Ania's Heart Surgery

Kurdistan, northern Iraq

Beaming with Joy as We Celebrate

Posted on Fri, 07/14/2017 - 22:01 by Shea Lindsay

We kissed a chunky and healthy Ania goodbye, as she enjoyed the being center of attention for her farewell party tonight. With her big eyes and little curls, she was just beaming with joy as we celebrated her heart being healed!

Her mama put just the cutest little Kurdish outfit on her and she got passed around the room all night as we said our last goodbyes and soaked in our last few moments with precious Ania. She can’t walk yet but she loves to be put on her feet and so she can bounce around with her chubby little legs!

One of the other little Kurdish girls had bubbles that she was blowing and Ania had just the time of her life chasing them around and popping them with her feet or on her nose.

We showed our love and affection for them by showering both mother and daughter with an array of gifts. 

She was ever so compliant when we set her in the carseat at the end of the night as we sent them away to the airport, but she had such a hard time parting from everyone! Please continue to pray for her as she grows up, that God willing she continues to stay healthy!

Going Back to Kurdistan

Posted on Mon, 07/10/2017 - 21:27 by Rebekah Yang

This morning we had the privilege of bringing our cheerful sweetie, Ania, to the hospital for an echo follow-up after last Wednesday's catheterization.

Upon our arrival, there were a long queue outside the echo department. But Ania was so happy to play with the other children also waiting for echos. It seemed that she was enjoying her time, no problem at all.
At 12:30pm, it was Ania's turn for her echo. She became so irritated and was non-stop crying and wrestling with us. As a result, the technician couldn't perform her echo procedure. We took almost twenty minutes and still we couldn't calm her down. At this point she suggested mum carry Ania outside and try to rock her to sleep - then we could try again.
Praise God, at almost 1pm, Ania had fallen asleep. The technician was able to finish the echo exam. It only took her a few minutes to get all the results. When Dr. Alona reviewed the findings, she was very pleased and gave Ania and her mum a green light to go back to Kurdistan.
Thank you all, for all of your prayers and support for Ania's new heart journey with us. May our Messiah's love continue to work in their lives and bring them peace and strength while they prepare to leave and after they are reunited with their family, amen.

Ania Discharged

Posted on Thu, 07/06/2017 - 22:25 by Rebekah Yang

This morning when I entered the children's ward, I was warmly welcomed by Ania's mum and happy Ania. I saw her mum was feeding her breakfast and our sweet Ania seemed to enjoy it very much.

Afterwards, her mum told me that Ania cried a bit last night but eventually fell alseep without any problems. Later on, another co-worker, Shea, also came over to join us and to play with Ania. Around noontime, we were told to bring Ania for echo follow-up after yesterday's catheterization. So Shea went with them to the echo department for checking.
Around 12:30pm they came back to the ward. The doctor was pleased with the echo result and happily released her to go back with us to our Jaffa community. However, she will need to come back next Monday to have some blood tests and also another echo to determine whether she is officially free to go back home to Kurdistan or not. Please join us in thanking God for how He has healed her through the catheterization. Please also pray for her upcoming Monday echo exam.

God is Big

Posted on Wed, 07/05/2017 - 21:15 by Alexa Bigl

Ania's doctors were unsure if they would be able to fit her into this week's cath day, as many children were in line. Yesterday they asked us to come to the hospital but upon arrival changed their minds and said she could be at home and fast from 3am and return before 8 this morning to hear the final word if she would get her cath. 

The doctors still weren't sure this morning and Ania and her mother had some time to wait. Ania enjoyed playing on a little scooter car in the garden area. Soon after she and her mom headed for some shopping the nurse informed us they would be able to get Ania into the cath lab today! 
After getting an IV inserted, vital signs taken, and Ania changed into hospital pyjamas, this sweet little girl fell asleep in her mom's arms. And then it was time for Ania to head up to the cath lab. Ania's mom signed consent forms and once Ania was in for the procedure it was waiting time for Ania's mom. The two hours went quickly and soon the cardiologist came out to tell us they successfully placed a stant in Ania's aorta, enlarging the undersized area.
We will know more in the coming days but it seems this procedure will allow Ania to delay having surgery for several years. Eventually she will need her problematic valve fixed and a larger stent placed, as she grows, but for now it may be she can very soon return to Kurdistan! Tomorrow's exams and echo and also the echo next Monday will confirm these things. But we are so happy for the successful procedure today and praise the Lord how He is healing Ania. It was truly a touching time with Ania's mom after she heard the news as she proclaimed again and again 'God is big'. Indeed, He the omnipotent Healer! 

