Child Medical Mission


In the United States, a child with a sudden and severe health issue, is rushed to the hospital where all available resources are exhausted, until a medical solution is found.

But in countries like Iraq – parents are often told, “It’s too serious. We don’t have the equipment, we don’t have the staff, and we simply don’t have the money.” What is a parent to do? Rusul was born with a ventricular septal defect (VSD), that is, a hole in the wall that separates the two lower chambers of the heart.

Rosul’s mother informed the medical staff that she started having difficulty breathing at four months of age, and that her condition deteriorated with time.

An echo-cardiogram revealed the defect, but physicians at the Iraqi hospital told her that surgery at this level was not feasible in their country. Rusul’s mother was not deterred. She made inquiries, obtained information, contacted charitable organizations and finally, with a cry of relief, heard that Gift of Life Amman, would take care of the surgery if she managed to bring her daughter into that country.

That’s where Veterans Rebuilding Life stepped in. VRL covered the cost for round-trip transportation and temporary lodging. Getting documents was not easy for Rusul’s mother. She fought with public officials and waited patiently in dozens of lines, but the day came when she was able to stuff a suitcase and travel with her daughter to an unknown country. We monitored their trip and made sure that both arrived to the hotel safe and sound.

Dr. Samir, VRL’s surgeon-benefactor, as well as Dr. Mark Turrentine, from the Gift of Life, personally handled the surgery. “Everything went well, Rusul is thriving, the diagnosis promises a normal life ahead, and we are very, very happy.” Seen above is little Rusul, during the medical procedure. Just days later, the final wires and tubes were removed from little Rusul, and she was transferred out of the ICU and into her grateful mothers arms.