It's been one miracle after another for Kennewick preschooler Luke Durst.
A miracle that he survived a fall from a second-story window.
A miracle that he is healing more quickly than doctors expected.
A miracle that he is coming home Saturday.
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Luke was playing Feb. 16 with his brother Mack, 6, in the playroom over the garage of his family's home. One of them opened the window. Luke apparently was sitting on the windowsill, bouncing against the screen, when it gave way and he fell onto a concrete driveway.
Mack rushed to get their mother, who was folding laundry in the living room.
Amy Durst performed CPR for 13 desperate minutes on her 5-year-old son.
That was five weeks ago. Now, Luke is recovering at St. Luke's Rehabilitation Institute in Spokane. He is scheduled to come home Saturday, the same day two fundraisers are being held to help his family with medical expenses.
Luke suffered fewer injuries than physicians say is common with such a fall, said Amy Durst's sister, Megan Lee of Kennewick.
When Luke fell, he landed on the left side of his body, and his right side still is fairly weak, Lee said.
His lungs suffered the most damage. He threw up when he fell and swallowed the vomit, clogging his lungs.
His lungs were bruised, and he came down with pneumonia.
Luke first was taken to Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland, where a tube was inserted into his mouth to help him breathe.
Then, he was flown to Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane with his mother. He spent four weeks there before being transferred to St. Luke's, Lee said.
Luke also hit his head on the pavement when he fell, causing a skull fracture and injuring his brain, Lee said. Fortunately, the hematoma healed on its own, she said.
"It was little miracle after miracle," she said.
Sacred Heart staff told the Dursts they see about four children injured by major falls each year, and that it is unusual not to see more broken bones, Lee said.
Swallowing continues to be difficult for Luke, Lee said. The feeding tube was removed from his nose last week.
It could take him up to a year to relearn certain skills, Lee said. In addition to havingtrouble swallowing, his fine motor skills also are affected.
He also can't walk without help. He continues to rely on a wheelchair and will need occupational, physical and speech therapy, Lee said.
Luke's four brothers Noah, 9, Ethan, 7, Mack, and his twin, Hunter, 5, have been staying with family in the Tri-Cities while their parents are with Luke in Spokane.
His father, Matt Durst, an electrical engineer, continues to receive support from his employer, Areva, and members of the Dursts' church in Kennewick have been helpful, Lee said.
And while the family's insurance covers a portion of Luke's medical costs, there are limits, and insurance won't cover his parents' out-of-town expenses.
So more help is on the way. Family and friends plan two fundraisers Saturday, and a Gesa Credit Union account has been opened under Luke Durst's name.
When Apricot Lane boutique owners Bill and Jen Ackerman heard about Luke's injuries, they also decided to help.
"It was a no-brainer," Jen Ackerman said. "We just knew right away, we have to help."
The Ackermans are friends with members of Luke's family, so they plan to donate 10 percent of all sales Saturday from their stores at Columbia Center mall in Kennewick and in Spokane to Luke's family. They are promoting the event in both stores and sent emails to about 5,000 customers.
Meanwhile, Lee and some of Amy's friends plan a benefit dinner and silent auction from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday at the Kamiakin High School cafeteria and gym. A spaghetti dinner will be offered for $5 a plate.
-- Kristi Pihl: 582-1512; email@example.com