Hani's Heart Surgery

northern Iraq


Posted on Thu, 11/03/2016 - 21:11 by Lorena Garzon

Hani arrived with her grandmother during an exciting season. As the Jewish feasts were near, Hani’s process came to be longer than thought. But as many of us knew, Hani’s grandmother from the beginning to the end had an unexplainable energy at her age that was constantly making sure Hani was alright.

It all finally came to a beautiful end! Hani was officially discharged and her grandmother couldn't stop saying "thank you very much.” We could all see happiness on her face and every time she had the chance to say something, it was only words of thankfulness.

All the volunteers spent the day helping to prepare the special party Hani and her grandmother were waiting for. We ate a delicious meal and then we sang songs of praise and gave thanks to God for Hani’s life.

Then we gave her gifts to honor and bless them! Hani’s grandmother kept on giving thanks but we reminded not only her but ourselves we had to be thankful to God.

After that, there was a time for anyone who had words of encouragement or blessings for Hani, and at the end we enjoyed a video where we could see Hani’s process before, during, and after her surgery.

Surely they were a blessing for our community. We saw how God used us through Hani’s journey. She was enjoying the time just as we did. 

After packing and getting everything ready we all gathered together once more to say goodbye to little Hani. We know Hani’s parents are proud of this grandmother for doing a great job with her granddaughter. Finally after our prayer time we said goodbye! We pray for God to continue showing his love to Hani’s family.

Hani's Final Echo

Posted on Mon, 10/31/2016 - 21:41 by Rebekah Yang

Today we went to the hospital for Hani's echo follow-up with high expectactions that she might be discharged to go back to her home in Kurdistan. On our way to the hospital, Hani was sleeping so peacefully without any problem at all. She seems to know she's going home soon. Even Hani's grandma was in the good mood, kind of mumbling and sighing.

It's only took both the echo technician and Dr. Alona a few minutes to finish Hani's echo. Dr. Alona was very pleased to announce,"Great! Bye, bye, Hani! Bo Kurdistan!"
After receiving the good news of Hani, the rest of our crew went to the hospital cafeteria for a delicious lunch together.

Heavenly Father, I would like to offer my thanksgiving and praise, for you have given a new mended heart to our precious little Hani. Thank you that you have changed Hani and all of her family's lives.

May Hani and her grandmother go back and remember their time here.

Surprising News

Posted on Tue, 10/25/2016 - 22:04 by Alexa Bigl

Hani is doing very well. She is so attached to her loving grandmother, she often only wants to be in her arms. Today, while waiting for her echo, I did have a short opportunity to play with Hani while grandma was in the other room. She is a smart, sweet little girl. And she is almost walking! She just needs a steadying hand, but she is really getting the hang of it.

After having time to play, Hani was called in for her echo. Everything looks superb with her heart. She was able to stop one medication, and we are hopeful next week will be Hani's final echo! 

We had a consultation with a surgeon today about repairing Hani's inguinal hernia, too. It seemed we would be able to have the procedure on Sunday. However, God is so good. It turns out, Hani does not have a hernia! No further surgery is necessary for her. What a surprising report to get from the doctor. Hani's grandmother lifted her hands in excitement as Ruth told her the good news. All praise to God! 

Before heading home, Hani got to spend some time at the beach. She was not interested in the water and cried when it touched her feet. However, she loved the shells! She happily sat and played with them for a long time, content to throw them around and trying to eat them.  

This next week may be our last with Hani. We plan to treasure every moment with this beautiful angel!

A Good Team

Posted on Tue, 10/18/2016 - 16:45 by Eva Markewitz

Sweet Hani had her echo today. It was a successful time indeed, although for almost all of our families which met at the echo department everything went quickly and without any delay.

Hani laid on the bed watching TV while her heart was checked. She was calm nearly all the time showing us her beautiful smile every once in a while.

Finally, the doctor told us that her heart was fine and that she only needs two more echos, and the next one will be on Tuesday of next week.

Now she gets lower medications, which made her grandmother very happy. Verily, these two - she and her granddaughter - they seem to be a good team!

A Fragile Angel

Posted on Sun, 10/16/2016 - 16:21 by Alexa Bigl

Hani is finally well enough and strong enough to return to Jerusalem! We are so excited to welcome this beautiful child and her warm grandmother back to Shevet's Jerusalem base. 

Hani is still very small for her age and in a very important stage of healing. Our nurses and family care team will be on high alert and monitoring Hani very closely for any signs of change from her base status. Please pray with us for Hani's continued recovery. We lift up her health to the Healer, God. 

It was wonderful to see Hani eating a big, nutritious lunch. Although she has actually lost weight since her surgery, we hope to see big improvements in this area in the near future. 

It was beautiful to see all the other families rejoicing at Hani and her grandmother's return! There is an undeniable bond there that was something special to behold!
Thank you for following Hani's journey and joining in through prayer!

A Delicate Life

Posted on Mon, 10/10/2016 - 21:09 by Deborah Burke

It was 8am when the wardsman came for Hani. With Hani's grandmother and I in tow, we made our way to the 1st floor, to the catheterization laboratory that had been funded by the Lord and Lady Wolfson of Marylebone Foundation. We were warmly greeted and waited until 0840 before Hani was taken into the room for her procedure. It was difficult for us to leave this delicate little one who has been struggling with dyspnea (breathing difficulties) since her heart surgery.

