That is how little baby Rand Ahmed was with the latest ICHF Babyheart mission to Iraq. The beneficiary of International Children’s Heart Foundation’s unprecedented one year program, this precious little kid went through the full gamut of emotions: from surprised to mad to content. I think many parents of children with congenital heart disease (CHD) experience this same range of emotions. When a parent first discovers their child has a congenital heart defect they must feel surprised. They are in a state of shock as the elation of having a new baby in their world comes crashing down around them. They are surprised by this condition and the degree of complication of the defect which threatens to take the life of their new baby.
Then they feel mad at the world and wondering why this has happened to them, why there child cannot have a normal life and why their child will have to struggle day after day just to live. Frustration grows as they search for answers and who will be able to save their baby?
Then these feelings of surprise and anger subside to being content. Content with facing the condition and learning that there is an organization called International Children’s Heart Foundation that has the means and skill to save their baby. Being content gives way to new found happiness, almost equal to the happiness they felt when they first welcomed the baby into the world, when the ICHF Babyheart mission team has surgically repaired the heart and nursed the child back to full recovery, ready to leave the hospital and go home. This little one, Rand, was the 8th arterial switch in the history of pediatric heart surgery in Iraq, performed by none other than Dr. William Novick.