Youngster hospitalized since March coming home
By Ken Childers
A local girl who has been hospitalized for the past eight months is coming home, and the community is invited to help make her homecoming an event she’ll never forget.
Next week, four-year-old Lahnie Hinkle is set to be released from the hospital, where she has been on and off since last December and continuously since March 30. A “welcome home” parade in her honor will be held on North 10 Street next Saturday, Nov. 14, beginning at 3 p.m.
“Lahnie has missed every holiday since Thanksgiving last year due to being in the hospital as well as being away from home for eight months, and we are going to give her the best celebration we can to make up for it,” said her mother, Desarae. “Lahnie has three sisters and two brothers who are very excited for her to come home, as they have missed her so much, as well as all of her family.”
The family plans to have a table set up with a poster board for well-wishers to sign as a keepsake for Lahnie as well as card and gift drop-off area. The parade lineup will begin at the corner of North 10th Street and Broadway.
Lahnie has been dealing with a brainstem glioma, a cancerous tumor in her brainstem. In addition to brain cancer, she suffered a stroke while she was undergoing Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO), a treatment that uses a pump to circulate blood through an artificial lung back into the bloodstream of a very ill baby.
According to Desarae, the stroke took over more than half of the left side of Lahnie’s brain and they nearly lost her twice, but they prayed for a miracle. That miracle seems to have been granted.
“They told us she possibly wouldn’t be able to walk again and would have lots of other issues. The day after they found the stroke, she was already moving her toes,” Desarae said. “The doctors didn’t believe me until they saw it for themselves. A couple of weeks later she was moving her leg, but once again the doctors didn’t believe me until they saw it themselves.”
Since Lahnie’s journey with brain cancer began, her family has held numerous fundraisers, including t-shirt sales, to help out with medical expenses. In April, an Oklahoma City television news station gave away a guided youth turkey hunt at Sweet Freedom Ranch in Okemah, with proceeds from the contest entry fee benefitting Lahnie.
Desarae says her daughter is the “strongest and most independent” person she’s ever met and hopes to have a good turnout for next Saturday’s parade. “She is our miracle. Please come help us celebrate and show her how much love and support she’s had through this journey.”