Ainda's Heart Surgery

Northern Iraq

Blessed Perseverance

Posted on Fri, 10/28/2016 - 15:07 by Madelyn Miles

"See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm...As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered."

James 5:7,8,11

When Ainda first came to us, her hearing was not clear, she suffered from frequent pneumonia as a result of her cleft palate, and her heart was not formed the way it should be. To say the least, she had a long road ahead of her. But with each passing day, the resilient patience and joy of Ainda and her mother became a pillar of constancy in our community. I often thought to myself: Under lesser circumstances I struggle to be patient and joyful. I can take a lesson from these two. Ainda and her mother patiently journeyed, not only through heart surgery, but also the long recovery, and then another surgery and recovery for her ears and lip. It was indeed a long road.

How much greater was the collective joy of our Shevet family when Ainda was finally discharged and we prepared to have a party! The farewell parties are such a milestone, as we concentrate our love for them into every detail: decorations, food, worship songs, gifts, and a video. 

But the best part of the evening, is when we get to share words with them. Volunteers in turn share what this journey has meant to them, and how the healed heart of Ainda (not only that, but also her ears and cleft lip) are a testimony of God's goodness.

Everything we say always points back to Him. God healed Ainda, God orchestrated her coming and going, God gave them the strength they needed for each day, and God gave them the gracious and patient spirits to endure. We give all our thanks to Him. 

Ainda and her mother have returned to Kurdistan, now. Ainda's ears are open. Her heart is whole. And her cleft lip has been restored. We continue to pray for them, as they take the final step in Ainda's treatment 6 months from now - a cleft palate repair. But we also pray that the impact of their time in Israel, and the beautiful gift of God's healing, would ripple throughout their lives, their family, and their community. May they be blessed for their perseverance. 


Check, Check, Check

Posted on Tue, 10/25/2016 - 22:17 by Alexa Bigl

We headed to Wolfson this morning with high hopes for Ainda. Her heart has had many weeks to heal and has been looking very good. But today, we needed the final word that all was well enough for her to return to Kurdistan. 

After we received the good news that her heart was looking fantastic, we still needed to hear from the plastic surgeon who repaired her cleft lip. After heading down to the children's ward to meet that doctor, we soon could check that off the list. She was cleared by the plastic surgeon. The last stop was the ENT specialist for her ears. Since Ainda had an ear infection last week, we needed to ensure it had cleared up. And with this final ok, we knew for sure Ainda is ready to go home to Kurdistan!

All the doctors were very pleased with how she is doing! She will return home on some medications and will need an operation to repair her cleft palate in the next 6-12 months. These past months have been a huge blessing to have Ainda and her mom here. They have become an important staple in our community, and we will miss them very much! Ainda's precious laugh and her mom's care for all the other children and families here will not be forgotten.

After the hospital today, we took some time to enjoy the beach. Ainda loved it! She was fascinated by the water, sand, and shells. It was so fun watching her take in all the new things around her.

We plan to celebrate Ainda's discharge with a farewell party later this week. Thank you for praying with us through Ainda's Israeli adventure!

Lookin' Good

Posted on Tue, 10/18/2016 - 18:20 by Alexa Bigl

Ainda had her sutures removed this morning from her cleft lip repair. Everything went very well, and she was finished with the procedure and awake by 9am. 

Later this morning, she also had an echo with good results. Dr. Alona let us know next week looks promising for discharge back home to Kurdistan! Everything with Ainda's heart looks great and her cleft lip repair in healing incredibly well. 

With the sutures out, Ainda looks like a new person. Her beautiful checks are now her attention-grabbing feature, I just want to kiss her a bunch on times on them. 

As the afternoon progressed, Ainda's mom noticed some discharge from Ainda's right ear. We brought her to the nurses' station where the doctor took a look and decided a follow-up with an ENT (ears, nose, and throat) specialist would be appropriate. While we were waiting, a hospital worker came up to say hi to Ainda. He had been in the operating room during Ainda's cleft lip repair, and he was very excited to see her. He let us know how great she was looking and took a picture. Then the doctor was ready to take a look and it appears Ainda has a minor infection in her right ear. The doctor suctioned out the water and discharge and prescribed two antibiotic drops for the next week. I was very impressed with how attentive Ainda's mom was in noticing there was a problem and immediately advocating for her daughter. We caught the infection right away, and the doctor is confident it will clear up quickly.

