Barin's Heart Surgery

Kurdistan, northern Iraq

Happy Day

Posted on Fri, 09/09/2016 - 11:20 by Sophie

When we reached Barin's house in Kurdistan, her mother was standing outside the door waiting us. I was confused, and did not recognize that she was the mother until she called me.

It was a very happy day, and we had a big party with many of her family members - we met her aunt and her two children, another two cousins, and Barin's two siblings! For me it was such a joy to watch them playing together.

After awhile I called them to come and make bracelets. The girls were very excited and joyful but the boys were more interested in playing games!

Our visit was short, but their hospitality was not lacking - water, drinks, tea, handmade dessert, nuts and fruits. We were so blessed by the time with them. God willing we will see them again. I hope we will have more time to deepen our relationship!

Our Snow Lotus Flower Goes Home

Posted on Sun, 09/13/2015 - 20:38 by Rebekah Yang

Barin is a such beautiful, sweet, eight year-old girl who came from Kurdistan to our Shevet community for heart surgery.

I remember the very first day when I greeted her and her mum in the morning; she stared at me with her big eyes and a cutely shy little smile. The moment our eyes contacted, I was so amazed by how gorgeous and pretty our God has created her. She loved to hang out with our Shevet volunteers whenever she had spare time here. Her favorite thing to do was going on walks with Shevie (our dog). She had a special Kurdish term she would say: “Bo Dukan; Bo Shevie” (It means: let’s go out shopping with Shevie).

Through her heart surgery, I found out that she was so brave and courageous without any fear. Before she was wheeled into the operation room she was even joking and played with us at some point.

On the echo follow -up day, we had good time at the beach near Wolfson hospital after the echo was finished. Despite the echo results showing that she should have another catheterization in order to close her small hole on her arteriosus, both mum and Barin still enjoyed their first beach time very much.

I saw the way she was watching the waves of sea, with her eyes of imagination; I knew that when she grows up, she will definitely be a strong and courageous young woman. I thought a very special flower named snow lotus flower maybe can be a symbol to represent her character because of her strong personality and beauty.    

After she spent one and half months in Israel for her heart surgery and catheterization at Wolfson hospital, eventually she was granted permission from doctors to go back to her lovely home in Kurdistan. On the day of her farewell party “Haf-La Haf-La,” she went out with her mum to get all the food and drinks for us to show their love and appreciation towards the Shevet community. At the party, she was a bit sad and held Shevie quite closely for her last hug with her. It’s always very mixed feelings and such an emotional moment. On the one hand, we’re so glad to send her back with a rejoicing heart and at the same time, it is also sad for we may not see her anymore.

However, we always trust our Heaven Father will continue to lead them and take good care of them wherever they go.

UPDATE: Just when I’m writing about Barin, we got the news that she was again admitted to the hospital ICU in Kurdistan due to both of her pericardial and lungs having effusion from infection. Please lift our little snow lotus flower –Barin—in your prayers. Dear God I pray to you, may your mighty healing power continue to work and heal Barin. May your daily mercy be with Barin’s mum for daily strength. Above all, may the whole family receive your salvation through Barin’s miracle healing. In the name of Messiah I pray, AMEN!!           

Soon to be Home-Bound

Posted on Mon, 09/07/2015 - 20:27 by Alexa Bigl

Barin had her final echo today! The doctors at Wolfson have given the official word that Barin is discharged from care here in Israel and can go home to Kurdistan. Our emotions were somewhat at war with this news. We are so happy Barin and her mom can go home to be back with their family and normal lives, but we are so sad this delightful girl will be leaving our Shevet family.

Even now as I am writing this blog, Barin is running around the office giving everyone a smile and causing laughter to be abundant tonight. Her energy is refreshing and a testament to her complete healing. Barin also had her final stitches, from her chest tube, taken out today.

We will continue to pray that Barin’s complete surgical repair will last through her entire life and no further medical or surgical interventions will be necessary. Barin’s departure date is still in the works. Thank you for your faithful prayers and God bless you all!

