Father grateful for son's life, worries over refugee Iraqi famil - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Father grateful for son's life, worries over refugee Iraqi family

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A baby from a refugee family in Iraq receives life-saving treatment in an Israeli hospital. (Source: CNN) A baby from a refugee family in Iraq receives life-saving treatment in an Israeli hospital. (Source: CNN)
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TEL AVIV, ISRAEL (CNN) - Thousands of refugees from the minority Yazidi group have fled north in Iraq to escape ISIS militants.

Meanwhile a Yazidi father is flown to Israel for his young son's life-saving heart surgery and now fears for the rest of his Yazidi relatives who were forced to flee ISIS militants.

When Khairy al-Shingari arrived in Israel from Iraq with his son he was filled with anxiety and hope.

He was anxious about his toddler’s life-threatening heart condition, and hopeful that the organization that helped bring them to Israel, called Save a Child's Heart, could do just that for his little boy.

"I was scared. If it wasn't for those people who helped me,” he says. “My son would be dead by now."

But 6-month-old Wisam survived the seven-hour heart surgery performed by doctors at Wolfson Hospital in Tel Aviv.

"What hurts is to see a kid die if he can be treated. But if you see a kid that was sick and he's not sick anymore I know nothing better,” said Dr. Sion Houri of Save A Child's Heart.

Wisam was blue from the lack of oxygen when he arrived. Now his tone is perfect, but the relief his father feels about his son's improving health is overshadowed with fear and worry for his wife and four small children back in Iraq.

The family is Yazidi, part of the ancient and often persecuted religious minority in Iraq.

A week after al-Shingari and Wisam arrived in Israel for medical treatment, he says terrifying fighters with the Islamic State began flooding into his village putting his wife and four other children in grave danger.

"I told them to go to the mountains away from Sinjar. Go to the areas that the cars can’t reach. They stayed seven days. There was no water, food, no medicine. They had to come down from the mountains risking their lives," he said. 

For days he didn't hear from his wife while he prayed over his son. His mind wandered to his family and his people suddenly running for their lives from a merciless enemy, now known as the Islamic State.

"There were hundreds of young men and children, like this they cut off their heads. And they scream God is great? What kind of human beings are they? And they describe us as infidels?" the father said.

He says his wife and children survived like the families that made it to a Kurdish stronghold, but with nothing. And hundreds of miles away father al-Shingari finds a bit of comfort every time his son takes an easy breath.

While Wisam is sleeping comfortably in his hospital bed in Israel, his father is terribly worried about what they are going to do when it’s time to go home.

The father of five wants the world to know the nature of the Yazidis.

“The Yazidis are not devil worshipers but God loving people who no longer have a safe place to raise their children. All they want is a quiet place to live,” he said.

Copyright 2014 CNN. All rights reserved.


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