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Stepping Back And Looking Forward

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It’s not everyday you go to a place where they say it all began.

A place where they say the Garden of Eden might have been, where Abraham lived, where civilization sprung up along with architecture and the invention of the wheel. We spent the day outside of the hospital, canoeing through the marshes on the Tigris River and meeting with local sheikh’s, eating lamb, drinking tea, and standing on the roof of the site that Abraham called home.

One Family's Longing For Remedy - Hassan's Shot at Surgery

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Meet Hassan.

Each time I sit down with the families, I share with them why we’re doing what we’re doing and why their stories matter. I tell them that the more people who hear their stories, the more who will begin to care, and the more who begin to care, the more who will begin to act. And GOD-willing, soon every child in Iraq will have access to the healthcare they justly deserve.

Hassan’s story matters to us.

Just "A Little Longer" For Anwar

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This is Anwar.

He’s homeless. He was also born with a congenital heart defect.

If you spend any time with Anwar and his mother, you quickly learn that they wouldn't want any of those things to define them.

Ahmed's Mother Dances With Joy

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“I saw him, I saw him! I saw my son!”

Those were the words that Ahmed’s mother kept repeating over and over again, all the while carrying the biggest smile on her face. She had just been allowed to go into the ICU to see Ahmed, just a few hours after they finished his operation.

An Entire Village Waits For Fatima

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Meet Fatima and her grandmother.

Fatima is five years old and lives in a small village in southern Iraq. They say that it takes a village to raise a child. This couldn’t be more accurate for Fatima and if the childrens’ ward could hold a village in the waiting room, they would be there.

Fatima’s story is identical to Ahmed’s, Ritha’s, and Haydar’s, in that they were all born with a heart defect and all their parents were told the same thing, that their child couldn’t be helped in Iraq.

Why Things Have To Change And Why They Can

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This morning I printed off a questionnaire used by local doctors here to find out more information about why so many children are born in Iraq with congenital birth defects. Have you ever filled out a questionnaire like this?

Excerpt from questionnaire: Start the interview by telling the parent the following: Since there are so many children with leukemia and birth deformities here locally, we want to look into the possible causes of these problems. We need your help. We need to ask you some questions to help us understand this situation. We also need to be able to contact you later. Please give us your contact information.

Ritha's Heart Only Gets Stronger The Second Day

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On the second day, little Ritha continues to rest as Haydar came next to him in the ICU after another successful heart operation.

The local male nurses in the ICU gave in to Ritha and let him play with a giraffe stuffed animal. At first they told me he should be playing with something more “manly”, like a dog!

Ahmed Goes Into Surgery

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Ahmed is a five month old boy from Southern Iraq.

When Ahmed was born, his family knew from his blue lips that there was something wrong but they had no idea it was his heart. Ahmed’s parents were told, like too many, that there was no hope for Ahmed to be operated on in Iraq. His best and only hope was to be sent abroad for surgery.

Teaching Others The Remedy

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Remember when you were little and people would ask you what you wanted to be when you grew up? We all wanted to be doctors or astronauts, didn’t we? Being around the medical team from ICHF makes me want to give the next 8 years of my life to medical school, I admit it.

If you’re in the middle of med school already, don’t give up. It’s going to be worth it.

If you don’t believe me, come with us to the next Remedy.

From The Green Zone

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Once again, I’m in a new place witnessing things that have never been seen before - because of you. Right now I'm overlooking the Tigris river, blogging from inside the Iraqi Vice President's home. It used to be one of Saddam Hussein's fifty palaces, and before that it was a palace for King Faisal.

Now it's the staging ground for the the city of Nasiriyah's first Remedy Mission!

Remembering Our First Remedy

Mohammed Fwad 

It's hard to believe that it's been four months since our first Remedy Mission. When we landed in August we met 25 Kurdish and Arab children with severe heart defects. Over the past few weeks we've had the privilege to see those kids again, this time with WHOLE and HEALTHY hearts inside of them. 

Remember Mohammad Fwad? 

Congratulations to Jon Vidar for His Award-Winning Remedy Mission Photo!

7 yr-old Hussein Khalid's surgery (as seen in the heart rate monitor)

7 yr-old Hussein Khalid's surgery reflected in the heart rate monitor.

No amount of blog posts could quite communicate all the good that has come from our August Remedy Mission with the International Children's Heart Foundation.

We saw partnerships formed and solidified, peace was forged between people who came in opposing one another, local involvement increased in Iraq, Kurdish and Arab doctors and nurses were trained and, of course, children's lives were saved.

And now we're pleased to congratulate Remedy Mission photographer, Jon Vidar, on his exceptional photo!

Interview with former Iraq War hostage, Nahoko Takato

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In honor of the first annual Remember Fallujah Week we've interviewed a new friend and member of the Coalition, Nahoko Takato.

She was instrumental in sending Baby Bakir out of the country for a lifesaving heart surgery, and her continued compassion for Iraqi IDPs and refugees even after being kidnapped and held hostage is inspirational to many world-wide. 

Hope for Baby Bakir and His Ruined Hometown

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Meet Baby Bakir (pronounced bah-ker).

Thanks to the combined efforts of Nahoko Takato, the talented doctors and nurses at Anadolu Medical Center, and the Preemptive Love Coalition, this beautiful little boy is now recovering after receiving a lifesaving heart surgery in Istanbul, Turkey.

Former PLC Intern to Marry PLC Artist & Donate Their Wedding Fund to Save Lives in Iraq

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Former PLC Intern to Marry PLC Artist & Donate Their Wedding Fund.

Christin interned with Preemptive Love in Iraq in 2009 and Ben has been a volunteer artist for various PLC needs since 2007. Now they are getting married and using their wedding as an occasion to save lives in Iraq!

From Hollywood to Detroit to talk with a Leading Muslim Cleric about Development in Iraq

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In Los Angeles last week we met three brothers who had given up their birthday money to help save the life of a child in Iraq.

All three brothers are under the age of five, which makes them the youngest heart menders we've met on the tour!

Heartmender Tour Takes on L.A.

Los Angeles::Los Angeles Skyline @ Los Angeles DWP Headquarters

After four days in San Francisco, kicking off our Heartmender Tour (and only receiving one parking ticket!) we've made the trek down south to Los Angeles.

Sunday marked our first full day in the "City of Angels" but only after a long day spent in deep discussions in restaurants, on high school campuses, and in local churches, where we continued our Heartmender Tour about postures of peace and cooperation between peoples at odds Iraq and around the world.

Reclaiming Hearts in San Francisco on our Fall Heartmender Tour

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Last night was our first stop in San Francisco for our Heartmender Tour and we couldn't think of a better place to kick it all off!

It was hosted by our wonderful new friends from the Mission District where we feasted on the city's finest local food and shared great dialogue on issues of justice, peacemaking, reconciliation, and creating postures of preemptive love that stretch from San Francisco to Sulaymaniyah, Iraq. It was a night centered around stories: our stories, their stories, and stories of Iraqi children and their families; all in the pursuit of peace.

You Just Helped More Kids in 12 Days Than Any 12 Month Period in Our History... for Less!

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Deeya is alive and doing well at home today because of the surgery you provided for her in Iraq!

Wow! What a phenomenal trip it has been these last few weeks as you have brought a new remedy to the children of Iraq through the surgical and nursing team of Dr. William Novick.

It's high time we update your impact to help Iraqis make a better future for themselves and their children.

The Good & The Bad: A Report On One of Our Remedy Kids Who Did Not Make It Through

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