before her brows had been furrowed with worry. After an exchange of greetings and kisses, we pulled out the bubbles. There is nothing like bubbles to distract an anxious child. Just minutes after the fun began, though, the nurses came to wheel Yasna off to surgery. Her mother was able to go in with her to keep her calm until she was fully asleep. When her mother returned to us in the hallway, tears gleamed in her eyes, but she kept her composure as we wandered slowly through the hallways to return to the room where the other two mothers were staying. When we came to the comparative privacy of that room, the tears began to flow.

On the sidelines, I watched a beautiful scene unfold. Yousif's mother, whose son has had his surgery, and Kawyar's mother, whose daughter would go into her surgery just after Yasna

Yasna's Sudden Advance Toward Surgery

Posted on Mon, 05/06/2013 - 21:44 by Kristina Kayser

Some children arrive in Israel only to wait for weeks, sometimes months, before their surgery date. For others, like Yasna, there is barely enough time to become acquainted before the operation takes place. This adorable toddler made her grand entrance into Israel one week ago and received some surprising and very welcome news today. Originally, Yasna was scheduled to have a diagnostic catheterization of her heart this Wednesday, with surgery most likely the following week. In an unexpected turn of events, however, Yasna was invited to Wolfson today for a welcome surprise!

I was at the hospital with two other Kurdish families when Dr. Alona requested that we bring Yasna in as soon as possible. It was decided that she did not require a cath after all. Moreover, there happened to be an opening in the OR schedule for tomorrow morning! Several volunteers helped Yasna and her mother quickly prepare and leave for Tel Aviv. When they arrived, I was outside waiting, thankful to share in this good news. Yasna's mother was overjoyed and shared her husband's excitement with me as well: "He called me four times during the car ride just to say how happy he was that the surgery is tomorrow!" The next several hours of preliminary tests and intermittent waiting provided a beautiful opportunity for Yasna and I to become good friends. I am once again amazed at the sweetness found in a child's trust. And one of the reasons I love life at Shevet so much is for the joy of experiencing childhood all over again. Drawing animals, playing hide-and-go-seek, and blowing bubbles, were just a few of the ways Yasna and I bonded today. Sidenote: Yasna takes bubble-blowing quite seriously, if you couldn't tell by her look of determination in this photo.

Fun was put on timeout, however, as soon as the nurse called Yasna into the room for a needle poke. A blood sample had to be taken and an IV line started. Screams could be heard down the halls as Yasna expressed her fear and the strength of her lungs. Her mother remained calm and soothing throughout. While only nineteen years of age, she is a very confident and good mother. Sitting in her mother's lap afterwards provided just enough security to allow the pediatrician to finish her physical exam. When everything was finished, Yasna remained glued to her mother's hip and at peace. The presence of two other Kurdish families brought an extra degree of comfort as well.

I praise God for His kindness towards Yasna and this accelerated journey towards a new heart. Please pray for this precious girl as she goes in for the full repair of her heart tomorrow. It will take at least several hours for the surgical team to complete the correction of Tetralogy of Fallot. Nevertheless, I trust that God is able to provide all the wisdom and skill needed to give Yasna a beautiful new heart.                


Ready for Full Repair

Posted on Fri, 05/03/2013 - 00:44 by Ruth Zellweger

Yasna was one of our four Kurdish children that went for an echo today at Wolfson Hospital. When it was her turn for the echo she started crying and could not be calmed down. So the doctors decided to sedate her. Yasna did not fall asleep right away, but was in a happy and talkative mood so that the echo could be performed without any problems.

The cardiologists could see that since her shunt procedure in 2011 her arteries have opened up well and that she is ready now for the full repair of her heart. But because the shunt was not done by the doctors at Wolfson, they consider a catherization in the following week to visualize all of Yasna

A Long and Full First Day

Posted on Tue, 04/30/2013 - 23:51 by Ruth Zellweger

Yasna and her young mother arrived in Israel yesterday evening; they had left their home in Kurdistan to find healing for Yasna