At nine months of age, our younger daughter was subject to a heart catheterization, to determine the nature and extent of her heart problems. One of the risks that we were made aware of was the possibility of oxygen deprivation. Think about it: a small tube inserted in a vein, via the leg and up to the heart. Nine months old, with no body fat, due to heart problems. They showed us a video of what they were going to do and what could happen. We consented to the treatment.
The risk that was associated with the operation…happened. Oxygen deprivation, during the course of determining that she had two holes in her heart.
I remember my ex-wife commenting as to how sad our daughter appeared, after she was brought home.
Over the next two years, our daughter wasn’t meeting the milestones for her age.
After two years, our daughter had the first of several grand mal seizures that she has had during her life, to date. She also is subject to less severe seizures. She is medically classified as an epileptic.
We will never know who she could have been, and whether we were ill-considered in consenting to such an operation, at nine months of age.
At seven years of age, our younger daughter underwent open heart surgery. The doctors waiting as long as they considered medically advisable, since open heart surgery on young children, similar to heart catheterizations on young children, is particularly fraught with risk.
Our daughter was fortunate, at the age of seven, to be subject to the miracle of touch and heart, for which we will be forever grateful. She also was discovered to have three holes in her heart, rather than two. We may never know who she could have been, but we know and love very much who she is.
The doctors who do this type of surgery are in a zone of high risk and miracle. One such doctor is the father of my friend and former student, Husam Azhar. In a connection that cannot be random, it turns out that he is one of those who saves the lives of children, though saving their hearts. He has performed many heart catheterizations, and many at no charge to anyone. So much so, that he is considered newsworthy. In one news article, to which Husam referred me, it says that this is the 14th stage of a particular program in Yemen. The program has completed around 270 open heart surgeries and heart catheterization operations. It also says that this is Dr. Azhar’s 4th visit to Yemen to perform hearth catheterization operations. The program supports families with limited income, since it would cost them $5000 (U.S.) to perform such an operation in Yemen.
Here is a news clip from Yemeni television, in terms of Dr. Azhar’s activities there. Husam’s translation is as follows:
Today has started, at the Kuwait University Hospital in Sanaa (Yemen), Tayba’s (pediatric heart catheterization) program. The program is led by Taybah Charity Development and funded by the “World Assembly of Muslim Youth“. The program’s goal is to complete 25 operations for free. Different types of operations will be preformed in support to the sick children and their families.
Then Dr. Azhar comments:
Today we are here to conduct heart catheterization operations for children who were born with congenital heart defects. Thank to Allah, we started the program, we have 25 patients waiting for us. We will try to complete the operations for them in this 3 day visit. Congenital heart defects include a variety of diseases that a child may be born with. We ask Allah to cure all sick children.
All in the eyes; concern and care.