Darbaz All Clear to Return Home

The last couple of days, Darbaz has been asking about his upcoming echocardiogram. Lucky for him, today was the day. He stood ready in the front yard this afternoon wearing his bright orange sneakers he’s proud of. For our one hour car ride to Tel Aviv, Darbaz seated himself proudly in between me and his Mum. On the ride he kept himself occupied by pressing different buttons on my phone trying to find some “Yari’s” (Games) he could play. He spoke several Kurdish sentences to me, assuming that I would understand. With a questioning look and shrugging shoulders, I stumbled over a response using some Kurdish words I recently learned.

When we arrived at the hospital, Darbaz went straight to the elevator, knowing which button needed to be pressed to get on the correct floor. Because there is the holiday of Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) coming up, the waiting area was very busy. Since poor Darbaz is so skinny and has only a few muscles, we made him play with us to get some exercise. We rolled him on the floor in a tube made of soft foam, and made him catch a foam cube. A little later a nurse called Darbaz for a blood test. Unfortunately, the machine to find out if he’s taking the right amount of blood thinner was broken.

When we spoke about Darbaz’s visit to the emergency room last Friday (due to decreased blood-oxygen levels and him not feeling well) she started to check his vital signs. Again his oxygen level wasn’t satisfactory. However, the days events kept moving forward and soon Darbaz was called in by the secretary to enter the room where he was to have his echocardiogram. Darbaz felt grown up enough to jump smoothly onto the examination table by himself. During the procedure, the doctor was carefully checking his heart and lungs. We did our best to distract Darbaz by making funny faces at him. After a long time of evaluation, the doctor finally told us this good news: there is no more fluid around Darbaz’s heart or lungs. And after checking his oxygen saturation again, we got the final OK for Darbaz to be discharged to return home to northern Iraq.

We went to celebrate this news with a tasty lunch shared together in the cafeteria. And Darbaz posed next to the smiling chef statue, which was showing his agreement with Darbaz’s echo results with a great big thumbs up.

In the van heading back home, Darbaz leaned his head on my shoulder while watching a kids cartoon series called “Pingu,” about cute penguin having adventures in icy landscape, on my cell phone. Although this series is from my generation, Darbaz is fascinated by it.

Darbaz needs closely follow-up care in Kurdistan, since he still has a residual ventricular septal defect (a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart). In the future, there might be a possibility that he needs further medical intervention. We praise the Lord for his kindness in giving Darbaz the opportunity to get a fully functioning heart to set him on track for a bright and healthy future. Please pray with us that Darbaz goes back to school soon and that his body continues to get stronger. May the love of God that Darbaz and his Mum experienced at this place impact their lives and their whole family.

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