Blog

Cardiac Caths Save Lives, Time, Space, Money, & Dodge Dishonor for Females Before Marriage

100819_irq_hum_remedy_mission_d2m_0508-w600

This week we were able to help three children without subjecting them to the trauma of an open-heart surgery.

A procedure in which a catheter is inserted through the femoral artery, all the way into the heart, and ultimately used to correct a number of different heart defects. Recovery times from these types of procedures are considerably shorter and the procedure itself is considerably less risky for the patient. These patients don't stay "parked" in an already crowded Intensive Care Unit and typically end up going home in a much shorter period of time than even the fastest surgery patients.

Abdulkareem is Sent Home to Diyala with a Healthy, Happy Heart and a Grateful Family

100826_irq_hum_remedy_mission_d6_0038-w600

Abdulkareem spent the last few days out of ICU recovering with his mother in the main ward. This little boy who captured our attention sometime in the Spring, is now a healthy little boy!

Baby Noor Continues Healing Post Surgery; Fluid Around Chest Only Concern

100826_irq_hum_remedy_mission_d6_0055

Baby Noor arrives in the Intensive Care Unit all smiles for her morning check-up. Dr. Sri Rao and Kathryn Frazier, RN from the International Children's Heart Foundation care for her tenderly and take in her joy as our time together in Iraq draws near an end. Noor doesn't yet know that the procedure to come is going to replace her smiles with tears...

Abdulkareem Gets His Surgery After Months of Appeals from His Loving Father

abdulkareem

It was around lunch time in the heat of June in Iraq when Abdulkareem's father came into my office. He told me that his son was very sick, that he was very poor, and that he needed our help and was willing to do whatever he could to make it happen.

We were preparing our July group for surgery in Turkey and one of the children had just withdrawn from the group. It looked like we might be able to squeeze Abdulkareem in at the last minute if all the right pieces fell into place quickly.

Ahmed Leaves the Hospital; On His Way Home with a Healthy, Happy Heart Thanks to You!

100818_irq_hum_remedy_mission_d1_0219

This morning as I walked into the hospital I almost ran right into Ahmed. He was walking around the hospital ward all by himself; something he wasn't able to do just a few days ago!

The doctors took one last echo of Ahmed's heart and found nothing but good news so they let him and his uncle head back home to Nasiriyah. We miss Ahmed and the several others that have already gone home but it's an exciting feeling to walk through the hospital and see empty beds that once held sick kids.

They are empty, thanks to you!

Take a Look Around our Operating Room with this Interactive Panorama

http://preemptivelove.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/or_panorama.mov

Ahmed is Doing Great, Out of ICU and One Day Closer To Seeing His Parents

100824_irq_hum_remedy_mission_d5_01671

Ahmed is now one day closer to seeing his parents.

His days of fighting against a completely broken heart are over! What's ahead of him?

Everything! His family, his home, his friends, his school, soccer and anything else any normal four year old with a strong heart would look forward to.

Mohammad Fwad Hits Rock Bottom & Begins the Long Climb Out

100824_irq_hum_remedy_mission_d5_1102

I'm having a hard time today. Not that this blog is about me; or even Preemptive Love Coalition. This blog exists to shine a light on the children and the families.

Still, I'm having a hard day. The reason I'm having a hard day is really tied to the fact that Mohammad Fwad is having a hard day.

On a normal day we are able to write about these amazing children and their amazing journeys from heart break to wholeness. On a normal day we focus on smiles and avoid anything that smacks of manipulation. A normal surgery group for us comprises 3-5 kids rather than 30 children. And on a normal day kids go through surgery without incident and their stories are very predictable. Unfortunately, today is not a normal day.

Mohammad Fwad had his Surgery After Months of Waiting; Resting in ICU as Mom Gives Birth to New Baby Boy

Mohammad Fwad Gets His Surgery While Local Surgeons in Iraq Train for the Future

A local surgeon - Dr. Amanj - assists in surgery in Iraq this week on cases he has been longing to learn about from Dr. William Novick of the International Children's Heart Foundation

The wait is over, Mohammad received his surgery!

His surgery was not entirely without "incident" as he bled for a little bit after surgery while local hospital staff scrambled to find the appropriate blood products to help stop his bleeding. A depleted blood bank during the month of Ramadan - when there is a decreased likelihood that people would volunteer to give blood during the daylight, fasting hours - has been only one of our confounding complications this week.

You are Bringing Laughter Back To Nasiriyah, Iraq from Thousands of Miles Away

100819_irq_hum_remedy_mission_d2a_0074

Our first Remedy Mission has literally reached the corners of Iraq as we've sought to serve and save children from every part of the country.

