Although they live in Monroe, Meghan and Joseph Duckett find themselves at home at Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health in Baton Rouge.
When their oldest son, Noah, was a baby they made the three-hour drive south, following the ambulance to Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center.
“As new parents, we were scared to death. You never want to hear the tough news that there is ‘something more’ going on with your child,” Meghan remembers. In this time before the Children’s Hospital was built, Meghan and Joseph found themselves in the pediatric intensive care unit full of fear and anxiety.
“We were immediately greeted by the biggest smile and a friendly welcome,” Meghan says. “One of the nurse techs already had Noah in his bed and was getting to know him. With one smile she melted all the fears that had us in their grip.”
Through additional diagnostics and care, the family learned that Noah has an unknown genetic disease, which still brings him to Baton Rouge regularly for treatment at the Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital. The family has spent countless days in hospitals from New Orleans to Chicago and points in between.
“Many of those hospitals have touched our lives and done their best to make life better for us, but none of them were home,” Meghan says. “Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital is home. No matter how many times we step foot into this hospital, we always feel welcome, loved and cared for.”
Before they knew that Noah’s disease was hereditary, the Ducketts welcomed younger brother Josiah who began to display the same symptoms but even worse. “Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health took us under their wing again, and we worked together to make sure Josiah and Noah had the best life they possibly could,” Meghan says.
In January 2019, Josiah was two and the family was once again in the PICU. The disease both boys fought daily had finally caught up with Josiah, and his tiny body began to shut down.
“This could have been the worst day of our lives,” Meghan says. The team members caring for Josiah and his family provided help and comfort.
“Megan and I never felt crowded that day, but we never felt alone,” Joseph says. “With perfect professionalism and true love, the team led us through the process and our sweet boy finally found his legs as he ran to Jesus.”
Now 7, Noah is still doing well, and his life continues to be a blessing to his family and all he encounters, including the team at Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital.
“Our Lady of the Lake has been and will continue to be a place filled with memories for us, a place full of people we love and a place we consider a refuge,” Meghan says. “Each time we step foot in the door and see a smiling face, we still remember the first day we stepped in the PICU.”