A Lacombe family, whose young son was only able to spend a year out of hospital before he died, want to help other families bring their sick children home.
Kathy and Matt Oszust started Lukey’s Light Foundation to raise money to help families obtain the specialized equipment they require at home for their sick children, no matter their level of income.
Their son, Lukas, was born in August 2011 with a severe heart defect, and he suffered kidney failure and strokes. He spent 16 months in hospital before he was able to go home. Lukas was only two when he died in January.
Kathy Oszust said being at home allowed them to be a real family, and they cherish their memories of Lukas.
She wants other families to have the opportunity to leave the hospital behind.
“I want them to feel that joy and I want them to be able to experience all those things that we did. And I want people to see that special needs kids are extremely precious,” Oszust said on Monday.
“(Lukas) brought us joy like we would have never known. He was fun. He was such a happy kid. That year at home, it allowed us to be a family.”
She said it also gave their daughter, Lylah, the normal life she deserved.
Bringing Lukas home in December 2012 required specialized medical equipment. Oszust said the majority of equipment was government-funded, but some wasn’t, like the monitor for his oxygen and heart rate.
“That was a very important thing to know for dialysis and his heart condition. We didn’t necessarily have to have that, but the doctors recommended it. Those machines range from about $1,500 to $3,000, which is a lot of money. We had to do that on our own.”
They also purchased a $7,000 specialized hospital crib for Lukas because he needed to lie at a 30-degree angle to improve blood flow. Little funding was provided for the crib, she said.
“It allowed us to put the arms down if we needed to get in there in a hurry and he was at the angle he needed to be at and he was comfortable. I think that honestly gave us the year at home that we got with him.”
Work to develop Lukey’s Light Foundation began earlier this year in memory of Lukas. The inaugural Lukey’s Light Charity Golf Classic, scheduled for Aug. 23 at Lacombe Golf and Country Club, is the first fundraising event for the foundation.
Oszust said the golf tournament is filling up fast and sponsors are on board.
“The support has been pretty mind-blowing.”
For more information about the golf classic contact Matt Oszust at 403-896-1279 or at email@example.com