Aram's Heart Surgery

northern Iraq

Goodbye, Aram!

Posted on Tue, 12/27/2016 - 17:15 by Alexa Bigl

Aram has returned home to Kurdistan. We have many things to praise God for in this child's journey, but most of all we praise Him for Aram's life. This precious baby is a child of God's, created by His hands! And God continues to restore, strengthen, and grow beautiful Aram. We got to celebrate all these things last night. 

Aram's farewell was paired with Tamara's, so we had a double blessing last night as we celebrated both children. We enjoyed a delicious Kurdish dinner. This time of eating together was a reminder of the bond Aram and his mother have made with each of us here at Shevet. Aram's mom has become a special friend to all of us, and the obvious familiarity displayed among us during the dinner was a testament to bonds formed. 
After eating, we had tea and dessert while worshipping. We sang about God being our strength and how we always can praise Him. The time of worship aligned our focus exactly where it should be; on God. All that has transpired in Aram's journey is because of Him. 

We then had an opportunity to go around and share with Aram and his mom some thoughts. It was obvious Aram's mom has impacted us in big ways. Her loving demeanor towards us and Aram has meant so much. It has been a blessed time having her and Aram join into the family; we thank God she and Aram could be with us for this season. 
Aram was starting to get sleepy, but his fussing was waylaid as we gave him a gift of clothes, toys, and a blanket. His mom also received a scarf, a bracelet, lotion, and a Kurdish Bible and audio Bible. 
We then were able to play Aram's DVD, a collection of photographs taken throughout his time here. These DVDs are so special to watch. You can see the physical transformation of the child during their healing, and you can also see the bonds they create with everyone at Shevet- staff, volunteers, community members, the other Kurdish families, other families at Wolfson, and the increased bond with their parent. It's beautiful! And Aram's was no exception. This precious baby boy certainly is something special. 
We wrapped up the evening with prayer of thanks and asking for safe travels and one last worship song. Praise to God for all He has done and is doing in Aram's life!

Sweet Aram is Going Home

Posted on Mon, 12/26/2016 - 17:58 by Rebekah Yang

We had three kids' echos today: Tamara, Aram and little Yaser.

When we all arrived and got together, we saw a long queue from our friends at SACH. There were many children already waiting for their echos. Our sweet habibi Aram was in a good mood and spent some time playing with his friends from SACH.
Eventually his turn came, and Aram was very excited and kept his hands and legs moving all the time. This did cause the cardiologist some difficulty while she was performing Aram's echo.
It took her a bit longer than what we are used to, but all of this waiting was worth it when the doctor came after reviewing echo results. He was really pleased and right away said to Mama Aram that the echo was very good, she could return home to Kurdistan, and Aram no longer needed medications! Soon we finished everything and went to the children's ward to remove his chest tube stitches.
Praise God for His healing hands which touched Aram's heart, and that our precious habibi Aram is ready to go home to Kurdistan.

This Little Family

Posted on Tue, 12/20/2016 - 10:57 by Eva Markewitz

Today we walked with sweet Aram in his stroller on the sunny street to the hospital.

Aram's mother was happy the whole time and had good conversations with Tamara's dad, who also walked with us for Tamara's echo. Just little Aram seemed not to be happy - during the echo he cried a lot.

But nevertheless, the results were fine. His heart looks good and his final echo will be next Monday. I give thanks to God Aram recovered so well from his surgery and he and his mother can return back home to their family by next week!

Please continue praying for this little family.

Positive Follow-Up

Posted on Tue, 12/13/2016 - 05:44 by Eva Markewitz

Precious Aram had his follow up this afternoon. During the echo he cried almost the whole time until his mother fed him.

Then we had to wait quite a bit for Dr. Alona to have a look at the results. But nevertheless, we had a good time together. Aram calmed down quickly and was even cheerful looking.

When Dr. Alona finally arrived, she was very pleased with Arams results and was amazed how nicely he has developed since the surgery. Only two more echos and our little friend can return home to Kurdistan!

