Midya's Heart Surgery

Kurdistan, northern Iraq

Shy and Big and Strong

Posted on Sun, 11/13/2016 - 23:53 by Virginia Pavy

The Lord blessed us with a wonderful day yesterday. Our small Shevet community was able to visit three of our families in northern Kurdistan. Aveen's family took us to the refugee camp where Midya and her family now live.

We were so grateful to have them along and help us find their house. This was the first time for some of us to visit a refugee camp. It was such a big place and so crowded. It was heartbreaking to see the conditions in which the people live. We wondered how they will endure the winter that is upon us.

When we pulled up to Midya's house, the family was outside waiting for us. It was great to see the joy on their faces when they saw Rebekah. Midya was so overwhelmed by the big group of strangers coming to her home that she took off running and hid herself.

We all had a good laugh seeing her so full of energy and doing a good job hiding from us. After we were invited in, we were able to enjoy some time with them. Midya was so shy that she would not come in to greet us. Rebekah said this was her typical behavior when she first came to Jerusalem. It takes her time to warm up to new people.

When her father brought her in, we could see how much she had grown. She looked so big and strong. We were glad to see she is doing so well after her open heart surgery earlier this year.  Midya's parents are so grateful for her healing, and we are too. We thank our God for His mercy on this child and family. We could see the great impression our Shevet community had on them. After Midya's brother sang a few songs for us, we sang with them our typical Shabbat Shalom song.  It was a precious time with them.

We ask you to remember this family in your prayers, to know the provision and presence of the One who has healed Midya.

Thank you Lord for my Big Smile

Posted on Tue, 04/26/2016 - 14:16 by Agnes Bruna
"If I were a crocodile, I'd thank you Lord for my big smile!"

This morning early Aad and I took Midya and her father to the airport for their return to Kurdistan. The moment we arrived at their room in the Finnish School, they were ready. Midya was all smiles – I’m sure her father had told her she was going to see her mother, and brothers, and sisters again. 

The drive to the airport was unusually smooth as it is the Pesach (Passover) holiday this week, and there was hardly any traffic on the road. Ilan, our regular Kurdish translator, had very graciously agreed to get up early as well, and met us at the airport. Thanks to his help, security checks were reasonably quick. Royal Jordanian kindly agreed to provide an escort to the gate, as Midya’s father only speaks Kurdish (he understands only a few words of Arabic), and does not read Arabic or English. A little bit of telling their story, knowing some people at RJ, and a lot of praying for favor, and hey presto: a RJ employee turned up to take them, and even carried their bags while Midya was carried by her father. A quick kiss goodbye for Midya, a handshake from the dad, and off they went.

Last night we had a very joyous party where we had the chance to celebrate Midya’s quick and complete healing journey. It was amazing to hear all the praise and reports of how Midya has won our community’s hearts during her time with us. I had the privilege of visiting Midya at her home, before she had come to Jerusalem. She was so shy, she would not look at us or even come near. When she came to Shevet Achim she was similarl terribly shy and wary of anyone trying to talk to her. And now everyone mentioned how much fun she is, and how she loves to giggle and play with anyone. Even at the airport several people said hello and smiled at her, and she happily shared her gorgeous smile with everyone.

Midya’s medical journey was quick, with only minor complications. She had her surgery just three days after her arrival in Israel. The change from a very blue, quiet girl who could not walk, to a nicely pink, happy, outgoing girl who is close to walking independently is remarkable.

I am happy they get to go home today to their family, even if their circumstances as Yazidi refugees in an unfinished building are less than ideal. I pray Midya and her father find joy in the reunion with their family, and that God will provide better accommodation for them, and the other families living there. Jonathan, Ruth, and Sophie are able to drive them home from the airport, as they are currently in Kurdistan and are excited to spend some more time with this gorgeous girl. I cannot wait to hear update reports about Midya because I am “confident of this that God who began a good work in her, will bring it to completion until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6 ESV).

Midya's Healed Heart

Posted on Mon, 04/25/2016 - 20:47 by Valentina Jaimes Vargas

Praise God for Midya's amazing healing!

Good news - today was Midya's final echo. We are so glad that this little one and her father can now go home, especially because we know God has done great things. This is the beginning of a new life for Midya. 

This morning we spent some time with Midya and her father. We went for walks and played with some toys in the echo departament. After a long time of waiting, she was finally seen. The doctor said her heart was looking very good, and she has been discharged, so she can now go back home to Kurdistan.

When the echo was over, her father was so happy he was telling everyone that the final echo was over. Midya looked a little bit scared, but we could see she was happy too.

We had to wait a little bit longer for the discharge report, so we ate and prepared ourselves for the goodbye that is to come.

