Luke is a caring 18-year-old from Pennsylvania who loves dogs. He’s also had chronic lung disease and feeding issues since he was born prematurely.
At just five years old, Luke was diagnosed with Childhood Interstitial Lung Disease. After having a double-lung transplant, he was later diagnosed with Chronic Intestinal Pseudo Obstruction and experienced complete intestinal failure.
After waiting ten long months for an intestine transplant, he was finally able to have the procedure in May!
Having a transplant during COVID-19 brings unique challenges. Visitors are limited to just Luke’s parents. He misses having his siblings by his side and visits from Pet Friends, who provide support dogs that have been a part of Luke’s hospitalizations for over ten years.
“All the special programs that help the kids not feel like they are in the hospital have to be put on hold,” said Luke’s mom, Heather. “This makes hospitalizations more challenging.”
Starlight Gowns are one thing that has made Luke’s hospitalizations more comfortable. He always refused to wear regular hospital gowns and did not even want one in his room. A child life specialist gave Luke his first Starlight Gown, and he’s been wearing one ever since.
“Starlight Gowns are part of the ‘little things’ that are really big things to kids in the hospital!” said Heather. “The snaps were in the right places and the ties were perfectly placed on the side, not the center back. The fabric was soft and easily washable. It was comfortable and Luke actually asked to wear it.”
Starlight Gowns have changed his hospital experience so much that Luke even purchased Starlight Nintendo Gowns for two of his friends on the transplant floor so they can be comfortable, too!