Let's continue to lift Ainda up to the Healer, God. We are so grateful to Him for all He has achieve for and by Ainda so far. May He continue to preserve and prosper her and her mother!  

Admitted for Procedure on Tuesday

Posted on Sun, 10/16/2016 - 22:48 by Sophie

Today Ainda was admitted to the hospital because tomorrow is a holiday and she will have anesthesia (medication for sleeping) for the removal of her stitches on Tuesday.

She looks great since the surgery, and now has started eating vegetable soup made by her beloved mother!

Before the holiday starts, she received a creamy cake from some donors!

When Ainda's stomach was happy, soon she fell in a deep sleep! Please keep this precious girl in your prayers, that she has a good recovery so they can return to Kurdistan to see her family in the near future!

Birthday Discharge

Posted on Thu, 10/13/2016 - 21:14 by Eva Markewitz

Today when I came to see little Ainda, I was surprised how different she looked. Not just because of her lip. Due to her ear operation, she just was more aware of her surroundings, looking around, stretching out to claw at different things and immediately began laughing when she saw me. I realized one more time, how much she loves glasses... maybe just because it looks so cool!

It was amazing to see this precious little girl on her way to becoming completely healthy!

After she finished her yoghurt, we went to the ear test.

The doctor was very pleased with the result and was amazed by Ainda's attempts to imitate several noises. So, she was discharged.

Indeed, this was a special day for Ainda: it was also her first birthday!

We had a little party in the courtyard all together sitting on a blanket. We ate delicious cake, drank juice, and enjoyed the community - Ainda and her mom, Ziyad and his mom, Mustafa and his Dad, Sophie, Deborah and me.

Ainda will come back to the hospital for admission on Sunday, for the removal of sutures under sedation which will be on Tuesday (the Jewish holiday of Sukkot begins Monday). The surgery will be in the morning and possibly a couple of hours after that she will have an echo as well.

This beloved girl has found her way to my heart very quickly. May God bless her and her family as he has already done in the last few weeks!

Pray For a Restful Evening

Posted on Mon, 10/10/2016 - 21:41 by Sophie

Early in the morning we went to the hospital. When we got there Ainda was already in the pre-OR waiting room.

Not too long after, she was taken to the OR. Alongside her was her beloved mother. We all know that separation is always hard but hope and love makes so much of a difference!

The mother was overcome with joy. She knew  exactly what was happening, and she also knew what was ahead of us! During the waiting time, the doctor came and told us the good news: Ainda's cleft lip's surgery was done and very good! Ten minutes later the ear surgery will be done as well. Our Heavenly Father cares for each of us. He cares for Ainda's mother waiting patiently outside for her daughter.

After surgery the mother was called to be inside the OR ICU and I had the privilege to be there as well. Ainda was crying a lot because she was in great pain, so the nurses allowed the mother to hold her and give her some comfort!

One hour later Ainda was transferred to the main ICU, where she was in her mother's loving care! 

After another hour in ICU they moved her to secondary ICU. Ainda was suffering with a lot pain from the surgery. That's the main reason she was crying. Please keep her in your prayers May God bless her and give her a restful evening!

A Mother's Love

Posted on Sun, 10/09/2016 - 22:26 by Sophie

Today was Ainda's cleft lip and ear surgery preparation day. So we joined part of the morning worship, then all the community went to meet Ainda and her mother, prayed for them and sent them on the way to hospital!

Thank God for His unfailing love endures forever! When we got to Wolfson Medical Center, we first met the ENT doctor (ear nose and throat). They gave her a hearing test and she didn't respond so much. But the coming ear surgery will help her hear much better!

After a few different types of check-ups, she was tired and felt asleep. After a very short nap, she woke up and had some mashed vegetables the mother had prepared for her! I was inspired by the mother's love.

