Broken-down Poetry: Hospitals, sick babies & a remedy


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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Hospitals, sick babies & a remedy

A few weeks ago I got to visit a children's hospital in Sulaimaniah. We went to meet Dr. Aso Faiq Salih, the only pediatric cardiologist in Kurdistan, who's also a dear friend of Preemptive Love Coalition.

Dr. Aso's office was crowded with parents holding crying kids. Instead of having a waiting room outside of an office, Dr. Aso has a couch in the same room as his desk and the table he examines patients.

Dr. Aso is the friendliest doctor I've ever met. He's definitely a pediatric doctor. He's smiley and goofy. When we ask him about his children, he pulls out his cell phone and dotes on his sons.

Alex, Claire and I stood next to Dr. Aso's desk as he did an echo cardiogram of each kid's heart. He talks to us between patients, and sometimes during. Worried mothers look at us suspiciously, as we borrow Dr. Aso's attention. He will look at somewhere around 20 patients a morning. He tells us that he needs an hour with each patient, but time is precious. If he spends 10 minutes with a patient instead, he can see more in a day.

After each echo, Dr. Aso will diagnose his patients. If their problem is minor, he can give the child a prescription or schedule an in-country surgery. But since most heart problems are serious heart problems, he will send them to an organization - like Preemptive Love Coalition - to get help outside Iraq.

The day we visited Dr. Aso, we saw him examine baby Abdul. The 9 month old has a heart problem that will kill him if he doesn't get help. When Alex, Claire and I got back to the office, Abdul and his father had just met with Jeremy (see photo to the left).

We're now raising money to get Abdul to surgery with Remedy Missions in the fall!


It would be 100 times easier and quicker to get kids like Abdul into surgery in Iraq, if those treatments were available. But their not. Iraqi doctors just do not have the skills to treat major heart defects like Abdul's.

Doctors like Aso cannot leave the country for training either. Even as a member of the Association of European Pediatric Cardiology, he cannot get training in Europe because he's an Iraqi. This is why it's such an incredible opportunity for us to get Remedy Missions to come in and train Iraqi doctors.

We still need a lot of money to get the doctors here in the fall! PLEASE donate!

Consider donating a week's tithe or giving up a week's worth of lattes.

Do it for cute little Abdul.


* photos by Lydia Bullock

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