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Feb 17, 2020 Latest post:
Jul 23, 2020
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We are overwhelmed with love and support. We can't possibly thank everyone enough and we are focusing all of our energy on Luke's healing right now. His story starts on February 13th - Luke is a sophomore at Simpson college, majoring in graphic design. One of his roommates happens to be his older brother. Cole called me said, "Mom, Luke is sick." I told him I knew he had a headache earlier in the week and I was praying for him. Cole told me he was throwing up so I decided to do the mom thing and went down after work to bring stomach bug supplies and cleaned the bathroom and kitchen and lysoled the apartment because I didn't want his roommates to get sick. I suggested Cole didn't sleep in the room that night because I didn't want him to catch it. Luke said he couldn't keep anything down. I had him sip 7up and Gatorade to try to stay hydrated and asked if he wanted me to bring him home to be sick there but he declined my offer, saying he'd be fine. (he doesn't remember any of this) On Friday, I was texting and snapping him asking how he was while I was at work from 9-12 but he wasnt replying and I was worried. I had Cole go check on him and Luke finally replied but it was incoherent letters and he was still puking. I went down and picked him up. We just thought the had a tummy bug. He was kind of out of it and his neck hurt... Laying on a bathroom floor for 36 hours of puking will do that! I called his Dr on my way down but they were full so I decided after he still couldn't keep anything down, to take him to an urgent Care clinic. They gave him zofran and said if he still couldn't keep anything down, to take him to the ER. He kept a few swallows of Gatorade down for three hours but then started throwing up again and he was really out of it so I took him to the ER in West Des Moines. I assumed he just needed fluids. They did too. He got two bags of fluids and more anti nausea meds in him. He was still kind of out of it and couldnt answer questions well. They sent us home at midnight. He crashed on the couch and didn't throw up all night. I started waking him at 8/9am to take a sip of water every hour but by noon, he wasn't swallowing it and I couldn't wake him up very well. He was pretty incoherent. So I decided to take him back to the ER. He needed help walking to the car. The ER got him right in and it took three nurses and two ultrasounds to get an IV in. He was so dehydrated. When they asked him what his pain was, he said an 8 and pointed to his mouth. I told them that his neck seemed to hurt as he kept stretching and squeezing the back of it. They ran some tests and everything looked normal. Negative for influenza which is running rampant here. The Dr decided to test him for meningitis. I was a little freaked out by that but I wasn't leaving without answers this time. Before they do a lumbar puncture, they have to do a CT scan so they took him to do that. Dave ran home to get Luke some new clothes and take Elli and and the dog to mom's house since it was evident we'd be there a while. Pastor Ben came to pray for Luke and it was then that the ER Dr came in and said he had bad news and said the words that will haunt me for the rest of my life. He has a brain tumor and we need to send him to Iowa City where they are better equipped to handle this. They decided to life flight him. Ben called Dave and my mom and Amy and I worshipped over Luke. I couldn't do anything else. I told Luke (who was incoherent) that Jesus is SO much bigger than this and I played worship music and clung to Jesus. His best friend, Ean, and my Meg who goes to Iowa, met him at the hospital off the helicopter and were able to be with him until we got there. They did an MRI and told us it was a huge bleeding tumor that was sitting on but not entangled in a major vessel and it the critical part of the brain that controls speech and his right side. They needed to do surgery in the morning. I asked the neurologist if Dr Kawasaki was the best. He said he was one of the few he would let operate on himself. I said ok. We were moved up to ICU and began the longest night of our lives. I could not take my eyes off of Luke. He was pretty incoherent and didn't know much of what was going on. That was hard. I played his favorite worship music and kept vigil over him all night long, worshiping, praying, stroking his face and hair, and crying. They told us the surgery was at 8:30am and would take 8-10 hours. At hour five, the nurse told me they were closing and everything went great. We were thrilled. And then one of the neurosurgeons talked to Dave and I in the hallways and gave us yet more devastating news that it looked like cancer and that we'd have to wait a week for pathology results. An hour later, we got to see Luke. He was intubated and they said he'd be sedated but he immediately opened his eyes and found mine and reached for me. Even in that state, he did things to make us laugh and we could tell he was Luke. He was happy to be extubated around midnight. He could wiggle his right side a little so we had hope.