Lubbock,TX - A cheering crowd of more than one hundred people welcomed nine-year-old Luke Siegel back home to Lubbock Wednesday. Luke's friends and teammates arrived with signs and smiles in the pouring rain to wish Luke well as he and his family came into town on their way back from Cook Children's hospital in the Fort Worth area.
Luke was in a golf-cart accident on July 28 which sent him to University Medical Center where the doctors told the Siegels that Luke was enduring cardiac arrest, brain damage, and collapsed lungs. In September Luke was moved to Cook's Children's Hospital for more treatment. He made some improvements, including starting to vocalize and following commands. But the Siegel family thinks Luke will improve more living back home in a familiar setting.
"Hopefully, we'll get to where it's easier because the quality of life (for Luke) is not that great," said Tim Siegel, Luke's dad, in an interview with EverythingLubbock.com. "People think that we're coming home as a celebratory congratulations, but we're really coming home because he plateaued and we think coming home, he'll thrive."
Even with a tough road ahead, Luke's family and friends say they are happy to have him back in Lubbock.
"He's my best friend and I want him to come back home," said Colt Petty, who showed up at the Lubbock Youth Sports Complex to wave on Luke and his family. Petty's last memory of Luke is playing tag with him, since then he's watched the videos Luke's family has posted of him in the hospital.
"I've known him for a long time and I'm excited he's coming home," said Blake Matzner, age nine of Luke's homecoming.
Members of the West Texas Breeze girls basketball team came to support Luke as well, they play basketball with one of Luke's older sisters.
"We've been praying really hard for Luke's recovery, it means so much to us. We just wish [the accident] wouldn't have happened, but it did, so we just have to roll with the punches and he'll get better soon, we know," said one of the team members.
Justin Moore, Luke's baseball coach, organized Luke's baseball team to arrive in their uniforms and carrying signs.
"They were really excited to see him, my son was really excited, he couldn't get wait out the door," Moore said.
Baseball season is about to start this year and Moore said it will be tough for team members to go through this season without Luke. But on Wednesday during Luke's homecoming, the baseball players wanted to show Luke and his family that he will always be a part of their team.
"It was a good day, a lot of emotion of course, but it was really good to see [Luke], really good that he was back," Moore added. "It was the first time I had seen him since he left to go to Cook Hospital and I'm just really glad that he's back. We'll continue to pray for him and his family."
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