Andi's Heart Surgery

Kurdistan, norther Iraq

Andi's Farewell

Posted on Sun, 08/23/2015 - 22:01 by Emily Peck

It was a sad but sweet farewell this week for Andi and his mother. It was sad for us because they have become very dear to our hearts and we will miss them a lot, and of course sweet because they finally get to go home to their family that they haven’t seen in months. We are happy to have been able to care for these two, and their presence will be greatly missed.


We have been so blessed to get to know Andi and his mom during their stay here. They are both very sweet, and it is obvious how much they love each other. Andi is very attached to his mom, and would often cry if separated from her. After his surgery though, that seemed to lessen. We could see that he was feeling better. He crawled more, talked more, laughed more, and was generally more lively than before. He had more strength in his body after the surgery, but was also stronger in spirit.   


It has been amazing to see the strength of both Andi and mom through all of this. To come so far, and to be away from everything and everyone familiar for months is not an easy thing to do. We have been truly blessed to get to know this little boy and his mother. We will miss the beautiful smile that would brighten our day (if we could coax it out of him). We pray that God will bless the precious life of this wonderful little boy, and that he would grow up strong and sure. We also pray that God would claim Andi’s life as His own, and forever hold him in His hands.


Sweet Andi Discharged From Hospital

Posted on Mon, 08/17/2015 - 22:56 by Rebekah Yang

Our sweet baby Andi had his final echo done by Dr.Tamir, and the result showed in general that his heart is doing well after a complete AV repair. He does, however, need follow up by a local Iraqi doctor.

We are thankful to God for healing Andi’s heart within this short period of time. Soon we’ll go to wave him and his mum to say good–bye. Would you please join us in giving thanks to God for our cute and sweet Andi. May both of them return to Kurdistan with rejoicing in their hearts. May they be reminded of God's grace through the Messiah. May they will always keep wonderful and lovely memories of their time in Israel.      


Andi’s Echo

Posted on Mon, 08/10/2015 - 21:20 by Emily Peck

Today as we headed off to the hospital for Andi’s echo, I could see and feel how hopeful his mother was. Her face was shining with anticipation and hopefulness that Andi’s echo would be good and that they would get news of whether or not they could go home soon.

It was a bit of a wait since there were a few kids in front of us, and we ourselves had four kids who needed echos. But as we sat there I was amazed at her calmness and strength. When we went in for Andi’s echo he started to fuss a bit, but his mom was soon able to calm him down and they proceeded with his echo. We were all paying close attention to any signs of worry, but there didn’t seem to be any concern. We left the room and our nurse Alexa talked with the doctor to find out how Andi’s doing. They said that Andi will have one more echo next week, and then if all is well, he can go home.

When Andi’s mother heard that her face beamed. She was so happy. She hugged Alexa and I and told us “thank you” again and again. What an honor to see the joy and happiness in this dear mother, to know that her son is doing well and that they will, God willing, be able to go home soon.

Another praise is that after some difficulties, and after contacting several different pharmacies, we were finally able to get a certain medication for Andi to supply him for six months.

Please pray with us that Andi’s echo next week will be good, and that they will finally be able to go home to their family.

“Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous ones; and shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart.” - Psalm 32:11


Andi Back From Hospital

Posted on Thu, 08/06/2015 - 17:43 by Austin Cords
After much back and forth from ICU to Children’s Ward, it appears Andi is healthy and ready to return to Shevet Achim. Andi returned home with a new medication which seems to be stabilizing his heart-rate well. He will need to take this initially for the next six months. One of our nurses will be soon finding out what the cost and availability for said medication would be in Kurdistan.
The day went by well for him. In the morning he had a bath and then was greeted by a bubble-blowing clown.
When first placed in the car seat to head back, he was very unhappy but quickly adjusted and nodded off to sleep with his mom for the whole ride.
...well almost the whole ride.

Loved By Everyone

Posted on Sun, 08/02/2015 - 20:16 by Konrad Wiedmer

On Monday of last week, Andi was admitted to the hospital due to an arrhythmia of his heart, which needed to be monitored and treated by special medications. This cute little baby boy had to stay in the Intensive Care Unit for close observation. Praise God, he was released from the ICU to the children’s ward this afternoon. Even when he was in the ICU, his mother was in very good spirits and was happy to see Anna, Rebekah, and me. Of course, we were also very happy to see them both.

How joyful it was to see sweet Andi fed by his mother. He was very happy and was smiling, trying to say something and even moving around in his bed. I have never seen him so lively and cheerful.

As I showed pictures of Andi to his mother, she said she would like to have them. Indeed, they are taking a close look at, as this cute boy from Kurdistan is a demonstration of God's healing power. Before the surgery, Andi cried very often, and it was so hard to get a smile from him. Today, we received so many of his beautiful smiles.

Also, I realized how the nurses in the ICU interact with him. I’ve seen already two of them interacting and taking time to play with him both last week and today. It is amazing to see how much love he receives in the hospital.

How much more is he loved by his Father in heaven, who watches over all his children daily. Please pray for a constant heart beat for Andi and the ongoing recovery from his surgery. May mother and son experience God’s love through both the people of Israel and us as we try to comfort them as well as possible. We know that God controls everything and has the best plan for Andi, and we trust him in everything that was and is and is to come.

