Ramin's Heart Surgery

Kurdistan, northern Iraq

Farewell, Ramin!

Posted on Wed, 01/18/2017 - 17:42 by Alexa Bigl

Ramin returned home yesterday and is happily back with his family. Before they left, whenever Ramin's father would video call Ramin's mother, we had noticed Ramin wasn't responding to her the way he used to. So it was lovely to see them all reunited and Ramin engaging with her and his entire family again. We already miss Ramin and his dad in our community; their quick smiles, happy dispositions, and helping hands were a blessing to our community. 

On Monday night we got to celebrate Ramin's healed heart and rejoice in the journey Ramin and father have been on. A couple of the mothers made a beautiful Kurdish meal we got to all enjoy together to kick off the festivities. We continued the joyful banter into tea and dessert time before ensuring our focus was aligned correctly by entering into a time of worship. We enjoyed clapping and doing hand movements along with the kid's worship songs; Ramin excitedly took it all in as his dad helped him clap his little hands together. 
We then had the opportunity to share with Ramin and his dad how they have impacted us and memories we will cherish. The family has certainly created many memories for us at Shevet and we pray the memories and feelings they got from their time here will remain with them both. We pray our community life showed the loved of God to Ramin and his dad. 
We also spent time giving Ramin and his dad gifts, as an expression of our love for them. Ramin enjoyed receiving toys and stuffed animals along with new clothing and a blanket. He happily twirled his arms around as he excitedly smiled, in his typical way. 
We then got to watch Ramin's farewell DVD where we watched his journey documented through photos. It was truly beautiful. Ramin arrived with low oxygen saturation and his skin was dark with blue lips. Then immediately after surgery his skin and lips were a beautiful healthy color, and the transformation continued once he was discharged back to Shevet's Jaffa base. He is even more beautiful (and chubbier) now.
We pray the Lord continues to keep Ramin, both physically and spiritually. May the grace of God be with him during his life, and may he know the love of the Savior for him. God continues to amaze us day-by-day and we don't take for granted the miracle He did and is doing for Ramin's heart to be healthy. 
We took Ramin to the airport and said farewell to two special members of our Shevet family. We thank God that this family extends all over the world - hearts that have been healed and knit together by the grace of God. What a beautiful glimpse of the eternal kingdom! Amen. 

Our Chubby Ramin is Going Home!

Posted on Mon, 01/16/2017 - 20:31 by Rebekah Yang

Today's was such a busy echo day for our Shevet community. I went with Ramin and his father right after we arrived in the echo department.

Dr. Sagi was very careful looking through the echo monitor for quite a while. Eventually we got the good news from him that Ramin can be discharged and go home to Kurdistan! At the moment he still needs to take some medicine for one month, but the good thing is that the doctors stopped his inhalation treatment since his lungs have no problem now.
Let's lift our hands to give glory to our mighty God for what he has given - a new and beautiful heart to our cute and chubby Ramin!

Healing Beautifully

Posted on Mon, 01/09/2017 - 18:29 by Ruth Zellweger

The echo for Ramin today was done within minutes. Dr. Alona skillfully assessed his heart, and told us that Ramin does not have any fluid left around his heart or lungs. Consequently, she reduced one of his diuretics and stopped another. She also told us that next week could be potentially Ramin's final echo. His father was overjoyed when he heard the good news. 

After the echo we went to the children's ward where Ramin got the stitches from his former chest tubes removed. Both father and son spent some time with their friends, Sonya and Ritaj and their mothers. It is so sweet to see the friendship and affection these families have for each other. We are looking forward to spending one more week with this special father and son duo. They have definitely made an impact on our lives and Shevet community. 

Home From the Hospital!

Posted on Tue, 01/03/2017 - 21:06 by Mattias Hojlund

Today is a day of celebration. We have welcomed Ramin and his father, who have returned from the hospital. After 11 days there, Ramin's father was looking forward to a real shower and a shaving.

The doctors discharged Ramin late this afternoon, and the doctor said that he was looking forward to seeing him again on Monday for his first echo exam.

When you walk around the hospital, it's easy to see that Ramin has stolen the hearts of all the nurses and doctors, and even the other patients. He is just an adorable little boy.

Praise be to the Lord Almighty who has led Ramin this far and taken care of him at the hospital. We're so thankful for what he does in the lives of the kids and the families. 

More Good News

Posted on Sun, 01/01/2017 - 16:58 by Rebekah Yang

This morning I received a call from Ramin's father saying he just finished the echo exam for Ramin. The result was great! Therefore they have transferred Ramin to the children's ward.

Wow, what wonderful news to hear. Hallelujah, praise God for Ramin's recovery from the fluid on his left lung. While I was at the hospital, I had a few precious minutes to stay with Ramin. From the way Ramin interacted with his father, I could see how strong the relationship is between this father and son.
Thank you Lord for this lovely family in our Shevet community. May our sweet Ramin return to our Shevet home soon.

Happy Ramin Moved to Secondary ICU

Posted on Sat, 12/31/2016 - 21:52 by Rebakah Yang

This morning I had the opportunity to visit Ramin in the hospital. I was surprised when I entered the ICU and I could not see Ramin and his father there. After I checked with the doctors, I realized he had been transferred to Secondary ICU last Thursday.

