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After more than 200 days a 3-year-old is home with a new heart

A 208-day journey came to an end when Luke was welcomed home to a parade.
Credit: Karolina Fossell
Luke Fossell

LEXINGTON, S.C. — Luke Strong is a hashtag created in support of three-year-old Luke Fossell. He stole many hearts a few months ago while on his own journey to get a new one.

In December, that life-giving gift was granted and Luke is finally back home. It's a story that unfolded in less than a year. But a lot can happen in half a year or 208 days.

“We finally got the call that he was going to get a new heart," Karoline Fossell, Luke's mom, said.

Roughly six months is a long time for anyone, but, for Luke Fossell, that’s a large chunk of his life. At three years old, he's undergone several heart surgeries. His journey began as problems arose when he was just 10 days old. 

They worsened in March of 2022.

“They thought it would be a good idea to bring him, check him out," Fossell said. "They then saw that his function had declined significantly."

On Dec. 9, Luke got his rhythm back with a brand new heart. And, on Jan. 20, he was able to go home.

“This past Friday we were finally allowed to go home and be home for good," his mom said.

His return home was far from ordinary. He was welcomed home with a parade of friends, family, and Lexington County law enforcement and first responders.

“Eight police cars and a fire truck escorted us home," Luke's mom said. "We did a big parade through our neighborhood and we had all of our friends and family who were sitting on the sidewalk waving to us as we got to bring Luke home.”

It was a welcome with open arms from the people of Lexington - a welcome home, where he belongs.

“I’m at home,” Luke said.

His parents said Luke is adjusting to his new heart well as they continue with his anti-rejection medications.

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