I am grateful to God for His amazing work in Midya's life. He has given her an amazing recovery, and He has filled her with grace and strength to start walking. I thank Him also because this little girl give us so much joy. I am going to miss her happiness and her beautiful cheeks. I pray that God may lead her in the way of His love and always be with her and her family. We praise God for the hand He has had on this little life!

"For you make me glad by your deeds, Lord; I sing for joy at what your hands have done. How great are your works Lord" (Psalm 92: 4-5).

Soon, very soon

Posted on Mon, 04/18/2016 - 21:11 by Rebekah Yang

Today we took two cheerful and happy kids -Midya and Adil - to Wolfson hospital for their post-heart surgery echocardiogram follow up.

Midya was in her playful and talkative mood all morning. On the way to hospital, I could hear she was even trying to hum a few words, just as if she was singing. Such a cute, sweet little girl!

Upon our arrival at the echo department, God’s favor was there as no other children were present for an echo at that time. Midya went in right away, with her father, for the check. Dr. Hannita took less than 10 minutes to complete the echo.

Praise God - the result was great, and Dr. Hannita was very pleased to announce next Monday will be Midya’s final echo! She should then be able to go back to her home in Kurdistan, Northern Iraq.

Because we had to take a Gaza discharge child back to the Erez crossing, Midya got quite a bit of spare time to play and explore in the hospital, as we waited.

Looking at her and her father beautifully bond together made my heart rejoice and praise God for the transformation He has brought to Midya's life. Soon, very soon, she will be able to go back and enjoy a family reunion - hallelujah!!           

Midya's first steps

Posted on Thu, 04/14/2016 - 23:55 by Valentina Jaimes Vargas

We are grateful to God for all the amazing work that He is doing in Midya's life. Since she arrived at our Shevet Jerusalem home, everything has changed in her. Not only the fact that she is recovering from a succesful surgery; also she is full of happiness and God's grace. 

I can  definitely say that God has not only healed her heart physically, but also emotionally, and He is giving her the strength to begin to take her first steps.

It is amazing to see her walking with the help of all of the volunteers in Shevet Achim! We are also glad to see the face of her father when she is walking. He looks so much better and we praise God for that. Click on the video below to have a look:

Today we had a wonderful day, as we painted our faces, walked in the sun and played with different toys:

Midya never stopped laughing and she enjoyed the time with each of us. She is living proof of God's miracles and we ask Him to still be with her in all this recovery process. "The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing” (Zephaniah 3:17).

Capturing Hearts

Posted on Mon, 04/11/2016 - 20:43 by Miriam Svensson
At the end of last week, Midya and her father went with me, Berith and Abdalla and his father on a special outing. We were invited to the house of our Israeli partners, Save A Child's Heart. A group of Israeli children were also going there that day, to play and do various activities with the children waiting for or recovering after heart surgery.
It was beautiful to see children from many different countries playing together. For Midya, the noise and seeing lots of people was a bit overwhelming. She sat with her father in a chair and curiously observed everything that was going on. She smiled shyly to the ones coming to play with her and seemed to enjoy the time in her own way.
Afterwards we went for a short trip to the beach. We had lunch in the shade and some of us got more or less into the waves. At first Midya refused to leave the stroller, she did not want to get close to the unknown. But finally her father managed to persuade her, and took her to the edge of the water. She put her feet down in the sand and looked at the blue waves.
Today, Midya and her father went with a team of us to the hospital for an echo. Because our van did not want to start we were delayed and did not arrive until after lunch. However, the echo was completed quickly and Dr. Alona told us that everything looked good. Hopefully Midya will only have to come back for two more check-ups.
After the examination we hurried to the cafeteria to get something to eat before they closed. Midya peeked at me from across the table, but turned her face away when I tried to take a picture.
Before we could go home we went to the children's ward, where the nurse took out Midya's stitches that were there from the chest tubes. As we walked through the hospital I noticed how several of the hospital staff stopped to say hello to Midya. They were all happy to hear that she is recovering well. It is easy to see that this special little girl has captured the hearts of many.
Thank you for your faithful prayers for Midya! We praise the Lord for His healing touch on her life and continue to pray that she will grow and blossom during her last weeks with us.

It is Time

Posted on Mon, 04/04/2016 - 21:30 by Alexa Bigl

Great news - Midya is home with us in Jerusalem! She and her father patiently waited through their final in-patient echo to confirm Midya's discharge. Praise God - the confirmation was made and Midya's heart looks great! 