Feeling very cheerful and joyful, I went into the Secondary ICU to find them. Once there, I saw our happy Ramin was playing with his father. Praise God! How wonderful to see them. His father told me that so far Ramin has been passing lots of urine every time when he changes Ramin's diapers. Yesterday, he still had a fever above 38* Celsius (100.4* F), but it is a good sign that today he has had no fever until now.
I spent a little time playing with Ramin. It's so great to see our happy little boy coming back. If everything goes well with him, he may be out of Secondary ICU by tomorrow.
Please join with me to offer our thankful hearts in praise of His healing, might hands.

In ICU for Fluid

Posted on Fri, 12/30/2016 - 01:02 by Rebekah Yang

This morning Jessmine and I went to the hospital to visit two of our families. I saw Ramin's dad was sitting outside the nursing station, and he greeted me with a big smile.

He told me that the echo department doctor has called for Ramin's echo follow-up. So right away I went with them to the echo department. After we waited for a little while, Ramin was called for his turn to have an echo.
The echo did not take very long, however, both Dr. Tamir and the technician looked very serious as they discussed Ramin's echo results on the monitor for few minutes. Afterward, Dr. Tamir asked when was the last time he ate or drank. He began to make a few phone calls in Hebrew which caused both Ramin's father and myself to feel worried and wonder what's happening?
Eventually, he finished all of his arrangements and then he explained to me that the echo results showed Ramin's left side lung and surrounding areas to have lots of fluid, which means he will need to have a chest tube put in this afternoon. The poor father was a bit shocked at first but received this bad news in a very calm and peaceful mood.
Right after the echo, we went to the x-ray department for Ramin's chest x-ray. When all these exams were done, again we went back to the children's ward for waiting. Around 2 pm, we were told to bring Ramin to the ICU in preparation for his chest tube procedure. ICU Drs. Rachel and Houri wanted to double-check his condition, so they did another echo for Ramin's chest. After that, Dr. Houri told me that they decided not to puncture his chest for draining. Instead they just want to keep Ramin in ICU for close monitoring of his condition.They also want to give him other medication to reduce his fluid. Hopefully within one or two days he will be better and out of ICU again.
Praise God for his lovingkindness towards Ramin. Please continue to lift up our precious Ramin and his dad in your prayers. May our Heavenly Father bless all of our Shevet prayer warriors abundantly - amen!!

From the Secondary ICU to the Ward

Posted on Wed, 12/28/2016 - 15:37 by Alexa Bigl

Cute Ramin has been transferred to the children's ward! This moring, we had the opportunity to visit him early while he was still in the secondary ICU. He had just woken up, but was almost immediately ready to start playing with his toys. Because of Hannukah, many gifts have been given to the children, and Ramin loves it! He enjoy batting around a balloon and playing the tamborine. 

Later in the day, we returned to Wolfson. Ramin had been moved to the children's ward! His dad wasn't at his bedside when I peeked into the room, so I enjoyed some one-on-one time with Ramin. He enjoyed some bread soaked in soup and tried some potatoes and a bite of pear.

When Ramin's dad returned, he waited on all of the mothers in the nearby room, getting them coffees and teas. Ramin's dad has a beautiful heart and has become a dear brother to all of us at Shevet and now to many of the mothers at Wolfson. Throughout the afternoon, Ramin and his dad also spent sweet moments together. This little boy clearly adores his father.

Right before it was time for me to leave the hospital I got a couple more minutes playing with Ramin and opening a new gift; a bunch of candies! Ramin's father is definitely ready to be done at the hospital and is already working out which day he will be back in Kurdistan. Please join us in praying for Ramin's continued healing and for his father to have patience during the healing process. 

Making Progress

Posted on Sun, 12/25/2016 - 17:50 by Ruth Zellweger

Our litte Ramin was monitored in the ICU over the weekend. This morning, the cardiologists performed an echo and confirmed that his heart looks good. A little while later, two of Ramin's three chesttubes were removed.

Poor Ramin had to fast for a few hours prior the procedure and whimpered in his big hospital bed. But when the tubes where out, he was allowed to have his milk, and soon feel asleep. 

In the afternoon, he was moved to the Secondary ICU. His joyful father made a video call to his wife right away to share with her this good news.

We are thankful that precious Ramin is making progress day by day, and we are looking forward to soon see a smile on his chubby little face again. 

A Heart Pumping Strong

Posted on Thu, 12/22/2016 - 23:25 by Lewis Ingersoll

Ramin was his usual bubbly self when Ruth and I arrived at Wolfson early today. He was very calm in the children's room where they do last minute procedures and double check his name before they take him off to surgery.

Everyone commented on how cheerful and happy he seemed.

He had a chance to see his mother on an video cell phone connection. Then, he gave us all a "thumbs up" before being quietly taken to the operating room.
Ramin's father and I headed for a restaurnat called Cafe Cafe for coffee and a chocolate croissant to begin our wait. While never sure how long a surgery may take, we are expecting a four to six hour wait. Dad was in frequent contact with mom expressing confidence and trust in the doctors and aware of all the prayer ongoing for Ramin. 
We visited over coffee for a while. We shared stories that photos brought to mind. We both have large extended families. Ramin's mother and other extended family members prayed all night before Ramin's surgery.
Around 2:30 pm, Dr. Alona came to say the operation was over, Ramin's heart was pumping strong, and the echo looked good.  Smiles, hugs, and Dad made calls to share the good news with Ramin's mother and family. 
We are thankful that we can put our trust in our Creator and know that He cares for us and our families. We thank God for his grace and mercy in all things, both great and small.