Child With Heart Defect Inspires While Beating The Odds

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ALLEGAN COUNTY,  Mich. — (March 15, 2014) A West Michigan toddler is fighting for his life, faced with an uphill battle due to a heart condition.

With surgery number three approaching in mid-April his mom and dad wanted to share Lucas’ story to give hope to other parents who have children with the same condition.

“I found out at 20 weeks pregnant  that there was something wrong,” said Michelle Gibson.


Lucas Gibson

Michelle and husband Steve say 19-month-old Lucas looks like a normal toddler.

However, the scar on his chest is a reminder that he suffers from a rare heart condition that disrupts blood flow to his heart called HLHS or Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.

“At this point, there is nothing really left of the left side of his heart,” said Michelle. “He had his first open heart surgery at three-days-old, and um, his second at four-months-old.”

His third surgery is coming up April, 18.

Although the Gibsons say they are trying to stay upbeat, they know the odds are against Lucas.

They say the oldest living survivor with this condition is only 30-years-old. That weighs on their heart.

“He`s really amazing and we enjoy every single day and make the most of every single day we have with him,” said Michelle.

It’s also been tough on the family’s finances.

Although they have insurance, they share in the cost.

“It`s unreal. We just got a bill for the shot he had to have and it`s over five grand,” said Michelle.

There’s also a worry that Lucas could get sick from a virus since he has a tough time fighting them off.

The family has to limit their exposure to those who are sick and they are constantly using sanitizer around the house.

Michelle and Steve are holding onto hope for where Lucas will be in the future.

“Hopefully, here and well and to live a normal life and be happy.  Just to be here healthy and happy,” said Michelle.

“If your child is diagnosed with it, don`t give up. It`s worth the fight,” said Steve.

“We will do whatever we have to for  him to get him what he needs,” said Michelle. “I just pray that they can come up with something so that he can live beyond 30 and do amazing work.”

The Gibsons have started an online fundraising page for Lucas.

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  • Amanda

    My husband and I can relate to the Gibsons as our 3 year old daughter has HLHS as well. She just had her 3rd surgery in January of this year. She is a blessing from god and we thank him every day for blessing us with her.

  • carmen

    Our grandson was born w/this heart condition. He's now in the 8th grade, a good golfer, plays baseball and is a pitcher, and loves to snowboard. Keep the faith, prayers from coast to coast from our family and friends, helped us get through this and the wonderful team of doctors and nurses at UM hospital in Ann Arbor, Mi. Will keep you in our prayers.

  • Sondra

    Does Michigan still have Children's Special Health Care? It is special insurance for kids with heart defects. Generally it pays what insurance does not, on a sliding scale for the family's income. I know 10 years ago it was offered to us at Mott for our daughter.