As we waited for the doctors to finish the paper work and for the nurses to prepare the medications for us to take back to Jerusalem, it was so fun to watch father and daughter's close bond. Midya's father continues to amaze me with his careful, loving disposition towards his daughter. I pray their special relationship continues to grow and strengthen during the next weeks with us. 

Since Midya had her operation so quickly after arriving in Israel (thanks to God for His perfect timing in all things), she and her father have yet to experience what it is like living at Shevet Achim. I am so excited for them to experience the community of Shevet Achim and for the bonds between us volunteers and father/daughter to flourish!  

Midya will have her first out-patient echo next Monday. May The Lord of Heaven continue to place His healing touch upon this sweet Yazidi girl, and may He also touch Midya's and her father's heart with the knowledge of who He is!

Thank God for Everything

Posted on Sun, 04/03/2016 - 21:03 by Sophie

We went to the hospital very early this morning, because another one of our children was scheduled for their heart surgery. I was there to visit Midya and when I first saw her she was lying on her bed in the Secondary ICU.

Not long after we arrived she was called for her echo. She was not happy during the echo, and she cried until it was over and she was back in her father's loving arms. I tried to calm her down, but I was not much help! The thing that we can be thankful for is, "Thank God it was fast!"

Midya's echo results were good and she has now been transferred to the children's ward. In the children's ward we can have more freedom and fun together! When I showed her some pictures of the Shevet volunteers, she pointed to Ruth's picture and she said, "Havali min" (which means 'my friend').  Whenever she saw Ruth she could not hide her love, and she started rolling her favorite toy. This was her way of expressing her love for Ruth. Thank God for their good friendship!

When the clown came, Midya was watching some of the other children playing with her for a long time. When Midya 's turn to play with the clown came, her personality changed completely. She was laughing and playing without any fear and timidity. Thank God for Midya's transforming heart!

The time to say goodbye to her came. I offered her a lollipop telling her that she needed to catch it! That made her giggle for a while, and you could tell she was truly satisfied by the yummy lollipop!

Thank you God for taking care of Midya. She is making very good progress and we hope to see her in our Shevet home soon!

Each Day has Enough Trouble of its Own

Posted on Thu, 03/31/2016 - 22:47 by Alejandra Becerra

Sadly, we had to wait a long time during our visit to the hospital to see how Midya was, because it was not a good day for visits in the intensive care unit.

When I went to see Midya she was a little indisposed and cried a lot. I think that when a child is not feeling well there are important resources that we should turn to, such as prayer. So, during the time I spent with her, I was praying that the Lord would give her rest and strength to feel better both physically and emotionally. 

At lunch time she did not want to eat much but she received a little food from her father.

She has definitely improved from her episode at the weekend and today she did not need oxygen - praise God! Midya's father is very optimistic about her improvement. Certainly we have all seen the changes since she first came to us - changes to her face, the colour of her fingers, and her cheeks. It is amazing to see how Shevet is changing the life of Midya and how she is changing ours. Maybe we think that the things that we do for her are very little, but for her we are her new family, her comfort, and her support.  Thank you God for getting us all to where we are today in order that we can help children like our little Midya.

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own" (Matthew 6:34).

The Road is Never Easy

Posted on Mon, 03/28/2016 - 22:43 by Naomi Knight
It has been an eventful weekend for our little Midya. After being moved out of the ICU she developed a serious arrhythmia due to crying and feelings of anguish. The doctors were able to sedate her and she has been moved back into the ICU so they can keep a more careful watch on her.
We were informed today that since then she is a lot better. Her chest tubes have been removed and she is only relying on oxygen now. They still want to keep her in the ICU as up until this point she has been receiving sedative medication. They now hope to remove this and see the result in her heart. She is still emotionally fragile letting out frequent whimpers and becoming very unsettled when being changed. When her father takes a break from her bedside to eat or wash she finds this very distressing. She is however, in the best place and therefore, if the arrhythmia occurs again the doctors will be able to get to the bottom of the problem.
It was very difficult to keep Midya distracted from her sad feelings however, we enjoyed spending time with her and being able to bless her in any small way. We spent time drawing pictures for her and playing with her unicorn. Midya and her father and I also spent time playing with the cards and doing magic tricks. I also found it such a joy to be with her by simply watching her eating an orange and seeing the way she lights up and smiles when her father tells her a joke. 
I believe right now it is important to lift her up to the Lord so that she may find peace and happiness while her heart is healing. We pray that God would lift the negative emotions that are surrounding her and replace them with His joy and His blessings. 
"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27).
God, we commit Midya's troubled heart to you now. Release these feelings of fear, discomfort and anxiety. Heal her heart from both the pain and the troubles Lord. Thank you for the peace you bestow upon us and thank you for the work you have already begun in this little one's life. Amen.