But Luke was born at only 25 weeks and 4 days of gestation, making his birthday a full three months early.
Since his birth, he's been staying in the Texas Children's Hospital NICU in Houston. He is dealing with the typical issues related to prematurity, as well as underdeveloped lungs, and a recent diagnosis of bacterial meningitis.
We don't yet know what sort of lasting effects he will have to endure, and we can't know what other complications will arise during his stay. His doctors don't expect him to be discharged until at least his original due date of December 23rd, though we have been given reason to believe he may be in the NICU well beyond that date.
Our care team suggested we operate a CaringBridge site for Luke, as an easy way to keep friends and family updated. We're making regular updates on Luke and his NICU adventure here - follow along as Luke battles every bug that comes his way. He really is a fighter, and it's incredible to watch him thrive.
We appreciate everyone's well wishes and kind words throughout the past month. Everyone always asks us: "How can we help?" and the truth is, what we need most is a little financial support.
While Luke is in the NICU, we have moved (yet again) to an apartment in the medical center, in order to be close to him. Parking at the hospital is expensive, from $12-24 every day. Luke's mom is on extended medical leave and not earning any income. Luke's dad took two weeks' medical leave and lost an entire paycheck.
It isn't just the current costs that are worrying us - we anticipate medical costs for Luke to be substantial for a few years. Yes, we are insured, but insurance only goes so far, and on a reduced income, even the best budget can be tested beyond its strength.
If you're a family member or friend, and you've been wondering how to help us during this difficult (but amazing!) time, please consider making a contribution to our GoFundMe. Obviously, we understand that everyone isn't in the position to offer financial help, so we will continue to accept kind words (and gifts of food!)
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