Siraj's Heart Surgery

Kurdistan, northern Iraq

Faith in the Outcome

Posted on Wed, 12/13/2017 - 18:22 by Elwira Kromer

Yesterday we had a farewell party of Siraj. During the celebration, we had a meal together with all the other families and Shevet volunteers. The mother seemed very happy to finally go home. The journey in Israel is not an easy one, and takes a strong heart to overcome and have faith in the outcome.

When it was time to say goodbye, we all went out on the street and waved with handkerchiefs. The little boy quickly recovered from his operation and left Israel with a healthy heart. We wish blessings on their entire family, and pray God will be glorified through Siraj's healed heart, and his experience in Israel.

Siraj Can Go Home!

Posted on Mon, 12/11/2017 - 21:01 by Ana Ruiz

Today was an amazing day in the hospital. Coby and I went with Siraj and his mom for the last echo.

When the doctor checked Siraj, she told us that all the signs were fine and Siraj could go home! 

We are really happy for Siraj because he will be with his family soon. 

First Echo Check-Up

Posted on Mon, 12/04/2017 - 23:31 by Ben van Wijhe

Today Maxine and I brought Siraj and his mother to the hospital for his first check-up. There were delays as the hospital staff were unable to find Siraj’s medical file. In the end, we were able to have his echo done, even without his medical record.

There was quite a queue lined up for the echo room which seemed to grow and grow, but Maxine made sure we were attended to. Finally it was Siraj’s turn. Now he is quite a happy boy, but when others are fiddling around with his body, he surely needs some distraction. Mother played some cartoons on the smartphone and this did the trick.

This was my first time in the echo room and I was amazed at how clearly the heart chambers and valves were made visible by the echo. The doctor was very happy with the echo and confirmed that the heart is doing well. The wound has healed and the stitches were removed at the ward.

All in all, good progress! He has had his first echo check-up. Two more to go.

Siraj Has Been Released!

Posted on Thu, 11/30/2017 - 20:41 by Maxine Stuart

Coert and I went to visit Siraj and a couple other families at Wolfson today. Siraj was having an echo done when I first went to look for him.

Soon enough he returned with his smiling Mum, and she reported the good results of the echo. To my surprise, I saw at the bottom of the echo report a sentence that we always like to see. “Discharge to Shevet House in Jaffa.”

This was good news! He then had to get an x-ray which confirmed his heart was doing well.

Siraj’s heart is doing great, actually. We then went to get his different tubes and wires removed. We actually had to wait about 4 hours for the doctor to be available for the last procedure and final sign-off.

After a long but fruitful day, Siraj and his Mum returned home very happy.

There is a lot of joy in the house tonight as we have had 2 children return home today! This weekend will be a happy one.

Moving Forward

Posted on Wed, 11/29/2017 - 17:24 by Lindsay Martin
Today was an exciting day for Siraj, as he was moved into the children's ward. His mother was happy for the change of environment. 
When we arrived in the hospital, she was carefully watching over him and attending to his needs. Siraj is doing well but is still being closely monitored by the nurses there. He is eating well and even enjoyed a nice meal with his mother today as she shared bits of her food with him. 
We praise God for His hand of healing over Siraj during this time and look forward to his return back to our home coming soon. 

Praise God!

Posted on Tue, 11/28/2017 - 23:25 by Elwira Kromer

Today Coby and I went to Wolfson hospital to see Siraj and his mom. It appeared that both are doing great and Siraj is making progress. He is already eating a little bit of yoghurt. Another novelty from the day was that he was moved from the primary ICU to the secondary ICU, which means he doesn't need as much intensive care. The environment is more relaxed, and the next step is the children's ward! Hallelujah and thank you, God, for that! 

Please keep on praying for this family that they find rest in God's love.

Siraj’s Progress

Posted on Sun, 11/26/2017 - 21:45 by Maxine Stuart

Today my co-worker, Jon, and I checked on Siraj and his mum. They were still in the Intensive Care Unit, but Siraj had been extubated, so was breathing on his own, and was awake and looking good. His big blue eyes were alert and responsive, his face a healthy colour. The staff reported that his heart is doing well, no troubles there, but he has some fluid build-up in his lungs. This is a common side-effect of heart surgery.

