His name was Luke, but more often than not, his family didn’t call him that. The 1-year-old boy with the infectious smile and joyful personality was better known as “sweet baby Luke.” One day in December of 2019, Luke had to be rushed to the emergency room at Novant Health Mint Hill Medical Center. One moment, he had been laughing and dancing; the next day Luke was fighting for his life.

Luke, his mother Arliss Day, and his family were transferred to Novant Health Hemby Children’s Hospital Emergency Department, where they met Dr. Emily Nazarian and the team of medical professionals that would be there with them through the most difficult day of their lives. The doctors were eventually able to pinpoint what was happening to Luke: he had volvulus, a twisting of the intestines more common and treatable in newborns. It is rare in children Luke’s age, and four hours after he was rushed to the ER, it took his life.

Day and her husband, Kelvin started the Luke Day Foundation to help other families who lose a child unexpectedly. And they want to continue to honor and recognize the staff at Hemby Children’s Hospital. After the most difficult day of their lives, this family is on a mission to support Novant Health Hemby Children’s Hospital. You can read more about Luke’s story HERE.

We encourage you to give a little extra love this season and donate online or by calling 1-866-676-PED1 to our 10th annual Secret Santa fundraiser. Novant Health Hemby Children’s Hospital offers patients remarkable medical care while offering parents peace of mind.

Alexis Zarycki is your average girl with the hopes of leaving an everlasting impact on the world. Follow her on Instagram @official_lexpaige