lots of firsts for luke...

luke had a very busy first couple of days home from the hospital. he had a lot of catching up to do!

first ride in the car...

first time seeing his home on the outside. it's slightly bigger than where he spent the last 9 months!

first time meeting his Georgia cousins thanks to skype (nice lamb face stephanie)!

first time meeting the orozco clan...

first (and only) sponge bath...

some good ol' couch time with his mama (certainly not the last of this)...

first stroll around the (bumpy) city streets of chicago...

and after all of that...spending some peace and quiet on his own personalized blanket (thanks tv guide)!


luke = strong like bull

well, as luke alluded to in his introductory post, he had a pretty eventful beginning to his life. since it's a pretty long story, i've decided to publish the emails that my mom sent to friends and family as everything unfolded. we can't thank everyone enough for their prayers and their support during this time. please keep the prayers coming as luke is home with us and as we care for our precious little boy.

Psalm 17:6 I call on you, O God, for you will answer me; give ear to me and hear my prayer.

Email my mom sent out on 10.11.09
To God be the Glory Great Things He Hath Done!
So much has happened since I emailed for prayer for our grandson Luke. I will start from near the beginning and let you know what has been happening. Luke was born full term on Tuesday October 6, 10:37 p.m. weighing 7 lbs 8 ounces and 22" long. He is in Chicago Northwestern Memorial Hospital which is a renowned teaching hospital.

Within the first 12 hours of life Luke's billirubin was found to be 12+ which is high. He was placed on UV blue light therapy. While under these lights he has to have his eyes covered so they placed a special gauze wrap over his eye area and top of his head to shield his eyes. Very early Friday morning as Luke was being monitored it was discovered that his heart rate had slowed into the 70s, about 1/2 the rate it should be. He was taken to the nursery and monitored for a short while. NICU was called and staff from there came to his floor and monitored him for a period of time and decided to take him to the NICU downstairs. They took him down and did an EKG and an echocardiogram. During the echo it was observed he was having seizure activity on the right side of his body. They administered Phenobarbital to
stop the seizure. He then was taken for a MRI of his brain. The pediatric neurologist came in to say that there was an area abnormality in the upper left area of his brain and called it an infantile stroke. What a shock. I don't fully understand it but it is different from an adult stroke. The neurologist spent 1 1/2 hours explaining the information and the long-term prognosis. He was pretty encouraging and talked about brain development and the fact that it is really hard to predict what will occur but in his experience he has seen many positive outcomes for infants that experience this event.
Now along with the UV light therapy they hooked him up to a 24 hour EEG (brain wave) test along with a 24 video of him as visual documentation of motor activity. They did a spinal tap looking for bacterial or viral infection. They began antibiotic and viral medicine treatment while waiting for spinal tap and other blood work results to come back. Shortly after that they attached a Holter monitor to do a 24 hour heart study. Friday was a really low day. He was hooked up to all these medical devices confined to the isolet waiting to find out what the tests would indicate. Then the vein in his little hand blew when they were administering the antiviral medicine and he received a chemical burn under the skin from infiltration of the medicine. Now plastic surgeons and hand specialists were called in to evaluate this latest development. Kristin was discharged to go home without Luke. This was a difficult, tear-filled day.

Saturday was spent with visits from some of their church friends and family. There were prayers for Luke, Kristin, Eric, the doctors and hospital staff, all the prayer warriors both known and unknown across the country we had reached out to. At one time Kristin said to me "this couldn't have happened to two better people. God has entrusted us to care for this child and we are equipped to do just that. Luke is His child." She was also telling me that
she and Eric had had talks about not having a testimony to share about their faith and that God was giving them their opportunity to testify to His greatness.

Kristin had begun pumping to provide nourishment for Luke. On Saturday her milk really came in and he began taking in more nourishment and also had better output in the poop and pee department. He was resting well even though he was connected to all sorts of wires. By late evening the EEG wires and the Holter heart monitor were removed and he was only on the blue light therapy, Phenobarbital and the bacterial and antiviral medicine and the regular monitoring of his heart rate, respiration rate, and oxygen saturation levels, and blood pressure.

