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Morgan’s white Christmas not what family expected

Morgan’s white Christmas not what family expected
Morgan’s white Christmas not what family expected
Five-year-old cancer patient Morgan Fogakoldyke was feeling good enough to have eggrolls Monday with her family and friends at Hong Kong Buffet in Corydon. (Photo by Randy West)

Morgan Fogakoldyke, the little girl who’s being treated for rare brain and spinal cord cancer at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, got to come home for Christmas, but it wasn’t without its harrowing and frustrating moments.
Morgan, 5, had to be rushed to Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville Christmas Eve because an internal shunt that carries excess fluid from her brain to her abdomen got clogged up and she was getting sick.
The frustration continued the next day, Christmas, when her parents spent precious hours at the hospital and then, when Morgan was finally released, trying to locate a drug store in the Louisville area that, first, was open, and, second, had a new antibiotic in stock that the surgeon had prescribed for Morgan. The search continued into the next day but was futile because, the Fogakoldykes had an Indiana Medicaid card that isn’t honored in Kentucky.
Their surgeon told them that if they couldn’t locate the new antibiotic, they could continue giving her the old drug.
Morgan was ‘home’ on Sunday. Dan and Elizabeth’s family has been staying with Jay and Cindy Fischer and their children in Lanesville because mold was found in the home the Fogakoldykes were renting in Lanesville. Bacteria in the mold was a risk they couldn’t afford.
At various times, doctors thought Morgan might not survive the radiation, or that she would be blind, suffer a stroke, or be unable to sit up or walk, but she has fooled them every time, her mom said. On Monday afternoon, Morgan was feeling good enough to enjoy eggrolls at Hong Kong Buffet in Corydon with her parents, her brothers Eugene Humphries, 13, and Ethan Humphries, 10, her sister, Shawna, 7, and Cindy Fischer and her son, Andy, 11, and daughter, Carrie, 7.
Elizabeth brought a plastic bag full of medicine with her. Morgan takes five kinds of medicine a day, for seizures, nausea, upset stomach, infection, plus pain killers as she needs them. The possibility of infection is a constant threat to her health because she has had several incisions for shunts to relieve pressure on her brain and ports on her stomach to get chemo into her body quickly and efficiently.
Elizabeth takes care of her daughter’s needs with the professionalism of a nurse. She had almost completed her R.N. program at Eastern Kentucky University when she had to drop out with a problematic pregnancy.
Santa didn’t come for Morgan on Dec. 25, but he did provide something she badly wanted: snow. Fourteen to 16 inches of snow. Morgan’s Mom says God has always been with them and constantly answers their prayers. The snow is the most recent example. Whenever Morgan needed a miracle ‘ when the family learned last fall that she had a brain tumor, when she had surgery, then spinal cord tumors, then radiation, when the family needed money, or presents for her birthday and Christmas, when they needed a home, when Morgan began to give up after brain surgery at St. Jude, when she had staph infections ‘ God always answered their prayers, she said.
Morgan’s nickname at St. Jude is ‘Miracle,’ Elizabeth said.
The Fogakoldyke family has received much support from their church, Lincoln Hills Christian in Corydon, other churches, organizations and people throughout the community.
Morgan will be here until Jan. 17, when she and her mom return to St. Jude’s for workup for several weeks of chemotherapy and stem cell recovery to enable her body to build up its immune system. If all goes according to plan, Morgan could be getting treatments at St. Jude’s for months.
One nice thing that’s happened to Morgan is her ‘never-ending birthday.’ She was five years old on Nov. 12. The presents started coming in October and haven’t stopped yet.