Our Heavenly Father also knows all our needs and has prepared everything ahead of us! What a blessing to us! For Ainda's precious life as well!

After a long time waiting, the dream has come true: tomorrow is the special day for Ainda's lip and ear surgery. Let's rejoice in Him and give praise to Him forever and ever! Amen!

Ainda's Big Examination Day

Posted on Thu, 10/06/2016 - 13:22 by Rebekah Yang

It was a such big day for Ainda and her mum.

We first brought them to the hospital for Ainda's post-surgery echo. After we arrived we had to wait for quite a bit due to there being a lot of kids waiting. However it's worthy to wait after the doctor did her echo. He was very pleased with Ainda's echo results.

Afterwards, the doctor arranged for Ainda to be checked by an ENT (ear, nose and throat) doctor, as well as a plastic surgeon for the best preparation of her upcoming cleft lip and ear surgery. Both doctors were very nice and patient to explain what they're going to do on next Monday's surgery. The ENT doctor checked Ainda throughout both her ears, her mouth, and even listened to her lungs. He told us Ainda's ear surgery will only be a small one. They are going to open a little hole inside her ears, in order to draw out the liquid that is stuck in both ears. After that Ainda should be able to listen probably without any problems.

And the plastic surgeon also checked her thoroughly around her cleft lip. This part of surgery may need to take one and a half to two hours. Afterwards hopefully she should be able to eat better. However, Ainda will face some painful stages and difficulty for some days first after this lip surgery. So the doctor wanted us to tell the mum to be preparing her heart and mind.

In the end, the doctors suggested that we come to the hospital before 10am on Sunday so the anethesiologist can come to the children's ward and check Ainda. When we eventually finished all of these examinations, precious little Ainda was so exhausted.

Thank you for continuing to lift up Ainda and her mum for the coming secondary surgery on her ears and her lip. May God's grace and mercy once again show His miracles in Ainda's life. Amen.

Reunion in Jerusalem

Posted on Mon, 09/26/2016 - 23:01 by Rebekah Yang

Ainda had been readmitted to Wolfson hospital since last Friday, but today we were so happy to learn that she is doing well and can come back to Jerusalem.

When I arrived in the children's ward, and as soon as Ainda saw me, she began her signature cheerful and loud laughing, "ha ha ha ha ha!" Wow! I know our precious little Ainda is back to her normal self now. Praise God!

Ainda and her mum, Arwin and his father, and Ruth and I enjoyed some lovely food at the hospital cafeteria together. I just watched how Ainda's mum interacted with Arwin's father and I could see how much they long to go home and also to have fellowship with other families back home.  At the moment, Ainda's blood test is showing that she is doing much better than few days ago. She needs three days of an inhalation treatment for her lungs to further her recovery. Ainda will continue to have her regularl post-surgery medicines until next Wednesday's echo follow-up. Please remember to lift our sweet Ainda and her mum in your prayers.

"Heal me, O Lord , and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.'"

Jeremiah 17:14

One Night in Jerusalem

Posted on Fri, 09/23/2016 - 17:02 by Ruth Zellweger

After only one night in Jerusalem, Ainda and her mother had to return to the hospital today. Ainda had not been eating well and had intermittently a lowgrade fever. Initially the doctor told us this morning to monitor and see if her condition improves within the next hours, but about an hour later we were told that we should bring Ainda back. They had reviewed again the bloodtest from yesterday and found something that they wanted to recheck. 

The mother received the news well and was her usual calm and sweet self. Before we left for the hospital, our Shevet family gathered to send off Ainda and Hawnaz and to pray for their healing. Precious Ainda and her mother have built strong relationships with some of the volunteers. Ainda only started recently to wave at people she knows. It was a precious moment when Virginia hugged both mother and daughter to say goodbye, and Ainda, with her little hand, gently touched Virginia's face. 

Ainda and her mother are now settling back in at the hospital, where they both have already spent quite some time. We are thankful for the cautiion the medical team is taking there, and we pray for wisdom for them to decide on the right treatment. 

I am looking forward to see my little friend again soon. May God's healing hand be on her in these next hours and days.