Floryan's Heart Surgery

Kurdistan, northern Iraq

A Tearful Goodbye

Posted on Thu, 05/25/2017 - 22:26 by Debbie Sturm

When Floryan and his mother arrived weeks ago, I remember him as a shy little boy who hid himself behind his mother. But she was joyful from the first moment and she became friends easily with the other mothers and with some of the volunteers. In their first days here we went to the beach and as usual, Floryan was shy and did not interact with me. We sat for a while on the beach and I started to smile at him and slowly to play with him. Suddenly little Floryan risked a shy smile and started to chat with me a bit. I did not understand him but at least he tried to interact and to play with me. Slowly he started to trust and I knew from this moment we would be good friends. In the next weeks he started to call my name many times and he also interacted with the other volunteers through his mischievous grin and calling their names. His mother was always joyful and several times she brought our community self-made food.

Floryan's sugery was a birthday gift for his mother as he was operated on her birthday. This cheerful mom cried on this day a lot but of course she was very happy after the surgery was done. We celebrated her brithday in the evening, sang her a birthday song in Arabic, and blessed her with a little gift. But the most wonderful gift she received on this day was that her little boy was successfully operated on, and God had protected his life.

On Monday Floryan was discharged and we celebrated his farewell. He was dressed up and looked like a little sir. He was smiling a lot and enjoyed playing with the balloons and liked the songs of praise we sang together.

The mothers had prepared two different entrees for the dinner menu: spaghetti pizza and a Kurdish meal. We enjoyed the delicious food and shared some encouring thoughts with Floryan and his mom. It became clear that they are deeply loved by the community.

Of course they were also given gifts and Floryan could not wait to play with the new things he was given.

On their last day here in Israel they had the opportunity to visit Jerusalem together with Halat and Mimi and their mums.

As Floryan's family are Christians, it was special for them to visit the Garden Tomb.

Later we also went to the market and the mothers bought a few things and enjoyed the time there. In the evening we had to say goodbye. There were many tears shed. It was difficult for the other families and also for the volunteers to say goodbye. When the car left, a crying mum and a smiling little boy beside her waved.

They made it safely back to Kurdistan and we are thankful for the time with them here in Jaffa. May the Lord bless them and may they continue growing in their faith.


We Got the Good News

Posted on Mon, 05/22/2017 - 19:07 by Alexa Bigl

It's official! Floryan and his mom can return home to Iraq. The doctors did a quick echo and had great reports for Floryan's heart. He is ready to make the journey home and take the last steps of recovery alongside the rest of his family in Kurdistan.

He will need continued follow-up with his local cardiologist, but we are so happy to hear the report of Floryan's healed heart. 

After the echo, we headed down to the children's ward for Floryan's sutures to be removed and have one final blood test.
All looked good and we said goodbye to Wolfson Medical Center by 11am- a record fast final echo day for sure. 
When we went to book Floryan's return ticket we were told it would cost extra money. But by the time we had everything ready and arranged to actually book the tickets, we got the wonderful news no money was owed. We will have the opportunity to say our farewells over the next couple of days before Floryan flies on Wednesday evening. Thank you for your prayers as Floryan and his mom have had this Israeli journey to a healed heart! May the Lord continue to bless and uplift this special family. 

Final Echo Soon

Posted on Mon, 05/15/2017 - 22:02 by Debbie Sturm

This morning we went for Floryan's echo at the hospital. Since five of our children had their echoes today, Floryan had to wait for a while, but he stayed very patient. He and his mother were in a really good mood and Floryan shared his chips generously with other children and the volunteers.

During the echo, Floryan was first curious about everything. But soon he became afraid and started to cry, although the doctors were really nice and the echo was not painful. The doctors are really happy about his condition. Floryan is doing well, they decided to stop one medication and probably he will have his final echo next week. His mother was really joyful and Floryan was too as soon as the echo was done. Let us thank God for this good news.

A Joyful Return

Posted on Mon, 05/08/2017 - 23:10 by Alexa Bigl

Floryan and his mom returned to our Jaffa house today! After very good results from his echo yesterday, he needed one more day to receive IV antiobitics, and today he was ready to return home. There are still some questions circling around if Floryan has an infection and what is the bacteria or virus, but Dr. Tamir felt comfortable sending him back to us on oral antibiotics. We will be very closely monitoring if he springs a fever, ready to get him back to the hospital anytime. Since there are unknown factors with his possible infection we need to be on high alert. 

He and his mom are so happy to be back and when I went over to the families' apartment tonight, they were all smiles. Floryan's mom was excitedly chatting with all the other mothers and fathers about her experiences at the hospital, enjoying having companions in the comfort of a home again. Floryan was playing on the floor, seeming very satisfied to be out of his hospital bed. 
Thank you, Lord, for the return of this family to our home; Floryan's heart surgically corrected! 

Chest Tube Gone and a Transfer!

Posted on Thu, 05/04/2017 - 22:37 by Co-authored

Dany Escalante writes: 

Yesterday, I participated in the team that went to the hospital and I was able to spend some time with Floryan. When I arrived he was calm and seemed more comfortable than he had been days ago. I noticed this improvement and I believe that he really continues to respond well to treatment.

An echo was performed and there was no fluid present and therefore the chest tube was removed. It was so much fun watching him play with enthusiasm with a yellow balloon, even though at first he did not want to.

I will be praying for this improvement to continue so we can be together again in the house in Jaffa.