Sunday morning, October 11 in Chicago dawned sunny and crisply cold. We arrived at
the hospital hoping to be there when the doctors conducted their rounds. The doctors came through early and we missed hearing their reports. The nurse told us they would come back to let us know what was going on once they completed rounding. However, the first thing we noted was that the blue lights were now turned off. Luke was sleeping peacefully.
The neonatologist came back shortly thereafter and reported the following: Luke's billirubin is at 3.5, which is great; the EEG test is normal; an EKG from the night before showed normal heart waves; the hand doctors said his hand is healing and will continue to scab and slough and new skin tissue will develop and repair the area; there is no bacterial infection and the antibiotic treatment will be discontinued once the series is complete; it will be tomorrow before the result from the viral test is back and if that is negative the anti-viral medicine will be discontinued; the results of the Holter heart monitor are not back yet but should be tomorrow and not to be surprised or worried if they need to be repeated for another 24 hours as they may need to have more information before making any report; Luke's weight is up to 8 lbs 2 ounces. This is great news!

When Luke goes home he will go home on a daily dose of Phenobarbital and follow-up with the neurologist periodically over the next 6 months to follow his progress and do EEGs to look at his brain activity. Kristin and Eric will have access to developmental resources and people to monitor his developmental milestones. The neurologist had said that they will not do a repeat MRI to look at his brain again so we may never know what it looks like, if that area of concern is still there or not. That does not matter. We know that God is fulfilling his plan for Luke. This is a miracle! Praise be to God for He is good and His mercy endures forever. We don't know what tomorrow will be like but we know that God is there already and all we need to do is look to Him.

We called upon the Lord and the prayers of the faithful. Thank you, thank you faithful servants of Our Lord Jesus Christ. You have blessed this family and this child by your faith. We are eternally grateful for each and every one of you and in return we pray for God's blessing to be poured out onto you.

Luke 1:50 His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.
In His love, Deb and Tim Crowe

Another email my mom sent with an update on 10.17.09:
We just want to give a short update on how Luke is doing. He came home from the hospital on Tuesday, Oct. 13 in the late afternoon. He has had 4 nights/days at home and he is adjusting well to home life. The last of the tests we were waiting on came backwith good report. The Holter monitor 24 hour test was normal and the spinal fluid came back negative for a virus. We give God all praise and glory for his healing mercies.

Luke will be receiving follow-up care with the pediatric neurologist, physical therapist, hematologist, and hand specialists and his pediatrician.

Again, thank you for blessing Luke, Kristin, Eric, and us, with your fervent prayers. I pray that you will continue to remember them as time goes by. We are so very grateful to know that we have a community of family and friends, who claim Jesus Christ as Lord to turn to in times of need.
We love you all.
In His love, Deb and Tim Crowe

luke in his NICU cubby chillin'. check out the cool glasses he had to sport while he was under the billirubin lights. he was our little rock star.

luke disconnected from all the wires and leads and enjoying some "kangaroo care" time with mommy.

luke all dressed and ready to head home on 10.13.09!

the proud parents excited to take their little guy home. brave the dog still keeping watch over luke. brave and luke are already best friends.

while luke spent time in the NICU we just kept saying that he was "Strong Like Bull" as he went through test after test. he is our little warrior! brave continues to watch and protect little luke.


hi! my name is luke!

introducing the newest member of the jerkson family...

lucas quinn
born october 6, 2009 at 10:37 pm
weighing 7 lbs, 8 ounces
measuring 22 inches long

i had a pretty eventful first week of life and i'll share that soon, but just wanted to introduce myself and share some pictures of me and my family!

my parents right before they left for the hospital

first jerkson family of three photo

my feet measuring over 3 inches long at birth

my first gift in the hospital from my Gram and Gramps. let me introduce you to "Brave" the dog. my dog is named after my Gramps' dog he had when he was younger. it just so happens that we named the dog Brave, but after you see my next post, you'll see there was no coincidence about it! (by the way, check me out in my blue light special bilirubin blanket.)