Adam's Heart Surgery

Kurdistan, northern Iraq

Trusting in the Lord

Posted on Thu, 05/11/2017 - 23:06 by Alexa Bigl

Today was the slated meeting with the multidisciplinary team for Adam and his father. Since Adam was hospitalized overnight for observation from his trans-esophageal echo, things were a bit unorganized. We were supposed to start with the eye exam done by a specialist for low-vision at 8am. Around 8:30, Adam finally got moved down to the children's ward; step one of getting him to his appointment. Around 9, the nurse did her assessment, and at 9:30 the doctor did his. Finally, it was almost 10 by the time we got his appointment rescheduled and Adam over to the opthamologist. The eye doctor said he could provide Adam with better glasses. They would not slow down the progression of degradation of the cells in Adam's retinas, but they could help him see better for the time being. 

After this exam and meeting, we headed back to the children's ward to meet with cardiology and endocrinology, plus other residents and nurses. The endocrinologist talked about Adam's situation and his hormone imbalances, along with an underlying disorder he has been diagnosed with. This disorder is the cause of Adam's eye issues, heart issues, hormone issues, and more. This doctor had some suggestions for helping manage the hormone-aspect of Adam's condition. We then moved onto the cardiac team. Dr. Tamir shared about the situation with Adam's heart. Due to the anatomy, there is no helpful surgical option. Adam has a couple of issues going on with his heart, but due to the very small size of the outlet from his left ventricle, surgical options are practically non-existent. The Wolfson cardiac team, with input from other doctors, determined there is no appropriate surgical correction. 
As our community friend, Ilan, translated, Adam's father took it all in. He remained very calm, asked some questions, and fiercely hugged Dr. Tamir at the end. Thanking all the doctors profusely.
To get Adam his new glasses, we would need Adam to stay in Israel two more weeks. The father seemed OK with this. However, later in the day, after Adam and his dad returned to the Jaffa base, they had a different mindset. Knowing no cardiac surgery was in their future, Adam and his father told us they wanted to return home to Kurdistan as soon as possible. We talked to them about the benefits of getting the glasses and also mentioned waiting a few days in order to see Jerusalem, but they wanted to return right away. 
Praise the Lord, they were able to get booked on tonight's flight.
Our team worked very hard to get everything prepared for a farewell tonight. And everything came together!
Songs were sung, gifts given, prayers prayed, and Adam's DVD was watched. And then Adam and his father were on the road to the airport. 
Such a difficult situation takes us to a new place in our relationship with God. Are we truly trusting Him in every situation? Can we say He is good no matter what? We have beautiful promises in Scripture for Adam, and we pour our faith into the knowledge of how good God is.
May He continue to be with Adam, may He become known to him and his whole family, and we ask for His healing to come upon Adam! Lord, bless this family, show your bountiful mercies, and perform a miraculous healing; amen!

A Difficult Day

Posted on Thu, 05/11/2017 - 00:42 by Rebekah Yang

Early this morning, Adam and his father went to Wolfson hospital to have his trans-esophageal echogram done.

We were told to be there early for the sake of examination, however when we arrived, then began our hours and hours of waiting. Later on I got the information that Adam was number three on the list, which means he was the last case of today.
Poor Adam had been fasting since last night at 11pm. Therefore, the prolonged hours of waiting was difficult for him when he saw all the people surrounding him were eating or drinking in the children's ward. Long hours of knowing nothing except "wait" was really irritating for both father and son. Every time a nurse passed his side, he raised his voice and asked, "Is it my turn now?"
Praise God, Eva and Debbie brought some Uno cards to play with him and the other kids in order to occupy his mind and kept him busy for a while. Eventually, at 12:45pm someone from the cath lab came over to wheel Adam into the catheterization room.
Because I was not allowed to enter, I assumed Adam's echo had begun right after he was wheeled in. But it wasn't until almost 2pm, when a nurse called me in, that I found out he had just been lying on his bed with an IV, but still in the process of waiting. It was past two o'clock this afternoon, when the procedure finally began.
Adam's father came out of the lab with me and complained that he was really hungry. I could imagine that it was because he did not eat nor drink in solidarity with Adam. Debbie gave him a falafel pita sandwich and within few minutes he had finished.
Adam's examination took about an hour long, then Dr. Tamir came out to give us a brief explanation. He said to the father that the echo was finished, but he would rather wait until tomorrow morning's staff meeting,  when they all get together to discuss treatment plans for the patients. After that, they will contact us and make sure the father receives a good explanation in Kurdish.
Afterwards, Adam was wheeled to the catheterization ICU for further observation overnight. Because Adam had just woken from anesthesia, he seemed very uncomfortable and quite drowsy at first. Then awhile later, he was crying so badly for water and food. His father was very sad and felt helpless, but could only hold Adam's hands and kiss him.
Dear Heavenly Father, I want to lift up Adam and his dad into your mighty hands now. You know how difficult this has been for Adam and his father, for them to go through all sorts of different and challenging tests. Please give them a good rest for tonight. And give your strength and wisdom for tomorrow morning's medical team meeting. In Yeshua's name I pray, amen!