In our hospital ward there are Arab, Turkmen, and Kurdish families spending their days together talking, crying, and simply listening to one another. If a mother has to leave the room, the other mothers in the room quickly take up the responsibility to look after their child as if it were their own.

Kurds, Arabs, and Turkmen have a complicated and painful history but this week it's becoming clear to so many that all three groups have so much in common, the biggest being their love for their children. It's a love that's driven each one of them to such great heights in order to find someone who could save their child.

Mohammad Fwad's Surgery Postponed until Monday; We Plan Future Remedy Missions to Eradicate the Backlog

100822_irq_hum_remedy_mission_d4_0087

On my taxi ride home tonight I thought through what needed to end up on our blog before we ended our day. Some days that's an easy question to answer because of what happened, whether it was multiple surgeries to celebrate, or the full recovery of yet another child. Today, both of those things happened and we're thrilled about it!

But what made today hard was when we heard that Mohammed's surgery was pushed back yet another day.

Ahmed's Surgery a Complete Success; Heart Stronger Than Ever Thanks to You!

100820_irq_hum_remedy_mission_d3m_00111

Ahmed is prepared for surgery with our visiting cardiologist, Dr. Sri Rao, of the International Children's Heart Foundation.

Ahmed's 5 year battle to obtain his much-needed heart surgery is now a thing of the past after a 5.5 hour surgery that successfully corrected all five major heart defects! He's now resting in ICU with his uncle who hasn't left his side since his parents were seriously injured in a car crash this past week.

If you haven't read Ahmed's story be sure to read it here.

Which Photo Do You Think is Cutest? We Could Not Choose.

http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=71649

Play time helps the long hours waiting for heart surgery go faster.

One of the things we are committed to as the Preemptive Love Coalition is our Family Services Program.

We do more than fund heart surgeries; we invest our lives in the families we serve.

Partner Org Spotlight: Living Light International

screenshot_01

It was July 13th, 2010 when we first heart about Living Light International - an organization founded by Nadwa Qaragholi as a tribute to her father to serve orphans and widows throughout Iraq.

At that time they were putting together a scouting trip to Baghdad and Basra in search of surgery centers to host surgical missions similar to the Remedy Mission we are entrenched in this week.

In fact, their time in Nasiriyah (near Basra) had local doctors begging our partners at the International Children's Heart foundation to stay a few days and operate on children before all was too late for four kids in particular. Unfortunately, Dr. Novick could not perform surgery; he had no team and he had a plane to catch.

Ahmed's 5 Hour Surgery Is In Progress!

plc-08172010_137

Ahmed spent his last two days waiting patiently for his surgery, playing with film-maker Ricky Norris, racing around the hospital floor on top of the hospital rolley-carts, and watching cartoons on Heber Vega's laptop.

You may recall that Ahmed's parents were in a tragic car accident on their way to our Remedy Mission just a few days ago. His uncle actually ensured that Ahmed made it here and did not miss his chance at life.

Noor is the Light of Her Daddy's Life

There is a Tribal Leader from Basra Talking about You

shiekh

People often ask us if we're doctors.

During the day we may be in scrubs going from bed to bed in the Intensive Care Unit checking on our kids. Other times we might be in the operating room learning more about congenital heart defects. But the obvious answer is "no" - we most definitely are not doctors. We don't know how operate a heart-and-lung bypass machine and we don't know how to repair a broken heart.

What we do know how to do - and what we're constantly striving to do better - is love.

Rozha's Smile Lights Up the Room 24 Hours After Surgery

Ahmed's Parents and Their Sacrificial Pursuit of a Remedy

100818_irq_hum_remedy_mission_d1af_0053

This is Ahmed. Ahmed is from a city called Nasiriyah, Iraq, and he was born with congenital heart disease.

Like most parents who give birth to a child with a heart defect, they noticed something was wrong with their son so they quickly took him to the local doctor. Unlike many parents in the West, however, Ahmed's didn't have access to a doctor or hospital that could say anything more than, "Your son has heart disease. I'm sorry, there's nothing I can do to save him."

Since Ahmed's birth, his parents have heard the same message spoken to them over and over again: "Your son has heart disease but there is nothing in this country that can be done for your son." Still, this didn't stop their pursuit of a remedy.

Our Own Mohammad Fwad Leaves Home to Get Tested for Our First Remedy Mission in Iraq

Read the blog at Preemptive Love Coalition
Blog
Choose hope, bravery, and peace with me by supporting @preemptivelove