Luke's Story

Interview featured in Greenville Neighbors Magazine

As a Pediatric nurse, I have had the opportunity to see how important Happy Wheels is to a child in the hospital. Now, as a mother of one of those kids, the joy that a Happy Wheels visit brings is indescribable. I never imagined I would experience Happy Wheels as a nurse and as a mom, but that all changed in 2019 when Luke was just 10 days old.

He contracted the enterovirus and developed myocarditis. Luke's little heart was failing, and he was going to have a really tough road ahead. Fast forward to 2022, Luke was happy, full of sass, and very strong-willed, but his heart was sicker than ever. He was highly listed on the heart transplant list, and our last hospital admission, in March, was a tough one.

I will never forget the expression on Luke's face when he picked out a Wheels on the Bus book from the Happy Wheels cart. He was so excited that he had the chance to choose a prize, and we read that book at least ten times that afternoon.

In June of 2022, He had an external LVAD placed (Berlin Heart) to help keep him alive and act as a bridge to transplant. He celebrated his 3rd birthday in July, while in the ICU, and then had his second open heart surgery in August of 2022 to revise his LVAD placement. Then we waited and waited and waited.

Happy Wheels came every week and stopped by his room. They quickly learned that Luke had a new love for superheroes, and they always seemed to find the PERFECT toy for him. Then in December, after his big brother asked Santa to bring Luke a new heart for Christmas, we got the news! There was a perfect new heart for Luke!

On December 9th, Luke received his new heart and has been unstoppable ever since!! We moved home in January and have been adjusting to our new lives with our new Luke!

Know that a donation to Happy Wheels will help put a smile on a child's face, like Luke, who needs a pick-me-up! –Karoline (Luke’s mom)