Maryam's Heart Surgery

Kurdistan, northern Iraq

Mimi's Journey

Posted on Wed, 06/14/2017 - 21:40 by Helen Byler

Monday evening we celebrated with Mimi and her mother as we prepared to send them back to Kurdistan. One of the mothers cooked a delicious meal, and we enjoyed an evening of praising God for his healing in Mimi’s life and rejoicing with Mimi and her mother. We sang a few worship songs at the beginning, and Mimi joined in enthusiastically, adding a few loud hallelujahs at the end of several of the songs.

After dinner we took some time to share with Mimi and her mother how much we love them and have enjoyed having them with us, then Eva handed them a few going away presents. Mimi was so thrilled with everything, and lovingly kissed each book before setting it on the pile in front of her. We watched a DVD presentation that Eva had made of pictures from Mimi’s time in Israel. Mimi loved seeing all the pictures of her and her friends.

Tuesday evening it was time to say goodbye. Mimi ran around yelling “bye-bye! bye-bye!” to everyone for a while before they left and was so excited to be traveling. They left for Ben Gurion around 8:30 PM and arrived back in Kurdistan early the next morning. 
Thank you to all who have followed Mimi’s journey over the last few months for your prayers and your support! We praise God for his healing in her life, and for the joy and blessing that both Mimi and her mom have been to everyone at Shevet Achim. We will miss both of them so much, and the house seems extra quiet without Mimi running over to our apartment to ask for something, or just to check in and sit on our laps and giggle at the dog. But we are so happy that they are able to return home and that Mimi is so healthy, vibrant, and full of life again. Mimi’s life is a testimony to the healing power and grace of our God, and we pray that her life will be a blessing to many! 

Great Results, Wonderful News

Posted on Wed, 06/14/2017 - 00:57 by Cecilie Hoejlund Wibe
Yesterday we went to Wolfson hospital with Maryam and her mom for an echo follow-up. And we have good news: Maryam is now discharged!
The time waiting at the hospital was very short as we left the Shevet home late. So it didn't take much time before it was Maryam's turn for an echo. During the whole examination, she was very patient and calm. Even the doctor said how beautiful she was. You could see how Maryam was used to the procedure - as well as see how her mom was nervous for the results. 
But there was no need to be nervous: Dr. Alona said she looks great and that she has recovered perfectly. You could tell by looking at her afterwards; she was running around singing and playing. 
Hugs and kisses were given and her mom was very relieved. We are so happy for them, and we are going to miss them as the good results mean it is time for them to go back home to Kurdistan. But first we are having a well-deserved farewell party for her tonight. 
 We thank you all for praying, and we thank God for his blessings over Maryam and her well-being.

Mimi's Happy Day

Posted on Mon, 06/05/2017 - 21:57 by Rebekah Yang

This morning Suhail and I brought three families to Wolfson hospital for their post-surgery echo follow-ups.

Due to the long waiting hours, Mimi started playing with some of the other kids from SACH. They played cards and also did lots of drawing. I could see Mimi was in such good spirit and enjoyed her time very much.
At lunchtime, I brought Mimi and her mum to the hospital cafeteria to grab a packed lunch to eat outside of the echo room. Both of them seemed very relaxed and loved their food, too. At almost 2pm it was Mimi's turn for her echo. Within a few minutes the technician finished. Dr. Alona was very pleased with Mimi's echo results. Right away she reduced her medicine dosage and happily said next Monday will be Mimi's final echo!
Thanks so much for praying for Mimi and her mum. Please lift up both of them in your prayers and may Yeshua's peace continue to bring them strength. Amen!

A Happy Report

Posted on Mon, 05/29/2017 - 22:45 by Eva Markewitz

Mimi's went in for another follow-up echo today and the doctors report that her heart is looking excellent.

She just needs two more echos until she can leave for Kurdistan. In the next few days, they will reduce her medication step by step. Thank you for keeping her in your prayers!

The Lord is definitely working in both the life of the mother and the life of Mimi! 

Big Improvement

Posted on Thu, 05/25/2017 - 22:37 by Rebekah Yang

This morning was Mimi's second echo follow-up within a week, because she had fluid around her heart in Monday's echo results. We arrived to echocardiogram department before 9:30am and began our long hours of waiting there. There were quite a few kids from SACH who also came for an echoes, and there was only one doctor preforming the exams.

After some time later, both of the main cardiologists - Drs. Alona and Tamir - arrived. I was happily thinking that with the extra doctors, soon it should be Mimi's turn. However, there was a young boy who came from the children's ward following a catheterization, and he was wheeled in for an urgent echo. And because his arm had some ongoing bleeding, all of the medical staff were very busy tending to him. So, once again we waited outside in the corridor.

