Luke's Mended Heart

Luke Samuel Martin was born February 9th, 2015 at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor.  He was prenatally diagnosed with a rare congenital heart defect called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS).  Essentially, the left side of Luke’s heart is severely underdeveloped and the right side of his heart has to pump blood to both the lungs and the rest of his body. 

Historically, HLHS was always a fatal diagnosis until three life saving surgeries were developed in the 1980’s.  Luckily, Luke’s surgeon, Dr. Bove is world renowned and one of the pioneers in HLHS treatment.

At just 2 days old, Luke underwent his first of three open heart surgeries.  With only a few setbacks, Luke did great and was able to finally go home on March 6th, which coincidentally was his dad Sam’s 25th birthday! 

Sam and Laura, Luke’s parents, have been amazingly strong and optimistic throughout these past few months.  Sam is a Registered Nurse in the cardiac ICU at Hurley Hospital and Laura works for the nursing department at U of M Flint. 

They were so excited to welcome a baby and planned for Luke’s arrival. They bought a new house, decorated his nursery and dreamt of the life they would share with him.  When they found out about his diagnosis, their focus changed from the excitement of having a healthy baby boy to being scared of what the future would hold.

Though they were able to save for some of the expenses that would come with having a baby with CHD, it would be tough for anybody to plan for the time it takes to devote to the care of Baby Luke’s health.  Some of the challenges they face are feedings, giving meds, dressing changes, weighing him daily, checking his pulse ox and going to routine checkups in Ann Arbor. 

Luke will undergo his second open heart surgery which is tentatively scheduled for June 11th.  The time between the first and second surgeries is called the interstage period and can be a dangerous time which is why they need to monitor Luke so closely.

Being an RN, Sam works overnights and long hours.   He also spent a great deal of time away from work while Luke was in the hospital and has very few vacation days left.  Any amount of money that we could give would help Sam be able to take more time off work and focus on his family and caring for his baby boy, especially during Luke's second surgery in June.


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Jenny Martin Jennett 
Farmington, MI
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