Unexpected News

Posted on Thu, 09/03/2015 - 21:07 by Sophie H.

Our precious Barin, only one day after her catheterization, we got the unexpected news that she was discharged.

This, however, for Barin this was not exactly good news. Her best friend Yad is still in hospital, so she was a bit sad to leave at beginning. After a while, her clothes got changed and went to buy some snacks in order to celebrate. After we finished shopping, she again became a cheerful girl and played with Yad.

We pray for her that, God willing, next Monday will be her last echo and that she can return to Kurdistan with her beloved family.

Barin’s Catheterization

Posted on Wed, 09/02/2015 - 21:16 by Rebekah Yang

Barin's catheterization was original planned for two weeks from now to fix her small PDA (patent ducts arteriosus) problem after her pervious heart surgery. Instead it seems that God showed special grace to change the whole plan. Last night we got a call from Wolfson hospital that Barin has been rescheduled to be admitted in the morning. Early this morning we went with Barin and her mum for her catheterization.

On our way to Wolfson, there was very heavy traffic. In the meantime Barin was carsick and vomited twice. This made us a bit anxious, so Deborah (and the Shevet community in Jerusalem) all prayed for her and her mum. She did not vomit again.  

Waiting was never an easy task either for Barin or her mum, however both of them were pretty patient today. Barin had a good time playing with a clown for some time. After that they moved to computer room for her hand craft- key chain. Not much later, Barin was retrieved by the catheterization team and taken to her procedure.

The whole procedure was about two-and-half hours. Barin’s mum patiently waited in the outside corridor for quiet prayer. Around 2:15pm, Dr. Tamir came out and told us the catheterization was very successful repaired Barin's heart fully. The good news didn't stop there; Barin possibly only needs to wait for a coming Monday echo before she is discharged and able go back to Kurdistan.

After the procedure, we went back to children ward. The three Kurdish mums(Barin, Yousif, and Baran) plus Deborah, Austin and myself gathered near Barin. Austin offered a short and thankful prayer to our mighty God on Barin's behalf. 


A Strong, Joyful Girl

Posted on Mon, 08/31/2015 - 18:14 by Emily Peck

Barin’s echo today went well but is still showing the same problem; she has a small PDA (patent ductus arteriosus). She will have an echo next Monday, and then, God willing, will have a catheterization to fix the PDA on Wednesday the week after that. Hopefully she will have her catheterization in two weeks. Please pray with us that it will be quick and easy and the problem will be fixed completely. Please also pray for strength for her mother. It was a little disheartening for her to learn that Barin’s catheterization wouldn’t be for two more weeks. Please pray for peace and comfort for her in this waiting process.

Barin continues to be a strong, joyful girl. She has a great sense of humor, and there were a lot of laughs today among her and the other children. She is also sweet and caring and is a good big sister to the other kids. My Kurdish lessons continued while we were waiting for her turn and she continues to be patient with my slow learning.  

Going with the Flow

Posted on Mon, 08/24/2015 - 21:03 by Emily Peck

Barin had an echo today, and as usual she was a trooper. From this echo we found out that she has a small PDA (patent ductus arteriosus). This means that she has abnormal blood flow between the aorta and the pulmonary artery, and this opening allows oxygen-rich blood from the aorta to mix with oxygen-poor blood from the pulmonary artery. The result is some strain on the heart and increased blood pressure in the lung arteries. It is not a major problem, but it will need to be fixed. Barin will have a catheterization to repair this problem, though we do not yet know when that will be. Please pray that it will be scheduled soon, and that it will be a quick and easy fix.


Aside from that, it was a fun day. Barin is a fun girl to be around. She is sweet, but also mischievous. She had fun hitting a balloon around with another member of our staff while waiting for her echo. She also helped me learn some Kurdish words while we were waiting. We laughed at my poor pronunciation, but I learned a lot.


After everybody was done with their echos we all went to the beach. She had a look of pure joy on her face when she saw the sea and could hardly contain her excitement. The water was warm and perfect for splashing around in. I could tell she was having a wonderful time, and I’m glad that we were able to go. It was a fun day despite it being a trip to the hospital, and I’m happy to have been able to spend time with this wonderful girl.



