This Is Isaac's Moment

This is Isaac’s moment.

His mother buries her face in a scarf.

Father and brother watch as a stranger in scrubs carries Isaac down the hall, around the corner, and out of sight—the toddler’s cries still echoing back to them.

Isaac and his family waited years for this moment.

No, waited isn’t the right word. It’s too passive. They worked toward this moment. They dreamed and longed for this moment. They invested tears and time into this moment. When we met Majid, he was living in a city park after losing everything to ISIS.

We wanted to help, and he could have asked us for anything. “Please, help my son Isaac—I’ll do anything to save him,” he said.

This is Isaac’s moment.

But it’s a moment that came after thousands of moments. The sound of gunfire in the distance, car doors slamming, an engine starting, the screech of a fleeing car, horns blaring at checkpoints, and finally safety...if you can call living in a tented city park with no food, money, or work while caring for a toddler with a failing heart “safe.”

When you settle in to watch a movie in the theater, do you watch through the credits? Most of us don’t, but the credits of Isaac’s movie are truly beautiful for one reason: they feature locals.

Local Kurdish people—Isaac’s own people—saving the life of their own.

A young Kurdish activist named Xoshink Bazaz offered encouragement and advocacy. A hotel owner discounted the family’s rooms and offered them extra food. A young surgeon named Hiwa Sherzad provided transportation, advocacy, and surgical care. A generous nonprofit called Kurdistan Save the Children paid for Isaac’s surgery. And the list goes on!

We helped bring people together to serve Isaac, but we are not the hero of this story. These locals are the heroes! And that’s the dream you’re helping fulfill here: a day when we are no longer needed because 100% of children born with heart defects can receive surgery in their own backyard.  

Until then, we move through each day, knowing it will take thousands of moments for each child like Isaac to be saved.

This is Isaac’s moment.

Today, he is healed.

Photos by: Heber Vega & Hiwa Sherzad

About Matthew Willingham

Matt Willingham is Preemptive Love's Senior Field Editor and writes primarily on politics, history, general updates and visual peacemaking through photography and film.

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Isaac's Moment
This Is Isaac's Moment
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