Heart Beats Shouldn't be Super

Posted on Mon, 07/27/2015 - 20:45 by Alexa Bigl
Today we headed into Tel Aviv to Wolfson Hospital for a follow-up echocardiogram of Andi’s heart. After patiently waiting with his mother for Matti and Yad to receive their echos, it was Andi’s turn. Unfortunately Andi did not want it to be his turn and was very upset.
As the doctor began the exam, Andi continued to cry very loudly. His heart was racing faster and faster. The doctor decided to give him some time to calm down and relax so his heart rate could decrease and the echo could be completed.  
As time passed and Andi’s heart rate continued to be close to 200 beats per minute it became clear something was wrong. We rushed down to the children’s ward where an EKG confirmed Andi’s heart was beating incorrectly. He was in a dysrhythmia known as supraventricular tachycardia. This dysrhythmia involves the upper chambers of the heart, the atria, and causes the heart beat to ineffectively pump blood.
As his heart raced at 220 beats per minute the staff decided to give Andi a specific medication. This medication allows the heart to regulate its beating pattern. This is achieved by completely stopping the heart for a moment so the normal mechanism telling the heart to beat can take over again. The medication worked exactly as it’s supposed to and Andi’s heart began beating normally again at 120 beats per minute.
Since the cause of Andi’s dysrhythmia is unknown, he was admitted to the ICU. He had been stable since given the Adenosine, but must be kept under very close watch while the staff works to figure out the cause.  
Andi’s mother, while very upset, handled the situation with grace. She asked appropriate questions and was very comforting to Andi. Please join us in praying for God’s touch to strengthen her through this confusing and scary trial. We praise God Andi was at the hospital when this happened so he could immediately be treated. We are thankful how well he responded to the medication to bring his heart back into normal rhythm. Let’s also pray that the staff at Wolfson will discover the cause so we can avoid future episodes and that Andi will continue to be in a stable condition.

Sweet Reunion

Posted on Sun, 07/19/2015 - 21:45 by Konrad Wiedmer

Today was the day for baby Andi and his mother to return to our Shevet base in Jerusalem after one whole week in the hospital. Andi is currently doing well and the medical professionals want to see him back in a week for an echo, which is definitely proof of his good condition. On the way back to Jerusalem, Andi was very calm and both mother and son were welcomed warmly by many Shevet volunteers.

It was lovely to see how happy Andi’s mother was to be back with people she knows. She was smiling all the time and it was a sweet reunion.

Thanks to God that he gave Andi a new heart and that he is recovering daily. We give Him the glory for Andi’s life!

Andi in Recovery

Posted on Wed, 07/15/2015 - 21:11 by Maureen Grimshaw

When we arrived at the Hospital today we were met by Andy's mother with him in her arms. Her face was beaming with relief as she placed him in his cot.  

Baby Andi looks up at his mother


The pictures show a tired but peaceful child.  

Andi, resting

Yad, at the hospital for a blood-test, entertains Andi

Milk and Water

Posted on Tue, 07/14/2015 - 18:54 by Judith Schmidt

As I went to the ICU early this morning to see if Andi’s mother was there, I found I had arrived at the same time as the doctors to do the assessments. Andi’s mother was happy to see the volunteers of Shevet. Andi was sleeping and still intubated, but he looked beautiful.

I waited until Dr. Alona was finished with her echo to ask her about Andi’s healing progress. As she turned around she said he is perfect and they were going to extubate him today. How wonderful, only one day after the surgery, that he is being extubated. God is good.

I went to the playground to tell his mother and she was waiting there with Radwan’s mother and Matti’s father, encouraging him as his son had his surgery today. Approximately two hours later I went back to the ICU to see if they already extubated him. My timing was perfect as they just had extubated him and told me to call his mother in. As she came in he was still peacefully sleeping. But eventually he opened his eyes and already had some milk and water.

"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." 1Corinthians 10:31

Drinking and eating is a sign of health and getting strong again. No wonder the doctors told us that they were planning on moving little Andi to the secondary ICU tomorrow. Let’s hope he will be drinking and eating, for the glory of God, more and more. As he regains his strength, we look forward to seeing his beautiful smile again soon.

Andi's Surgery

Posted on Mon, 07/13/2015 - 21:13 by Emily Peck

“Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard” (Isaiah 58:8).

It was a long day today with Andi having surgery, but it was also a good day. When we arrived they had already taken him to the pre-operating room, and we were able to see him and his mom there for a little bit. He was in good spirits, and would give you one of his sweet smiles every now and then.

He's such a brave little boy for being so young. It was an honor to see him and his mother together for the last few minutes before they took him to the operating room. Calmness and trust were in his deep, beautiful eyes as he clung to his mother.


While we waited, we went to the play area outside with Radhwan’s mother and had a nice time of talking and just enjoying each other’s company. It was a struggle for Andi’s mother though, and the worry was plain to see in her face. We had a pleasant time, though, of relaxing and being together.

2015-07-13 10.21.50.jpg

The love of a mother is so strong. Here she has left her home and family to come to another country, live with strangers, and give her son’s life into the hands of strangers- all because she loves him so very much. This is a picture of how much our heavenly Father loves us.

When Andi was done and we saw him going into the ICU, relief flooded his mother’s face, and tears flowed, releasing so much fear and stress she had been holding inside. We still had to wait another hour until we could see him, but it was obvious how much more at peace she was.

Then, at last, we were allowed to see Andi in the ICU! He is doing very well. The surgery went smoothly, and he is stable. His mother had such a wonderful expression of peace and joy on her face when she got to see him. That was a reward in itself.


Thank you for all your prayers for Andi, we are so grateful for them. Praises to God for His watchful eye being on this precious little boy. Please continue to pray that his healing would be swift and steady, and that God would continue to bless the life of Andi.

“I love the Lord, because He has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy. Because He inclined His ear to me, therefore I will call on Him as long as I live” (Psalm 116:1-2).