Luke Dominic Calcines was born on September 29, 2019 in Tampa and shortly after was diagnosed with two unexpected conditions - pulmonary hypertension and Vein of Galen Malformation (VOGM). Two days after birth, Luke was airlifted to Shands Children’s Hospital in Gainesville given their experience with his diagnosis. Alone these conditions are rare, but together they are almost unheard of in the medical field. Over the last three months, Luke has proven to be quite the fighter and defeated many odds, including two brain embolizations to close blood vessels and multiple complications. Today, Luke remains in the NICU unit at Shands—still fighting for his life.
VOGM is a rare arteriovenous malformation that affects the Great Cerebral Vein, also known as The Vein of Galen. This particular malformation is formed when the veins connect directly to arteries rather than connecting vein, to capillaries, to arteries. Because capillaries are missing, this causes a high, fast flow of blood to be pulled towards the Vein of Galen which often leads to congestive heart failure. Other symptoms that stem from the VOGM are hydrocephalus, developmental delays, seizures, and brain bleeds. VOGM affects 1 in 3 million people. The cause of the VOGM is unknown with some speculation that it is genetic. Source.
Our family is beyond grateful for the outpouring of love and support over the last few months and know many of you have been asking for how to help. On behalf of Gabriel, Emily and baby Luke, we have set-up this page as an avenue to keep all updated on Luke's journey and a means to alleviate financial burden as they focus all their time and energy on their family and helping Luke heal. All funds will go towards medical, hotel, transportation, and ongoing care costs as Gabriel & Emily both remain on leave from work.
From Gabriel and Emily: We are grateful to God for our precious son, and are beyond grateful for every single prayer, word of encouragement, and support from all of our loved ones. We are faithful Luke will overcome all of the challenges before him and continue to pray for patience and strength, so we can endure this life trial of faith on Luke’s behalf, until we are able to bring our little guy home. Thank you!
Note: All donations will be run through the Florida Executive Realty HOPE Foundation for tax purposes. A donation receipt for tax purposes will be sent to donors from the Foundation.
For with God, nothing shall be impossible. Luke 1:37