Top-notch Care

Posted on Mon, 05/08/2017 - 21:47 by Alexa Bigl

Today we headed with Adam and his father to Sourasky Medical Center. This is another hospital in Tel Aviv the Wolfson medical team referred us to. We had an appointment set up with an eye specialist to look at Adam's situation. After a long time of sorting out paperwork, we were finally called into the different exam rooms for Adam's eyes to have a full array of assessments. We were joined by a Kurdish-Israeli, David. He came to help us with translation for the complicated exams and tests. It was our first time meeting this new friend, but we were incredibly blessed by him. He patiently waited with Adam and Adam's father for many hours. During the long wait while Joseph and I sorted the paperwork, Adam, his father, and David had the chance to get to know one another. I was so amazed at God's provision. We had fantastic translation for the day and also the opportunity to create new relationships. 

As we got the different exams checked off the list, Adam did wonderfully. With David, his new friend, coming alongside Adam, everything went smoothly. 
While we got some tough news at the end of our meeting with the specialist, we did not lose sight of the beautiful things we had seen throughout the day. From our new friend to the great care from the doctor at Sourasky, and from very helpful people in the financial department to the time spent with Adam; God is good! We learned the issues with Adam's retinas is degenerative. There is no treatment or anything known to be able to help with the type of unique situation Adam is facing with the cells in his eyes. The time-frame is unknown, but the course of the degeneration will lead to blindness in the coming years. 
We appreciate Wolfson and Dr. Alona's extreme care in following through so thoroughly to see what we can do to help Adam. In the end, we are thrust back into God's arms. He created Adam's eyes and we beseech Him that he will also heal his eyes. 
Last Thursday we had a delay in hearing from the multidisciplinary team from Wolfson about ideas, prognosis, and plans for Adam. We hope and pray that the meeting can be rescheduled soon! Thank you for praying with us for Adam. 

Another Call to Wolfson

Posted on Sun, 04/30/2017 - 23:23 by Alexa Bigl

We received a call from Wolfson right as we were sitting down to lunch today. The opthomologist wanted a second examination for Adam's eyes. His vision is very poor and the doctors are worried his eyes will digress as he grows up. After a series of many, many different tests the eye doctor confirmed Adam's current glasses are the best prescription for him. We will try to schedule an appointment with an opthomologist specializing in near-sightedness for this Thursday. 

One of Adam's doctors told us the cardiac surgical team plan to sit and discuss his case on Thursday, also. So, we hope to soon learn what the plan will be to repair Adam's heart. 
Father and son are becoming more comfortable with our Shevet family and it's a joy to see their cheerful faces day by day here at the Jaffa base. Adam is now friends with the other Kurdish kids here and loves playing Uno. Please continue to lift up Adam and his father in prayer as the surgical team looks over his case. And also please be praying for Adam's eyes. We know the Lord is the mighty Healer and we fully entrust Adam's sight to our loving Father. 

Patient Through Many Assessments

Posted on Wed, 04/26/2017 - 01:24 by Joseph Carter

Yesterday and today Adam went through a whirlwind of tests in the hospital: an echo, a blood test, a PPD test, and an endologocial assessment. Throughout the nearly 12 hours he spent at the hospital he never lost heart, and he and his father were always patient in waiting for the doctors and the results of the tests.

Thankfully, the other families are also stepping up to support Adam through this process. Aveen's father spent some time him while they waited: 

And, a whole group of Shevet families passed the time enjoying the entertaininment of a volunteer clown:

Adjusting to life here at Shevet might be a bit of a challenge for Adam as there is only one other boy close to his age for him to interact with.

But he has a good spirit and Lord willing will get along just fine. Initial results for his tests are still processing and he will be busy over the next couple of days with even more tests at the hospital. Please pray for this young man as his medical journey has just begun. 


Adam Arrives in Israel

Posted on Fri, 04/21/2017 - 21:53 by Ruth Zellweger

Adam and his father arrived early this morning at Ben Gurion airport, alongside little Maryam and her mother. They did not have any complications at passport control and were out in the arrival hall in no time. 

The next couple of days they have time to adjust and get to know our community and the other families. This coming Monday Adam is scheduled to have his first assessments at Wolfson hospital. Thank you for praying for his journey towards a healed heart.