Lucy Krull was a normal, always smiling four-year-old kid, but it all
changed in the blink of an eye.
What her mother, Kate Krull, thought was a stomach bug turned out to be
cancer. February 23, 2011, doctors found five tumors in Lucy's brain and one in
her spine. The diagnosis came three weeks shy of her fifth birthday.
Over the next two years, young Lucy underwent chemo, radiation, had
seizures, went blind twice and suffered meningitis twice. Her father, Erik
Krull, and Kate say Le Bonheur's staff held their hand through it all,
especially during Lucy's toughest struggles.
"She was just having these incredible pains and inconsolable and just
screaming. I was in the room alone with her; Kate had gone home for the first
time in a month to go get some clothes. There was nothing we can do; she was
just miserable," recalls Erik, "I just remember a nurse came in and just held
her hand and stayed with us for over an hour just trying to console her and
trying to help her get us some respite."
Erik and Kate say Le Bonheur was always the good place, the safe place.
A shadow soon casted over that safe place.
June 3, 2012, things went downhill quickly.
Lucy's family was told she had days to live; she was in a coma for ten
days and doctors were not giving Lucy much of a chance for survival.
"We knew that night that this was probably it," says Kate, "And within
that ten days when she was in the coma, we called her sister in and told her
sister that she was going to die. I had ordered the dress she was going to be
buried in. I had arranged for the picture that was going to be displayed because
she had lost so much weight and she was so sick. We had made these plans. We
even started thinking, what songs are we going to sing at the funeral."
Le Bonheur gave Erik and Kate the option of hospice, but they chose to
stay at Le Bonheur. Le Bonheur is where they found hope and Le Bonheur is where
they would find peace.
"They came in and they put blackout curtains on the window so that Lucy
could sleep and without interruption. They put signs on the doors, the
housekeeping staff would not come in unless they asked for our permission,"
says Kate, "They were allowing us to let our child die in peace as a
One day, unexpectedly, a miracle happened.
"On day ten, she woke up and told her sister to leave her alone," says
Erik, "Those were the first words she'd spoken in over a week."
Kate says the whole mood of the seventh floor changed. Doctors, nurses,
people from all over Le Bonheur Children's Hospital celebrated with the Krulls.
The Krulls have now celebrated Lucy's seventh birthday: One they never
thought they'd see.
"We're now two years past diagnosis and she is going to school every
day and she is trying to be a normal kid and doing everything else they're
supposed to do: Picking on her brother and bothering her sister and all those
wonderful things that she's supposed to be doing," says Erik.
Le Bonheur's hospital staff celebrates with the Krulls because they're
now considered family.
"Those people really became our family; we trusted them. You knew they
had your child's best interest, you knew that they truly were called to do the
job they were doing," says Kate.
Erik adds, "Especially the nurses, they become like family. They're
caring for you in some of the darkest times you can even imagine and they become
a part of that. It's humbling. It's incredible."
Through the two years Lucy's battled cancer, Kate kept a blog where she told Lucy's story, the good and the bad. FOX 13 News will have that story during Thursday's 9 p.m. newscast.