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...
But the tears come loud and the screams come fast as the ICHF and local doctors and nurses begin working together to drain the fluid from inside her chest cavity. Nonetheless, that scream is a sign of a kid with a healthier heart than when she arrived!
ICHF Intensivist Marc Anders administers positive pressure ventilation to Baby Noor during the procedure. The Intensive Care Unit is the area of greatest concern for children in the local hospital. While surgeons and cardiologists locally continue to improve in their training at encouraging rates, local nurses are thrown into the mix without proper training, tools, or respect. The ICHF team feels a strong desire to increase the level of respect, knowledge, and engagement among local staff in the Unit.
Mom waits downstairs in the ward for news as to how Noor is progressing and an estimate as to when they might be allowed to return to their home in the southern most part of Iraq near Basra.
After all is said and done, Baby Noor rests in the Unit with her baby seal, fluids, and a bit of sedation. The procedure goes well, prevents infection, and hastens the day when Baby Noor, her mom, and her dad return home... hopefully in time for the Eid al-Fitr holiday at the end of Ramadan in few days.
Remedy Missions are international pediatric heart surgery teams that we bring to Iraq to to perform lifesaving heart surgeries and develop the infrastructure for the future. If you’re on Twitter this week be sure to use the #Remedy or #RemedyMission hashtag to describe all the good news coming out of Iraq this week via @preemptivelove and @babyheart_org. If you’re on Facebook, “Share” this story with the button below.
Photos by Heber Vega.