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Finding Lukas's Heart
Published April 24, 2020

Lukas in a hospital with oxygen, smiling at the camera At ten months old, Lukas was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). After a short period of time in remission, he required a second round of chemotherapy treatments. This second round stopped the advancement of his ALL but damaged his lungs and heart. Lukas was diagnosed with heart failure on Valentine’s Day 2019 after his family almost lost him to an irregular arrhythmia.

Lukas joined the Aveanna family in September of 2019. By this time, he had a pacemaker, took medication for his heart failure via central line, and had been placed on the list for a heart transplant. Unfortunately, Lukas was moved to “status 7” (near the bottom of the list) due to the worsening condition of his lungs. They were not functioning at full capacity due to interstitial lung disease.

At home with his Aveanna nurse, Lukas received routine nebulized medication as well as chest vest treatments in hopes of improving his lungs. His nurse maintained his central line site and IV medication, helped start the process of weaning him off of Lukas sitting at the table, smiling and holding a pancake with a whipped cream hearthis g-button, and helped him meet his therapy and homeschooling goals. With the help of his parents and Aveanna nurse, Lukas’s health improved. Eventually, specialists determined that he did not have interstitial lung disease and that he could be listed higher on the transplant list. On March 28, 2020, Lukas and his family received word that a heart was available for him! His transplant took place the next day. Lukas was discharged from the hospital and from Aveanna on April 10, 2020. He is doing great! He no longer needs his central line and hopefully soon will no longer need his g-button either. We are honored to have played a part in Lukas’s journey and to have helped him become eligible for his heart transplant. Congratulations Lukas! We can’t wait to see what incredible things you do next!