Hassin's family was crammed into their hospital room when I came to visit.
They seemed very willing to talk, so we took a few minutes to talk about their journey to surgery. A lot of it was pretty standard stuff that you're probably familiar with: they discovered his defect early on, they didn't know what they could do for him, and then their neighbor came over for tea and told them about our team.
"This was the first time we had any hope, really," Hassin's grandmother shared.
During this chat, it was obvious that Hassin wasn't in a talking mood. He kept saying something in Arabic to his father and rattling the locked door handle. They explained that he wanted to take a walk outside, and that his energy level had gone up quite a bit since the surgery. I was thrilled and asked if I could come along.
We spent about an hour walking around the hospital gardens, trying to keep up with Hassin. It was crazy to think he'd just had an open heart surgery a few days ago!
Below are several photos from our time together:
Shortly after this little excursion, Hassin and his family were released from the hospital. I guess they figured, if Hassin is well enough to terrorize the hospital gardeners, he's probably well enough to leave. His family specifically asked if they could come visit us the next time we're in Najaf, though, so hopefully you'll get to see more of this sweet little boy.
Until then, thank you for helping save his life!