Send Eric on his first vacation!

After an almost 12 year struggle, Eric finally got his trach out!

Eric Latch was born January 2002 with Spina Bifida. We of course immediately fell in love with our little trooper! Unfortunately though, that day was just the beginning of a LONG and tough road for our family. 2 weeks after a spinal repair he came home for the first time, only to contract RSV and go back to the hospital. This time Eric really struggled and we almost lost him a few times. He was intubated and placed on a ventilator for 2 weeks. Then came the really bad news. Although Eric was getting better from the RSV, he would not be able to come off of the ventilator due to the damage that had been done to his lungs. At a month and a half old Eric received a tracheostomy and spent the next 7 months in an infant/toddler unit at Arkansas Children's Hospital. Since that first long hospital stay there have been countless more, many holidays, birthdays and school days spent in a hospital bed. Many surgeries, sicknesses and injuries that have taken huge chunks out of his childhood.Yet, inspite of it all Eric has always been the toughest, most caring, selfless, happiest and content child I have ever known. 11 years later we finally took a huge step earlier this month, they finally took Eric's trach out! He has worked so hard for this and missed out on a lot due to the medical needs that the trach requires. And we are finally planning the vacation we always promised him! He is a HUGE classic country music fan, especially Johnny Cash, so we are going to take him on a sight seeing trip through TN, to Sun Studios, The Country Music Hall of Fame, and to the Aquarium in Gatlinburg, where we hope to spend a week or so in a cabin just relaxing and enjoying his great victory! I am not sure I know anyone else who deserves some fun as much as he does!!
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Lori Latch 
North Little Rock, AR
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