Hathaway family impacted by cancer

Sheila Smith
Sunday, August 4, 2019
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The LaVergne family includes (from left) Kirsten, Gracee,Winter (holding Jrue), Audrey and Josh.

Prayers & Love

HATHAWAY – Thirty-fouryear-old Winter LaVergne and her family are on a difficult journey. Described as a strong, courageous woman, however, she and husband Josh only ask for prayers and love.

The parents of Gracee, 12, Kirsten, 10, and Audree, 3, the couple recently welcomed son Jrue earlier than expected.

Josh said his wife learned July 10 that there is cancer in her brain, liver, lungs, adrenal gland, bones, colon, ovaries and spine. Staff at MD Anderson in Houston also found blood clots in her lungs.

Three days later, at 31 weeks and two days into her pregnancy, she delivered their baby boy. He is doing well but remains at Texas Children’s Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit in Houston.

Meanwhile, Winter continues to fight. The day after she delivered her son, she underwent emergency surgery at St. Luke’s Medical Center, also in Houston, to address a blood clot in her leg. Five days later, a second blood clot in the same leg required yet another surgery.

Less than a week later, a liver biopsy was performed which recently revealed the cancer originated in the lungs. In the meantime, Winter was transported once again to MD Anderson.

“Then they did scans and tests and found a hole in her heart July 30,” said Emily LaVergne, Josh’s sister-in-law. “The next morning, she had a ministroke that impaired her speech and the strength in her left arm. This is also when they were notified of the results of the biopsy.”

This week at Houston’s Memorial Hermann, Josh said, Winter underwent surgery to repair the heart with a mesh over the hole to redirect blood flow.

Josh is working to provide care for his wife and son as they remain hospitalized and provide normalcy for the couple’s daughters who are home in Hathaway. It’s no easy feat, said Emily. This is why loved ones are asking the community to rally around the Hathaway family in hopes of easing at least some of the obstacles they are facing.

“Winter is at MD Anderson and Jrue is still in the NICU at Texas Children’s,” Emily said. “Josh has remained at their side but will be returning to work, rotating weeks as an operator in Louisiana.”

Winter, an interventionist at Hathaway High School, and Josh have been married for 11 years. The couple only asks for prayers and expressed appreciation for the love and support they have so far received in their journey.

A special account at The Bank for those who would like to assist the family financially. The account is set up as the Winter Michelle LaVergne Fund. Donations can be made at any The Bank branch. Those who would like to donate may also do so via PayPal with the email address wintermichellelavergnefund@gmail.com.