Five-year-old Lucas Compton was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor after getting a bump on his head in April of 2019. A seizure prompted his family to take him to the emergency room where doctors found the tumor following a CT scan.
Lucas received six months worth of chemotherapy before the doctors told his family it wasn’t helping. Still, the Denison native just wants to be a super hero, and he recently spent a day with the firefighters of Denison Fire Rescue being just that.
Along with his day on the job with local emergency personnel, Lucas and his family were the recipients of a very special gift through a local non profit that aims to give area children the opportunity to take a once-in-a-lifetime trip. The family took a trip to Disney World with the help of Wishing Well Texoma. They were picked up in a limousine before being flown to Florida for a weekend of bonding and fun for the family that has been through a lot in the last nine months.
However, it wasn’t all fun and games for Lucas.
During a phone interview Monday, his mother Jessica Gann said he was sick for the first few days of the trip. As a result, the rides Lucas was able to go on were limited.
“We rode as much as we could,” Gann said. “Tuesday, he had another seizure so we stayed around town. My mother had gone with us. She took him to a water park at her hotel. The last day, we went to Universal Studios. That was his favorite thing. Everything he got to do, he was thrilled. We stayed at a kids world for the terminally ill kids. They had superheroes there. He got to meet Batman and Mickey Mouse. That was good for him because he was so sick at first.”
Give Kids the World Village is a non-profit organization in Florida that provides week-long trips to critically ill children and their families. Wishing Well Texoma worked with the organization to plan the trip for Lucas and his family.
While the trip helped the family end 2019 on a brighter note, in recent weeks, Lucas has been experiencing memory loss.
“He has forgotten his siblings at times, his best friend, even his dad,” Gann said. “He is very emotional. Before the tumor took over his brain to this extent, he was very passive. He was a quiet child. Now, his brain activity is constantly going. He is either really emotional or really hyper. It is hard on us as well.”
Gann said doctors have told her the tumor wraps around the child’s brain stem leaving few options in the way of treatment. Lucas recently began home schooling so he could continue his kindergarten studies. While he started elementary school in the fall, he is now unable to attend school on campus due to his immune system and the constant danger of seizures.
Still Lucas has the same interests as any other five-year-old child. He enjoys watching movies and playing video games. He also loves playing pretend and dressing up with his sisters.
Lucas spends most of his days inside because he can’t get too excited without triggering a seizure, Gann said.
In one of the tough moments, Gann realized another aspect of how the illness is having a toll on her son mentally.
She said Lucas has gotten keen to knowing his seizures require him to go to the hospital, and since he doesn’t like going to the hospital, he sometimes tries to hide his seizures from his family. That, she said, is hard on all of his siblings. The younger two aren’t fully aware of his condition but they recognize he is sick. The older children feel powerless to help and hate seeing their brother suffer.
“We’re very blessed they gave us that opportunity,” Gann said of Wishing Well Texoma. “It is not something we would have been able to do ourselves. We were able to take Lucas and all but two of his siblings. It was the biggest group they had sent for a foundation. They made sure it was worth it for us. We went in a limousine to Dallas and we returned home in it. We couldn’t have asked for a better foundation to work with.”
Right now, Lucas is scheduled for additional medical checkups including an MRI to check the status of the tumor. Gann said the biggest fear is that it will spread.
“He was born with it, and we never had any inkling he had it,” Gann said. “There was no surgeon or neurologist that determined it. They said it was a miracle he was able to walk and talk with how invasive it was. Now, it is a wait and see game. There are so many things that can go wrong. It is a constant worry because we don’t know what will happen.”
A proud mother, Gann said Lucas has a big heart and greets everyone he meets.
“He is the best child out of all my children,” she said. “He gets along with all of them. He doesn’t have any problems getting along with anyone. He likes to say hi to everyone and ask how they are doing.”
The family has set up a GoFundMe page to help with medical expenses. The page can be found at https://www.GoFundMe.com/f/help-lucas-beat-his-brain-tumor?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link-tip&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet