Tragedy strikes Parachute couple |

Tragedy strikes Parachute couple

Post Independent Staff

PARACHUTE – A young Parachute couple, their 4-day-old newborn son and their families need a gigantic helping of community support.

On Sunday, April Quick, 19, a 2002 Grand Valley High School graduate, was airlifted by Flight for Life to Denver’s Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Hospital, where physicians discovered an inoperable cancerous tumor the size of a baseball in her throat.

April, nine months pregnant, was having tremendous difficulty breathing Sunday, and doctors ordered the emergency flight to Denver.

In Denver, doctors performed an emergency C-section Monday morning, delivering April’s infant son, Damian Jacob Serna. Damian’s father is April’s boyfriend, Manuel Serna, also of Parachute.

April’s mother, Emily Quick, said the baby is healthy and staying in the hospital’s maternity ward.

“The baby is fine, but my daughter is not,” said Emily, speaking from the hospital in Denver.

April’s parents, Keith and Emily Quick of Parachute, her siblings and extended family are staying at a special family unit at the hospital, as are April’s boyfriend, Manuel, and his family.

Emily Quick said her daughter has been heavily sedated since doctors found the tumor. She is in the hospital’s intensive care unit, and as of Thursday, had not yet seen or held her baby boy.

Emily said April would be in surgery today to remove as much of the thyroid cancer as doctors could. She said April is expected to undergo five weeks of thyroid radiation therapy.

“This cancer is very aggressive,” said Emily. “It is the worst.”

No other prognosis on April’s condition was available as of Thursday afternoon.

Sandy Hanson, spokeswoman for Garfield School District No. 16, said district staff members were contacted by April’s family Thursday and told the bad news.

“We’re all in shock,” she said. “This is a horrible tragedy and the school district’s thoughts and prayers are with April and her family.”

Emily said her daughter is eligible for Medicaid. She didn’t think the baby’s father, Manuel, has any health insurance.

“We are not asking for anything,” she said, audibly shaken. “Just cards and prayers.”

Still, both families are facing an extensive financial burden.

“There are enough people in the this valley that are so gracious and come to the aid of those in need,” Clover said. “A lot of prayers are needed now. So are donations and baby items.”

In the meantime, April’s mother Emily wants people to know how special April is.

“My daughter is very, very loving,” she said.

Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext. 518

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