3-year-old Courageous Caitie battles mystery disease
What started as insect bites that turned into lesions has become an onslaught of life-threatening symptoms for Courageous Caitie: low count of platelets and red blood cells, an enlarged spleen, blood in her stool, and more. After numerous tests, scans, and medical procedures, there is still no clear diagnosis for what this brave toddler is going through Read her story here, and find out how you can help her win this battle
For any parent, there is nothing worse than not knowing what is going on in your child’s sick body. This has been the story of Courageous Caitie for almost two months now. Caitlin Soleil Lucas is a brave 3-year-old girl who’s been battling with a mystery disease. As of this writing, she has been in the hospital for 50 days without a clear diagnosis.
Around late last year, they started asking for prayers for Caitlin for what seemed to be insect bites that became skin lesions. Not long after, Caitie was admitted to the hospital and the Lucas family welcomed 2016 at Cardinal Santos Medical Center.
The start of a long journey
As a friend to the family, I’ve been closely monitoring Caitie’s condition, updating my husband and son regularly, showing photos of this vibrant little girl who bravely faced every extraction, transfusion, biopsy, and all the other medical procedures in between. We, along with over 4,000 of her Facebook followers, would partner with them in prayer daily.
Aside from the lesions, Caitie had swollen lymph nodes, night sweats, low count of platelets and red blood cells, high count of white blood cells, blasts in her blood, an enlarged spleen, and more. As someone from the outside looking in, I can only imagine what Feliz and Jay Jay must be going through.
Feliz shared in her blog, “A mixture of fear and wanting to trust is battling inside of me. I know I should trust, I know He will deliver. This is God’s battle. And God always wins his battles!” To have that disposition in the midst of uncertainty is hard to do. And as their story unfolded, the faith they’ve shown as a family has become an inspiration to a lot of people.
Caitie has been such a trooper. She has learned how to calm herself during extractions and has found joy in the little things like enjoying pretend play as a doctor with her scrub suit on before a surgical procedure.
Not only that, her obedience is also admirable! She didn’t need to be sedated during her CT Scan because she could lie still the entire time. That says a lot for a toddler!
Head to the next page to see Courageous Caitie's VERY SPECIAL visitors, who came from far far away to cheer her up.
Halfway through the battle
After a battery of tests, malignant diseases have been ruled out as the cause of her symptoms! The Lucas family and the rest of Courageous Caitie’s supporters rejoiced with them in this victory. But just when everybody thought that the road to recovery was within reach, Caitie had to be moved to St. Luke’s Quezon City. Not long after, we received news that she was vomiting and had blood stains in her stool.
From being a ray of sunshine, Caitie was slowly losing her glow, appetite, and weight. At some point, she stopped eating for fear of expelling the food again. Feliz and Jay Jay tried their best to cheer up Caitie, asking people where to get balloons and crowdsourcing for Star Wars Stormtrooper cosplayers to visit her. Adorably, Caitie is afraid of mascots except for Stormtroopers! How cool is that?
The kind-hearted people from the 501st Legion-Philippine Garrison responded and sent Stormtroopers and even Darth Vader to visit Caitie! The Lucas family saw this as an opportunity to reach out to fellow pediatric patients on their wing. They bought Bible storybooks and coloring books for the kids, sharing the love of Jesus to fellow patients and their parents.
When Minions visited Caitie to encourage her to eat bananas, the pill-shaped cuties also roamed around the wing and brought smiles to other brave kids battling with chronic diseases.
Feliz shared in another blog, “It has always been my prayer that since Caitie is in so much pain, that Jesus would not let her pain go in vain. That He would use it to bring complete glory to His name.” God is indeed using Caitie to shine the brightest light even in the darkest hour. She may not know it yet but her story is making a huge impact in other people’s lives.
Nearing the finish line
Due to uncontrollable circumstances and financial reasons, Caitie was moved back to Cardinal Santos. She is currently intubated for liquid feeding so that she gets the concentrated amount of nutrition she needs. She is still defecating bile liquid; although with bigger intervals and lower volumes. Her food intake is still relatively equal to her output.
Caitie has been going through consecutive transfusions as well as her red blood cells and platelets haven’t been stable the past few weeks. But you know what? This little girl is still fighting. She paints, asks for her workbooks to keep herself busy, endures more repeat tests and extractions, smiles more often now, and believes in her tiny beating heart that Jesus will heal her.
ON THE NEXT PAGE: How you can help Caitie fight her battle.
Caitie’s battle is far from over but the Lucas family have their eyes set on the finish line. They are currently in need of financial assistance with their bill running at 1.2 million pesos and counting. If you would like to help, there will be a marathon photo session and benefit gig for Courageous Caitie.
Tipify also made Caitie-inspired iPhone cases for sale while Marché E-Mag is offering advertising slots for suppliers who want to support Caitie. All the proceeds from these efforts will go to Caitie’s medical expenses.
The last leg of this battle is currently happening in Singapore as the Lucas family is set to meet with specialists who will look into Caitie’s condition. We are hoping and praying that this medical mystery will finally be solved and whatever is hiding in Caitie’s body will be brought to light. Please pray for a safe flight for the family, a stable condition for Caitie as she travels, and most of all, a clear cut diagnosis and treatment plan.
Press on, Courageous Caitie! We are all rooting for you!
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