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2016 Miracle Child - Luke Daniel Skinner


He runs, jumps and plays; you would never know that Luke Skinner, 2016 CMNH Miracle Child, had a turbulent entrance into the world. While on vacation at 31 weeks pregnant, Luke’s mom, Katie, started having abdominal pain. Luke’s parents immediately rushed to the closest emergency room where Katie’s pain was first diagnosed as a gall stone, and the doctors suggested that the best course of treatment would be to remove it.

They warned the Skinners that a possible complication of surgery would be that their child would have to be delivered early and rushed to a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at another hospital. Knowing that she did not want the possibility of being separated from her baby, Katie requested to be transferred to CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler where she would be able to stay in the same facility as her baby if he had to come early.

Katie’s transfer to CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital - Tyler was a blessing in more ways than one. When she arrived, further testing revealed that her abdominal pain was being caused, not by a gall stone, but by a life-threatening complication of pre-eclampsia called HELLP syndrome. Katie’s blood cells were being destroyed, her liver was at risk of failing and her platelet count was dangerously low. Katie was told that Luke needed to be delivered within 30 minutes to save the lives of both mother and baby, even though that would mean that Luke would be born nine weeks premature.

Luke was born via emergency C-section, and was rushed immediately to the NICU where he was met by his father, Matthew. While Luke was being stabilized, Katie was unresponsive, and was given a 50% chance of survival. After two days in a coma, Katie awoke to find that her baby boy had been born weighing a mere two pounds, 12 ounces and was being treated by the highly skilled team in the NICU. Luke needed respiratory support for the breathing complications caused by his premature lungs. True to his nickname, “Mighty Mouse,” Luke was able to overcome the many obstacles that came with being born too early. At two days old, Katie was able to lay eyes on her son in a temperature controlled isolette, where he was being treated for jaundice under a bilirubin light.

During his five-week stay in the NICU, Luke had to learn everything a new baby needs to survive: how to breathe, eat and maintain his temperature. Eventually, with mother and baby healthy, Luke was able to go home where this “Mighty Mouse” has continued to grow strong and active.

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals does not only serve the tiniest patients, CMNH provides the services that allow families to stay together while a child is in the hospital. CMNH knows that often the whole family needs support and healing when a child is sick or injured.

You can help East Texas children like Luke Skinner by supporting Children’s Miracle Network. One hundred percent of the funds raised locally for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals stay right here at CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances to provide life-saving pediatric equipment and medical services to children in our area.