The Good Stuff: A ride of a lifetime
Celebrating Luke Spinney’s return from St Jude Children’s Hospital
HAUGHTON, La. (KSLA) - Dozens gathered Wednesday night in a Haughton neighborhood awaiting the arrival of 15-year-old Luke Spinney, after a five hour drive home from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
“I didn’t get any sleep just anticipating coming home,” said Luke after arriving to cheers from family members, friends, classmates and neighbors.
It’s how he arrived that surprised many, a police escort from state troopers and deputies with lights and sirens blaring.
“This community is incredible. The law enforcement community is incredible, and the support is very overwhelming,” stated Luke’s stepmother Jennifer Spinney just moments after she, along with Luke’s mother Laura Webb, watched a stream of law enforcement vehicles and a stretch limo pull through the neighborhood.
Seconds after the rear door of that limo was opened, out hopped a masked Luke.
“I loved it, every bit of coming home,” he exclaimed.
It was truly a ride of a lifetime for Luke, ending what has been a year of a scramble for answers, followed by months of chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
Beginning last January, Luke began experiencing stomach pains and nausea that seemed never-ending. After repeated doctor visits and tests, he eventually had his gal bladder removed, but the health problems continued.
By May, the pain was unbearable for Luke and his parents.
“I told them ‘we have to try something different,’” shared Luke’s father, Barry.
Finally by May, a doctor ordered a CT scan of Luke’s head which revealed an answer, a heartbreaking answer: a golf ball sized brain malignant tumor.
“He never blinked,” explained Barry.
“We didn’t give him much of a chance in it. We told him what he’d do and what’s at stake. He put his head down and went to work,” continued Barry who said shortly after having the mass removed, Luke was taken to St. Jude’s in Memphis, Tennessee.
It was a struggle, but Luke battled through the side effects that accompany cancer treatments. Seeing Luke never give up helped carry his family emotionally through his entire time at St. Jude.
“Luke is who kept us strong, he never faltered,” shared his mother. “He never gave in to being afraid.”
Luke spent the many moments after his homecoming hugging family and friends and shaking hands with Bossier City Mayor Tommy Chandler and others. It was the end of a trip of a lifetime, one he hopes he never has to take again.
“Luke fought so hard and deserves this,” said Jennifer. “This is the welcome home he deserves.”
Copyright 2022 KSLA. All rights reserved.