Eva Markewitz continues:

When I visited sweet Floryan this morning in the secondary ICU, he was not in a good mood, very serious, and a little whiny. But then I pulled out my guitar and sang some songs with both Floryan and Halat, and suddenly you could see a smile come up from his lips and he was even trying to sing the lyrics. Afterwards, he was still a little grumpy, but he looked happier for sure.
Later on, as I walked into Dima's room in the children's ward, a surprise was waiting for me: Floryan and his mother greeted me with a big smile. He finally got transferred to the children's ward! We hope that he might come home to Jaffa soon. Please keep them in your prayers.

Transferred to Secondary ICU

Posted on Mon, 05/01/2017 - 20:23 by Debbie Sturm

As we entered the hospital today, Floryan was just transferred to the Secondary ICU. He whined a lot. Simone and I tried to cheer him up by singing songs and making jokes with a balloon. From time to time, Floryan stopped whining, looked at us, and gave as a smile. But as soon as a nurse came to his bed he started to cry again. We joined his mother in sitting at his bed and talking to him quietly. In the afternoon they removed one of his chest tubes. Please pray for Floryan and his mother as they have to stay patient.


Floryan's Second Chest Tube

Posted on Sun, 04/30/2017 - 23:46 by Rebekah Yang

I had opportunity to spend some time with Floryan while his mum went back to the Shevet community for a shower and also to have a little bit of refreshment.

In the beginning, Floryan used his very weak and low voice to cry out one word - "Linda" - all the time. I knew he was very scared that his mum was not around with him. I tried to make some glove balloons to play with him. He played only a few minutes then again was crying and looking for his mum.
Later on two ICU nurses were taking turns trying to give him medicine but he refused. In the evening shift, the primary nurse told me that because Floyrian's left lung also has fluid, they had to insert another chest tube this morning. No wonder our precious Floryan has so much pain and was very insecure today. After more than half an hour of fighting on his bed, eventually he fell asleep like a little angel.
Despite Floyrian having chest tubes on both sides, generally speaking, he is doing fine. Please pray for him and his mum to have strength and adjust to their time in ICU. May our Messiah's healing power continue to work in Floryan's whole body. May his mum have peace to take care of her son. In Yeshua's name I pray, amen!

Chest Tube and Comfort

Posted on Wed, 04/26/2017 - 23:32 by Eva Markewitz
Today I got to visit little Floryan. When I entered the ICU, I saw the doctors preparing for some kind of assesment. Due to some fluid around Floryan's lungs, they had to put in a chest tube. Even though the doctor was telling the mother in arabic, she was very worried about her beloved son for she had to wait outside in front of the ICU and couldn't actually see what was happening. She shed some tears while waiting for the doctors to be finished. But it was very sweet to see how the other mothers at the hospital encouraged her during this time. Comfort from a fellow parent who knows your struggle is a gift from God, indeed. 
Then after a while, when she finally was allowed to see him, I could see the relief in her eyes and she was even able to smile again. Please continue praying for Floryan's healing.

Extubated in the ICU

Posted on Wed, 04/26/2017 - 01:22 by Debbie Sturm

This morning I went to visit Floryan and some other children at Wolfson. As I entered the hospital, his mother was waiting in front of the ICU and talking with the other mothers who have become really good friends with her. She was smiling and really happy to see me. I joined the mothers and we had a good and joyful time together.

From left to right: Sara's mom, Floryan's mom, Halat's mom, and Debbie

After some time, she called her family and she had lunch. Afterwards, we went together to the ICU. Floryan was extubated and waking up as we came in. His mother was thankful and could not stop looking at him. He was distressed and crying a little, but his mother quieted him down.

She cried a bit as well. Floryan started to move a lot and it was a joy to see his thankful mother. Thank you for your prayers. Please continue to pray for them as they still have to remain patient in the hospital.


Floryan's Surgery Day

Posted on Tue, 04/25/2017 - 00:10 by Simone Escalante

We arrived at the hospital very early and found Floryan and his mother in the room anxiously waiting for Floryan to be called into the operation room. He seemed to be hungry and scared, but his mother was holding him in her arms all the time and gently caressing his head. 

When the transport nurse came to bring Floryan to the operation room, his mother went with him on the hospital bed, holding Floryan. I was surprised to see so much affection. Alexa followed them into the operation room, where the mother said goodbye to him. 

When the mother returned with Alexa, I saw her crying a lot. She was anxious, with uncertainty and longing in her tear-filled eyes. These tears did not end until she found her companions who are the parents of our other children at the hospital. They gave her strength and words of comfort, because they had also experienced the same before.

Finally she was quiet and could even laugh at jokes from the clown who stayed in the hospital to cheer up the children during their time of their treatment.

After a few hours of waiting, we went downstairs again to find out about how the surgery was going. A nurse came out and informed us that everything went well. But we were still waiting for it to end. The mother seemed again anxious, but throughout the remaining waiting time, we received more good news. During the last stage we heard that the echo was good and that we just needed to wait for the arrival of Floryan in the ICU. The mother remained anxious until she was able to see him, but at the same time she was also grateful to God. 

Floryan's repair went well and we heard a good report from the doctors.

We praise God because He gave us His grace and love to pass this day. I can say that, despite all the difficulties, I am privileged to see our God working among us in this precious place.

To Him be honor and glory for centuries. And thank God, Floryan is already post-surgery and recovering in the ICU.