It was almost 11:30am when it was Mimi's turn to have her echo. The echo results were good; Mimi's heart has no more fluid. Praise God for such a big improvement.
Please continue to pray for her next echo on Monday. May it bring more good news. 

Mimi's Echo Day

Posted on Mon, 05/22/2017 - 19:08 by Alexa Bigl

We headed over to Wolfson with Mimi this morning to see how her surgically-repaired heart was doing. The patch covering the hole between Mimi's atria is looking really good. The surgical repair is solid.

However, the fluid around Mimi's heart has increased since last Monday. So, she had some changes made to her medications. She was started on a high dose of steroids to help resolve this issue.

There are many potential side-effects to the steroids and Mimi will need to be monitored very closely as she receives this medication. She will return to Wolfson on Thursday to see how well it helps decrease the fluid. Once the fluid has decreased or gone away completely, we will begin the process of weaning Mimi from the steroid. We are happy there is a high likelihood the medications will take care of the problem and invasive interventions aren't necessary at this point.

It is a bit hard to learn the continued and worsened complication will extend Mimi's time with us here in Israel.  But we are happy to have sweet, joyful Mimi and her mom with us for longer; they are both so much fun and simply lovely to have as part of our Shevet family!

Please join us in praying for Mimi. Strength for her and her mother as Mimi's recovery continues. Patience as her little heart gets used to being whole. And for healing, that the fluid will rapidly go away. Amen.

Mimi's Echo Day

Posted on Mon, 05/15/2017 - 22:02 by Simone Escalante

Today was a day that almost all our Shevet children had to have an echo. I was accompanying Maryam and Halat during the examination. Mimi was so scared of something invasive happening, but there was a resident doctor who helped her feel relaxed enough to take the exam. He allowed Mimi's mother to handle the echo device twice for Mimi to feel at peace, and trust that nothing that would make her feel pain.

In this way the doctor was able to finish the exam successfully. Everything appeared to be well post-op, and next week it is probable that there are changes to reduce her medicine. We will be praying that the next time Mimi will has an appointment, she can feel at peace and that good news can continue. Join us in prayer for the complete healing of this beautiful girl.

Already Back to Jaffa

Posted on Sun, 05/14/2017 - 19:06 by Alexa Bigl

Mimi and her mom have rejoined us at Shevet's Jaffa house. We were praying for the possibility, over the weekend, for her return to be soon. And today's echo showed the doctors she was ready! Mom and daughter were excited to get home as quickly as possible. The doctors and nurses were on top of it, and Mimi was greeted by everyone before 10am at our Shevet home.  

It was so lovely having their sweet faces with us again around the lunch table this afternoon. And Mimi happily sung along to our praise of thanks before we began eating. She will return to Wolfson tomorrow for another echo. Since she has a small bit of fluid around her heart, close follow-up it important. We are in awe of the healing miracle God has and is performing for little Maryam! He is a good and faithful Father. 

Chest Tube Removal

Posted on Thu, 05/11/2017 - 22:44 by Alexa Bigl

Mimi's recovery continues at lightning fast rates. Her echo today looked great and she had her chest tube and pacer wires removed. She has a tiny bit of fluid around her left lung still, however. Please join us in praying for resolution in this. Mimi is also still experiencing some pain. She readily smiles with us, but so often is quickly in tears after small movements. The nurses pushed her forward tonight and had her walk down the hall a little. Despite her protests, Mimi did great! She tiptoed around the IV canula in her foot, but walked with just a helping hand from her mom. 

Mimi's mom continues her diligent care for her daughter and is handling her fragile body with the lightest touches. It's so sweet to watch! We hope Mimi will very soon be rejoining us at our Jaffa base. 

Transferred to the Ward

Posted on Thu, 05/11/2017 - 00:30 by Rebekah Yang

Around noontime, Eva, Debbie and I were all together in the ward for the Kurdish families of Marwan, Adam and Dima.

Imagine our surprise when we saw Mimi and her mum being wheeled towards the children's ward! Wow, praise God! What wonderful news.
Aside from a chest tube for draining fluid from her left lung, everything seems fine with her otherwise. Her vital signs are all stable and she started to have food today. She was so tired she quickly fell asleep.
However after a while of napping, Mimi woke up feeling uneasy, and cried a lot due to the great pain she has from her open-heart surgery yesterday. Just before I headed back, Mimi's mum told me that Mimi did not eat much, only drank a little water and juice. She was also sweating quite a bit. The evening shift nurse checked her temperature and it was 37.7 degrees Celsius (99.8* F).
Please continue to lift up our precious Mimi in your prayers. May her healing process be a marvelous testimony to speak to our Messiah's great and mighty name. Amen!