The nurse thought the procedure may be only around 2 hours, but as time passed, Hani's grandmother became increasingly distressed. At about 1200 a wardsman came to the grandmother while we were waiting in the children's ward. He spoke neither Kurdish nor English but beckoned for us to follow him. We did so and he lead us to the Muslim prayer room. Grandmother seemed perplexed and I was thinking all sorts of strange things including "are they preparing us for the worst?" I think Grandma thought similarly as, after a short prayer, we both agreed we needed to go to the catheterization lab . At reception we were told Hani was still having the procedure. This was too much for Grandma. We sat outside for a while, but she couldn't take the waiting anymore, the unknown, so she left. Just as Hani has become more delicate and lost some weight while in hospital, brave Grandma, who is so loving to all, appears to have become physically, emotionally, and spiritually delicate as well, perhaps in sympathy with her granddaughter.

Some time later my co-worker, Sophie, brought grandma back to the waiting area outside the catheterization lab where we prayed for her. Still no sign of Hani, but at about 1310 we received a message the doctors had decided to do an intervention catheterisation and close a VSD (ventricular septal defect) as they did not think Hani's pulmonary hypertension was causing her dyspnea. The message included the phrase, "...there is nothing to be afraid of". I gave grandma a thumbs up and she started smothering Sophie and I with her customary hugs and kisses. She is a darling one, filled with love and joy most of the time.

At around 1410 Hani returned to the ward, just over 6 hours afer leaving it this morning. Hani is like a little doll with the fragility and delicacy of a butterfly. Let us pray that 10-month-old Hani's life. from this day. is a great deal longer than that of a butterfly's. Of course only our Creator is the one who knows all about us and the time we have in this life on earth.

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb...My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." (Psalm 139:13-16).

May we all be reminded of the delicate nature of our lives and it is only our Creator who knows our very intimate details and our coming and going from this life. Let's be encouraged to thank Him for this life and to live each day as though it is our last with honour and in service to him. Amen.


With Patience and Joy

Posted on Sun, 10/09/2016 - 18:57 by Ruth Zellweger

Our precious Hani and her grandmother have been in the hospital for close to three weeks. It is hard for our Shevet community to imagine the one without the other. They are a close-knit duo. The grandmother's love for the little girl is endearing. She also extends her love and affection to us. Our visiting teams are always welcomed with a warm smile, a big hug and many kisses. 

A few times this past week I had been expecting that Hani would be discharged soon. However, every time we were told that Hani needs to stay. The reason is that the pressure in her lung arteries is still too high. Hani is receiving special meds which help to decrease the pressure. 

Hani is scheduled for a diagnostic catheterization tomorrow morning to gain a better understanding of her condition. We ask you to pray for this sweet girl and her grandmother as they continue their journey. 

I can learn a lot from Hani and her grandmother, as they are accepting this time of waiting and uncertainty with much grace and patience, and even at times with joy. What a blessing. 

"Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord."  

Psalm 27:14

All is Well

Posted on Thu, 09/29/2016 - 00:21 by Camila Buitrago
Today was a reason for being happy knowing that Hani's having a good recovery after her surgery. When we arrived today to the hospital, she was very quiet along with his grandmother and her beautiful eyes shone more than before. Her face showed peace. Ruth gave some recommendations to the grandmother to feed Hani in a special body position. Thanks to that, Hani could take her feeding bottle and some soup easier.
For a few minutes, we watched cartoons on my cell phone and played with a cute teddy bear someone in the hospital gave to Hani. 
​Hani's grandmother a​s​ always g​ave us a big hug and many kisses. She is a very loving​ woman​ and personally I admire ​her​ energy and goodwill, as well as ​her​ faith.
​W​e sa​id​ goodbye​ with joy​ ​knowing that all was going well. ​W​hen we have the ability to share moments like today and support the families​, - ​leaving ​aside language barriers - we can ​see the value of a hug and that it is God who gives strength ​to ​these children and their families​.​ ​W​e​ are​ only their ​servants​​ and ​the ​glory is to God.

A Grandmother's Devotion

Posted on Tue, 09/27/2016 - 22:55 by Virginia Pavy
We got to Wolfson hospital at noon today. After getting Ziyad admitted for his surgery tomorrow morning, we went looking for Hani. We heard the great news that she had been moved to the secondary ICU. Once there, we found Hani sound asleep.
After awhile we came back and were glad to see precious Hani awake. Hani's grandmother welcomed us and greeted us with multiple kisses on the cheek. She was so delighted we came to visit. I was glad to see Hani in better condition. We talked and played with her some. Although she wasn't able to move, her eyes were very attentive to all of our moves.
Hani's grandma told us Hani had some milk in the morning. I asked the doctor how Hani was doing and she told me she is doing excellently. Praise be to God for His mercy on this baby. After a short visit, Hani was ready for another nap. Her grandmother quickly tried to make her comfortable. It is beautiful to see the devotion of this grandmother in caring for her grandchild. May the Lord continue to sustain both child and grandmother and His favor be upon them.

His Love Endures Forever

Posted on Mon, 09/26/2016 - 22:01 by Sophie

On the way to the ICU, we met Hawnaz's father. He was so excited to show us the pictures he has took of his daughter and also Hani. I was surprised by both of their statuses. Yesterday, Hani's chest was closed. Today she was extubated, breathing on her own. She was crying so hard for milk, but the nurse told us to wait awhile, then they will feed her. 

With a hungry baby, the only comfort is the pacifier! After the grandmother gave it to her, she peacefully fell asleep!

Thank God for his good care of Hani. Day and night, night and day His love endures forever!  "Give thanks to The Lord our God and King, His love endures forever. For He is good, He is about all things, His love endures forever."