Our God is So Big

Posted on Sun, 08/16/2015 - 22:39 by Rebekah Yang

Our mighty God’s work is wonderfully seen through Barin’s healing process. She had heart-surgery on Thursday and was soon transferred to the children’s ward during the weekend. She looked great and her vital signs were normal as well. She is a miracle from our Heavenly Father.

And the doctors told us that Barin is doing very well and could go home with us today! It was a lovely surprise.

On our way to the hospital cafeteria for our lunch, I was reminded of God’s power and might. The Kurdish song we sang in the pre-operation room was “Xudaim Gewrea”:

“My God is so big, so strong and so mighty; there's nothing my God cannot do. The mountains are His, the valleys are His, the stars are His handiwork too. My God is so big, so strong and so mighty; there's nothing my God cannot do."

Xudaim Gewrea

Posted on Thu, 08/13/2015 - 13:34 by Jesse Tilman

We set out early from the base to the hospital this morning for Barin's surgery day. The sky was milky white with clouds here and there mounting up like mountains. As we glided along the road we thought about all that God was doing for this special family, remembering them in our prayers and asking for his grace. We arrived at the hospital in good time and met the mother in the children's ward. Soon the family was ready to go for the surgery and the staff came to bring Barin into the operating area. I'm glad we were early because they were too!

Barin's mother patiently and quietly walked with her, saying gentle words to her daughter. Her family back home knew that the surgery would be today and they were all prepared and waiting for news. Downstairs we separated andour coworkerRebekah, a nurse, went in first with Barin and her mother. Inside the restricted area there's a special preparation room for the children with butterflies and birds and some cartoon characters. There, Rebekah sang to Barin our favorite Kurdish children's song "Xudaim Gewrea." It's about how God is powerful and mighty and able to help. Next, I got to enter and be with them for a while. Then there was time for Sophie to go in as well. Soon, Barin was wheeled into the next room and we all had to go out. Outside we studied the computer system to be aware of any changes in her condition when they would come up on the public screen.

Then, we headed upstairs to be with the other Kurdish families at the hospital for the hours of waiting. We sat outside for a small picnic with coffee and breakfast food from the hospital. Around 11:30, the doctor told us that the surgical component of the operation had finished so we headed down to the operating area. After the repairs in the heart were done, the closure of the chest and other finishing touches would begin and took about an hour.

Rebekah asked one entering staff member to let her know what Barin's condition was and pretty soon he told us she was about to come out. When they wheeled her out on the bed, they stopped in the cordoned off area for another five minutes and we just watched from down the hall. Our new friend Sophie was videotaping and making a small documentary about Shevet Achim and they started to push Barin's bed out as she began to get some shots. We timed pushing the button for the elevator to come so they could go straight into the elevator quickly. Unfortunately we couldn't fit in the elevator with the hospital staff, so we had to wait for another elevator to come. The elevator came quickly for us but it seemed agonizingly slow. When the doors finally opened we jumped out and started to quickly walk down the hall. But the staff were moving the bed very quickly so then we actually ran to catch up. Barin's mom did finally catch up and got to see her a little bit before she went into the ICU.

Then began our waiting to see Barin as they stabilized her, so we went for some lunch. We gave thanks to God for the food and the good surgery and enjoyed the meal. Soon enough we could go in to see her and confirm that the operation had been a success!

Barin's Surgery Rescheduled

Posted on Wed, 08/12/2015 - 22:53 by Laura Edwards
Barin’s surgery was moved to tomorrow, so Lord willing she should be going first thing in the morning. 
Her mother was disappointed after waiting half the day only to have it postponed, but as soon as Barin hear that she could finally have food she was ecstatic! We had a really fun afternoon with her; she has a super sweet, fun, and endearing personality. Keep her and her mom in your prayers for a successful surgery tomorrow. Here are some pictures from the day:
Barin laughs beside her mother.
Barin appreciating her balloon.
Barin's balloon appreciating the ceiling.