A Rough Process

Posted on Wed, 06/21/2017 - 02:54 by Helen Byler

We took Ania and her mother to Wolfson this morning so that Ania could be admitted in advance of her catheterization tomorrow. Once we got there, Ania waited for almost two hours to start the blood work, but she played with Ayleen and her mom talked with Dima’s mother and Ayleen’s mother. When they started the blood work, the doctor had a very difficult time finding a vein and tried several times unsuccessfully. Ania cried a lot, and her mom cried a little as well; they were both very tired and hungry from waiting. The doctor decided to wait until everyone calmed down to try again. We were just starting to feed Ania some soup and bread when another doctor came to try again to draw blood. Thankfully this time it was successful and the crying minimal. Ania stopped crying immediately when one of the volunteers blew some bubbles for her.  

Once we changed Ania into hospital clothes and fed her some lunch she cheered up a lot and smiled and bounced around her crib for several hours before finally falling asleep right before we left at 3pm. She is a joyful child with a sweet personality, and quickly warmed up to the nurses and the volunteers at the hospital.Unfortunately we got a phone call later in the afternoon that Ania’s cath has been cancelled and they were sent home. This was very discouraging after a rough admissions process; please pray that the catheterization can be rescheduled soon and that Ania and her mother would have patience and peace as they wait.

Ania's First Assessment Day

Posted on Tue, 05/30/2017 - 01:45 by Rebekah Yang

Yesterday our Shevet community in Jaffa welcomed beautiful and sweet Ania and her mum.

This morning, after they had some rest from traveling yesterday, they went to Wolfson hospital for Ania's first assessment. At first, Ania was overwhelmed by all the new people and the new environment at the hospital. She enjoyed and observed her surroundings with her beautiful, big eyes. However after nurses started to do her physical check-up including body weight, body temperature, and blood pressure, she became irritated and fought with the nurses.
After she finished her first stage of assessments, then she went to the nursing station for her blood test. At this point, poor Ania was crying and wrestling non-stop with the medical staff.
 Later on, Ania and her mum went together with another Shevet family - Aymen and his mum - to the x-ray department for her chest x-ray. Then we moved to another building for her PPD test as well. When we had finished most of the examinations, it was already 1pm and time for lunch. 
After lunch, Ania had her last exam which was an echo. Before they began, they gave her some sedation medicine so she would be able to sleep during the exam.
However, because the doctor took quite some times to check Aymen, when it came time for Ania's turn she was already awake again. 
Praise God, Ania did not fight during her echo time. The echo showed the following results:
1. Shone Syndrome
2. Parachuce Mitral Valve
3. Severe Mitral Stenosis
4. Bicuspid Aortic valve
5. Coarctation of Aorta
Ania has quite a few heart issues that need to be corrected through medical treatment. And they are going to present her case during their weekly staff meeting for discussion and planning later.
Please pray for Ania's mum and Ania as they are new arrivals here. May God provide mum daily strength and grace to settle down. In Messiah name I pray, amen!

Ania Prepares to Travel

Posted on Tue, 05/23/2017 - 23:20 by Ruth Zellweger

This afternoon, our Kurdistan community had the opportunity to get to know a little bit sweet Ania and her family. We met in the office of a local travel agency to get the flight tickets for mother and daughter for this coming Sunday. 

Ania is the youngest of three, a little bit shy in the beginning, but warming up with time. She will celebrate her first birthday just a day before she will start her journey towards a healed heart. We are thankful for the open door for Ania to Israel. May she soon be able to return to her family with a healed heart.