They have Siraj on diuretics for today with the hope that this will help drain the fluid from his lungs. If tomorrow’s x-ray shows no improvement, they will insert a tube to drain the lungs. Siraj’s mum looked tired, but was happy to see us. It has been a long weekend for her I think. We couldn’t stay with her long today because the ICU was busy with patients, so please pray for strength and stamina for Siraj’s mum as she cares for her little one these next few days.

Successful Surgery

Posted on Thu, 11/23/2017 - 18:03 by Vagner Siqueira

Siraj was supposed to have his surgery yesterday, but due to an emergency case, it was postponed until today. Siraj has a hole between his ventricles (the lower chambers of his heart) which hinders sufficiently oxygenated blood flow to his body. Ventricular Septal Defect surgery repairs this hole between the ventricles. Maxine, Katie, and I arrived at the hospital just before 7am. He and his mom were just waking up. About 7:45, the nurse and transport team came to take him up to the operating room.

Mom was a little teary-eyed as they checked his blood pressure and prepared him to go. She has been waiting anxiously for this day. They allowed her to carry him up to the operating room. For a moment there was doubt again if another emergency case would take precedence, but in the end everything continued as scheduled. Mom and Maxine were with Siraj as he was sedated. Mom shed a few more tears as he was wheeled away. 
As we were waiting for the elevator, out stepped a friend of Siraj’s mother who lives here in Jaffa. She was a big comfort and could speak Arabic with mom. She stayed the duration of the surgery and really helped pass the time. We had coffee together (another patient’s grandmother also joined us) and talked about our families. Mom didn’t have much appetite while we waited. She received many phone calls from family wanting to know the status. The surgery started about 8:30am and lasted 4 hours. He was wheeled up to the ICU a few minutes before 1pm.
We were so pleased and relieved to get the report that the surgery was successful! Mom broke out in a big smile, as we all hugged. We waited another 45 minutes while they got him settled and took an x-ray. When he was stable, we were allowed to see him. He will be intubated and on a ventilator overnight. The plan is take him off the ventilator tomorrow, keep him in the ICU for 2 days, and then transfer him to the secondary ICU. 
We then brought mom back home to the Shevet house where she will be able to shower, rest and get hot meals. She will be able to go back to the hospital tomorrow morning. We are so thankful to the Lord for watching over sweet little Siraj and for blessing the surgeon’s hands. God is so good and has a special plan for Siraj’s life! 

Ready for Surgery

Posted on Tue, 11/21/2017 - 17:03 by Elisa Kulla

Suhail, Katie, Vagner and I took Siraj and his mother to Wolfsen hospital this morning to be admitted for surgery tomorrow.

The admission and blood work was completed. Then the surgeon came and explained the procedure through a translator.

Siraj was admitted to his room and his mom seemed settled. We stayed for a while and kept her company and played with Siraj.

We are so thankful that the admission process was smooth! Please be praying for Siraj and his mother to have a peaceful night, and for the surgery tomorrow to be successful and complete. Thank you, Abba Father, for your mercy in Siraj's life! 

Echo Day

Posted on Tue, 11/14/2017 - 19:47 by Coby van Wijhe
Mom and Siraj had a good sleep after an exhausting day yesterday. We (Suhail, Elwira and myself) went this morning for his echo to Wolfson hospital. When we arrived, there was no doctor yet so we went first to a nurse. Then we went back and the doctor gave him some sedation to put him to sleep.
They always get sedation with the first echo so the doctor can have a good examination of the heart. He felt a little sick and vomitted but went to sleep after a little while. The echo went okay. Siraj has a VSD and the doctor explained to mom about the problem and information about the surgery that is needed.
Siraj will start with medication and then we have to wait until he is scheduled for his operation. Thank God they are doing well and pray that the waiting won't be too long.