Helping baby Lucas

22587614_1522984[phone redacted]_funddescription
Having a baby is hard. Having two babies is harder. Having a baby with a serious health issue is harder-er. Having two babies, one with a serious health issue? I don’t sleep much.

I’m not special. I know this innately, as I spent the first month of my sons’ lives alternating between the Cardiac ICU of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, where I saw sick children every single day, and the Ronald McDonald House of Cincinnati, where I … saw sick children every single day. There are people who need help, who need significant help. People who need help more than I do.

But I do need help. As it stands, we’re a family of five living almost entirely on the salary of an editor (and if you think editors make lots of money — we … we don’t), with Laurie working a shift or two a week as she’s able. And even that little bit she’s working will vanish shortly, because we now know that Lucas’ next surgery is coming, and soon. He’s going back under the knife in less than two weeks, on Tuesday, April 17. It’s his third surgery in less than six months. If all goes well, it will be his last as well, but still, that comes with a couple weeks in the hospital, even longer in recovery, and a whole lot of attention from two tired parents.

Lucas, for those who don’t know, still isn’t taking food by mouth. We’re feeding him via NG tube basically around the clock, along with weekly speech therapy appointments and all sorts of begging him to try the prunes, or the peas, or the sweet potatoes. His brother loves them, which you’d think would be convincing to a little boy, but so far the only things he and his brother both like are sleep and their sister.

Anyway, in time, this will be just a memory. Lucas will recover from surgery, learn to eat, and be a normal boy. Jordan will continue to consume every last comestible he encounters. They’ll continue being adorable. And Laurie will go back to work.

For now, though, we’re struggling a bit, and the new surgery promises to make that continue. I swore I’d do whatever I could to avoid having a GoFundMe — as I said, there are others who need help more than we do — but people have offered and encouraged, and I’d rather create this and be a little embarrassed than not create it and not be able to take care of my family. An enormous thanks in advance to anybody who can help as we work to get Lucas all the way to 100%.

Daniel Kelley


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Organizer and beneficiary

Ashley Hall Stakelin 
Lexington, KY
Daniel Kelley 
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