Cross country runner out of medically induced coma

Father says 14-year-old Lucas is opening his eyes and moving them toward sounds
By: Sara Seyydin Gold Country news service
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Del Oro cross country coach Kevin Ostenberg said the team is feeling the absence of freshman Lucas Armand who remains hospitalized after suffering a cardiac arrest. On Sept. 23, Lucas, 14, went into cardiac arrest while miniature golfing with friends. After his heartbeat was re-established, Lucas was put in a medically induced coma. The cause of the cardiac arrest is still unknown. “It wasn’t something you’d expect from someone so healthy,” Ostenberg said. “That is maybe what is going to help him have the best chance to get through this.” Now nearly a month later, Lucas’ father, David Armand, has promising news. “Lucas is out of his medically induced coma and is now in a low-level state of consciousness,” Armand said. “When awake, Lucas’s eyes are wide open and he increasingly (but still occasionally) moves them toward sounds. Most friends and family members that sit at his bedside and look into his eyes while talking to him know they are connecting with him.” Armand said his son’s athletic background gave him a better chance of survival. “One thing all medical staff agree on is that Lucas’ physical conditioning and ability to push himself - qualities typically associated with competitive runners - saved his life,” Armand said. One of his parents has been with Lucas 24 hours a day since he was admitted to the hospital. In the midst of everything, Armand said he has been overwhelmed by the support the community has offered. That has included notes, cards, gift cards, home-cooked meals, financial assistance, and prayers from the Del Oro student body and their families. Some members of the community even stayed with his parents in the middle of the night at the hospital. “We have been amazed and humbled by the outpouring of support from community at large. As his parents, we always knew that Lucas is a special, kind-hearted person but we never really considered how many people’s lives he has touched over his 14 years,” Armand said. Lucas was especially proud to be a part of the cross country team at Del Oro and has been running with his father and sister for years. “He especially loves his cross country family,” Armand said. “Lucas would often come home and declare that he ‘ran with the Pros (the fast, upper class men) today’ at practice. Kevin and Linda Ostenberg have crafted a program that includes hard work, fun and mutual respect that is enjoyed by both the athletes and their parents.” Moving forward, Armand said his family just wants to see Lucas back out living the life he loves. “The best way for us (his family) to express our gratitude for all the support from the community is to have our Lucas pick up where he left off,” Armand said. “For that, we humbly request that you continue praying for Lucas to make a full recovery.”