Meet Luke: 2020 Family Advocacy Week Champion

Luke is participating in Speak Now for Kids Family Advocacy Week from August 10-14, 2020. Through this special event, Luke and his family will share information about his health journey, Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital’s role in providing Luke with necessary health care services, and why the public and our elected officials must invest in the future of kids like Luke.

In late December 2019, Luke went into sudden cardiac arrest during baseball hitting lessons. His father, Al, performed CPR until an AED was used. From there, he was transferred to St. Bernard’s Medical Center and put on a ventilator, then transferred to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.

“It was touch and go when we arrived at Le Bonheur,” says Erika, Luke’s mother. “Luke was still on a ventilator, and we were not sure if he would live or die or what his life would be like going forward.”

Luke was weaned off the ventilator and several teams of doctors and specialists cared for him. Luke eventually regained consciousness.

“The emotional impacts were pure terror, fear, sadness,” says Erika. “We have prayed a lot.”

After Luke was taken off the ventilator, the doctors implanted a defibrillator to monitor his heart rhythm. He went through multiple MRIs, CTs, EKGs, EEGs, echocardiograms, and stress tests. He has had multiple follow-ups with cardiology, neurology, neurosurgery and has undergone genetic testing and follow-ups on his defibrillator.

Without a quick response in both CPR and an available AED, Luke would not be here today. Even though Luke is doing so well, the hospital has an entire coordinated team working a plan of care to determine a specific diagnosis to try to prevent it from happening again.

Today, Luke is doing great. The defibrillator continues monitoring his heart and he takes daily beta-blockers. He’s back at school and a straight-A student. Luke was elected to Winter Court at school and is excited at the possibility of returning to sports.

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