HOWELL – It has come as sad and unexpected news to hear that a 14-year-old Howell student passed away on Oct. 29 as a result of several persistent medical issues.
Lane East had been described as happy, outgoing, and a fighter. A middle school student, Lane was the youngest of four children. Lane suffered from several medical issues including bladder issues and only one functioning kidney, according to the GoFundMe created by a relative.
Jennie Rice, Lane’s cousin, started the GoFundMe page on Oct. 20 to help afford Lane’s medical expenses and recent kidney transplant. In just nine days, the page raised $8,855 of its $5,000 goal.
“Without a doubt he was a gift to his family who immediately loved, spoiled and adored him,” stated Rice on the fundraiser’s page.
Although Lane still had one functioning kidney among other medical issues, it “didn’t function much” and it was not expected that he would survive, Rice stated. However, beating the initial odds, Lane recently celebrated his 14th birthday on October 13.
“His life has not been easy. He has been in and out of the hospital with surgeries and infections since birth. This has not stopped him from being one of the most outgoing, happy people I know. Rarely will you see Lane without a smile on his face or a positive outlook on life although the struggle is always there,” stated Rice. “He is always trying to make others happy in or out of the hospital.”
Not only has Lane suffered medical complications throughout his life, but he also suffered the unbearable loss of a loved one. His mother died when Lane was only 12 years old, leaving his father and oldest sister Julia as his caregivers.
“Julia also has 2 young children of her own and without question she fell into her role as mother to a 12-year-old,” Rice added.
While Lane may have endured through his persistent medical issues throughout his 14 years, he never wanted for love and generosity from his family. When the time came for Lane to get a kidney transplant, “without hesitation all 3 of his older siblings stepped up, offered a kidney to their little brother and started the testing to see who would be the best match,” stated Rice.
His oldest sister and caregiver Julia was a perfect match, and Lane received his new kidney on Oct. 23.
Unfortunately, Lane experienced a blood clot in his leg following the transplant, which rushed him back into surgery in the days following.
An update posted to the GoFundMe stated: “He ended up having a blood clot in his leg and also in his kidney vessel. They broke up the clots and started heparin to completely get rid of them. However, the new kidney did take a “hit” from all of this.”
Following his second surgery, Lane continued to experience problems, coming down with a high fever and another blood clot in his leg.
Rice took to the fundraising page to request prayers from the community, which she received.
It wasn’t long after these updates that the community found out Lane had passed.
“There will be no more updates. Lane has gone to be with Jesus. We are heartbroken and have no words! Please continue to pray for his family as this feels unbearable and the road of heartache will be long!” stated Rice in the update.
While the East family has a hard road ahead of them, the community has continued to show great support by donating to the fund or writing heartfelt messages to the family on the fundraiser’s page.
“The loss of Lane is heartbreaking. He’s a wonderful kid and will always be an inspiration. My thoughts are with you as you go through this difficult time,” wrote one supporter.
“Rest in Peace my little buddy. The light that you brought to this town will never go out,” wrote another.
The site is still accepting donations. If you would like to contribute, the GoFundMe can be found at gofundme.com/julia-gives-lane-her-kidney?fbclid=IwAR1xXfH9MsEY6ysCRDBTzlSfWyGdk9Mnb-L9_7LZ9la0pPzqiUujv0bFwYc.