He Makes All Things New

Posted on Sun, 12/04/2016 - 19:15 by Sean Perez
As Ruth and I went to Wolfson hospital, we were in eager anticipation of Aram's big day! Let us rejoice and celebrate together because Aram has been discharged from Wolfson! As another child is made well it's not just these children the doctors in Israel are touching, but these families are being restored and made whole as well. It seems as if God is making all things new!  
I can't help but remember all the smiles and laughs being exchanged as we were all preparing to leave. Especially the smile on Aram's and his mother's faces!  Aram has a new heart (and I have to mention, these beautiful eyes) and this great strength alongside of him in his mother. 
They have truly become wonderful friends and now we just await a series of follow up echos to confirm when he is able to go back to home to Kurdistan, and we look forward to the future and being able to meet with them once again, back at our homes in Kurdistan! 

Moved to the Ward

Posted on Thu, 12/01/2016 - 22:15 by Sue Ingersoll

Aram was dismissed from ICU to the regular pediatric ward on Wednesday. He was receiving a treatment today and was a little fussy during that. For the rest of the time, Aram was either napping or sitting up and looking around. He seemed content and acted like he felt good. His mother enjoys interacting with other parents in the hospital. What wonderful progress Aram has made!

Awake in the ICU

Posted on Tue, 11/29/2016 - 20:27 by Lorena Garzon

As we arrived to the hospital, Brenda, Lewis, and I went right into the ICU where Aram and Tamara are staying. Aram's mother felt happy when she saw us.

Thank God Little Aram was extubated. He slept for a short time and then he couldn't stop crying but we still did everything we could in order to make him happy. We took some pictures, listened to kid's music and hung out with the mother.

We asked the doctor how Aram was doing and thank God he was doing better than the day before. The rest of the day, Aram slept well as the nurse gave him a medicine for the pain. The last few minutes I stayed with Aram as he slept while I sang some songs to him.

We are still praying for his healing process through this time, and for his mother as she may feel tired. May God's grace and love be shown in their lives during and after his time at the hospital.


Posted on Tue, 11/29/2016 - 04:17 by Sue Ingersoll

Today Aram had his surgery. This was after several times of rescheduling. Even though he had a low grade fever, the doctors decided to go ahead with his surgery, as all tests were good today.

His sweet buddy Bilind was out of his echo test and in Aram's room visiting. Bilind and his mother followed the bed down the hallway as it was wheeled to surgery. Eva and I dressed up for the pre-operation area. An Arabic speaker on the hospital staff asked Aram's mother if he was allergic to any medications. Surgery was estimated to be done around 6pm. Dr. Alona walked out just as Ruth arrived. The doctor said surgery went well and we will see Aram in about 40 minutes.

We saw Aram as he was wheeled into the ICU 40 minutes later. The mother was over the top happy. The doctors told us that Aram had a successful surgery and they hope to extubate him in the morning. We thank the Lord for His work in Aram's life.

Patience Tested

Posted on Sun, 11/27/2016 - 18:37 by Ruth Zellweger

Our precious Aram almost underwent his open heart surgery today - almost. After fasting for 12 hours, his surgery was cancelled at 2:30 pm this afternoon. Throughout the morning his mother kept up her hopes and diligently made sure that her son was well. In between there was also the question if his surgery would be postponed due to his chest infection that apparently had not yet completely healed. But then, Aram's nurse confirmed that he would still have his surgery today. And so, it was no pleasant news when the surgery eventually was cancelled due to Tamara's prolonged time in the operation room. Aram's mother needed a few minutes to get over her initial disappointment and to regain her composure, but then she made sure that her beloved son got his milk. 

As of now, Aram will not have surgery tomorrow. We will have to check with the doctors every day what their plan is for Aram's treatment. Please join us in praying for continued patience for Aram's mother, Aram's complete healing from his chest infection, and for God's perfect timing for the surgery. We entrust Aram and his mother into His loving hands. 

Admitted for Surgery

Posted on Fri, 11/25/2016 - 15:40 by Ruth Zellweger

After struggling with a cold and a painful cough for the last week, Aram has been doing a lot better the last couple of days. And today I had the privilege to take him and his mother to the hospital for potential surgery on Sunday, or Monday, depending on the length and outcome of his friend Tamara's surgery, which is scheduled for Sunday morning. 

Aram's mother got ready quickly this morning, and after our little group of volunteers prayed them off we were on our way to the hopsital, accompanied by our community friend Yasmine. It was a beautiful drive, and besides a short break in order for Aram to be fed, we made it to the hospital in a really good time. Little Tamara and her father were happy to see us all and to have some company over the weekend. 

We are looking forward to the start of the week and know we can trust God's perfect timing for Aram's surgery.