Omed’s Journey to a Whole Heart
Omed’s Journey to a Whole Heart

Omed’s Journey to a Whole Heart

Our First Encounter

In Northern Iraq, where congenital heart disease (CHD) diagnoses are often met with grave uncertainty, the medical journey can seem particularly bleak and desperate. This grim reality struck a young family with full force. Their newborn, Omed, who was born prematurely, received a dire prognosis from a local surgeon. The surgeon suspected a lethal heart condition, typically incurable and fatal in infancy. To worsen matters, they were informed that although surgery might offer a slim hope, it was not available in Iraq.

Seeking treatment abroad became the only viable option for Omed’s survival. Being informed of the efforts of of ‘Love Them All,’ the family reached out to us, entrusting us with their profound hopes for Omed’s life.

The Uncertain Road to Healing

To identify the full extent of Omed’s condition, we immediately arranged for his transfer to Dr. Aso. There, we confirmed his fragile state as a premature newborn battling a terminal heart defect known as Single Ventricle, which left him with only half a functioning heart. Symptoms included very poor oxygen saturation causing a blue tint to his skin and an inability to gain weight. To make matters worse, his condition was exacerbated by his premature birth.

Clearly, this news did nothing to remedy the shadow of worry over his young mother’s heart. Despite this, Racheal seized every opportunity to encourage his mother and family, while Love Them All offered support for his care.

Encouragement from a Visiting Team

As his family persevered in the face of what seemed impossible, a specialized team from the United States arrived in Kurdistan, equipped with the expertise needed to further assess Omed’s situation and offer guidance. Upon connecting directly with the lead doctor, we immediately received news that they would make time for Omed despite their team’s busy and full schedule, even if it meant staying later than planned.

When Omed arrived, the team halted all other activities, took him in, and meticulously examined and diagnosed him while offering words of encouragement to his family.

Perseverance Despite Hardship

Following this positive experience, we doubled down on our efforts to prepare Omed for what was to be the first of several crucial procedures. This preparation included providing him with specialized milk from abroad to facilitate weight gain, a critical factor in his eligibility.

However, for Omed and his family, is seemed that disappointment awaited them at every turn. After being transferred to a surgery center in a neighboring country, he was deemed too small for the procedure and sent back due to his fragile condition.

While home, he was admitted to a local hospital, where he stayed for an extended period. During this time, we visited him, his mother, and grandmother, who took turns staying by his side, maintaining a constant vigil.

Omed Receives his First surgery

Finally, the moment arrived, and Omed’s doctor gave his approval for him to travel once again and receive his first surgery. This time after being transferred, his surgeon got to work. During the procedure, he experienced cardiac arrest under anesthesia but, remarkably, he recovered. However, this post-cardiac arrest condition introduced additional risks, prompting his surgeon to postpone parts of the surgery.

Despite these challenges, Omed’s survival was a cause for celebration. While his post-surgery recovery in the ICU was prolonged, marked by many ups and downs, he persevered and succeeded!

More good news

Upon his return home, we made frequent visits to ensure he received the necessary medication and follow-up care, given that his strength and readiness for the next surgery were crucial. After some time however, his condition, weakened by his fragile heart, began to deteriorate due to the need for further repairs.

To our pleasant surprise, his surgeon arrived in Kurdistan on a medical mission just as Omed started showing signs of decline. Together with Dr. Aso, his surgeon assessed Omed and planned his next surgery, which was to be performed abroad and promised a complete repair—a rare opportunity for children with Single Ventricle. This news was exhilarating; if successful, Omed would avoid the additional surgeries typically required for his condition. His mother’s joy was infectious as we celebrated this remarkable news with her.

A Full Repair

The time had finally arrived. Omed traveled abroad for surgery for the third time, this time with the goal of achieving a complete heart repair.

While Racheal was on a mission to provide care for Elina, she video-called Omed’s mother. Elina got to participate in the call and sent her kisses and offered encouragement in her own special way. They stayed on the call until Omed’s mother received the fantastic news that Omed’s surgery had finished.

The outcome had surpassed expectations. Thanks to his successful repair, Omed wouldn’t need any further surgeries for a long while. His recovery was exceptionally smooth, and within a month, he was back home, celebrating and dancing.

Sweet Omed cherishes music and loves to dance, play and enjoy life. Your support and help have rekindled these joys for him and his precious family.

Thank you! We simply can’t thank you enough for your contributions which gave Omed, a second chance surpassing all expectations.