NORTH PLATTE, Neb. -- It's been a traumatic first two weeks of life for Kohen Wright — and he's not out of the woods yet.
Kohen was born on Nov. 6 at Gothenburg Memorial Hospital, to parents Lance and Katie Wright of North Platte.
He was delivered via emergency Cesarean section 35 weeks into the pregnancy because Katie's blood pressure had spiked.
According to Trisha Jorgensen, a friend of the couple, Kohen was showing signs of respiratory distress after his birth, so he was life-flighted to Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney.
There, the situation grew worse. Not only were Kohen's lungs underdeveloped, but a mysterious mass had also been found in his chest.
He was loaded onto a helicopter again and life-flighted to Children's Hospital and Medical Center in Omaha. At 8 days old, Kohen was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a cancer that develops from immature nerve cells.
The tumor was removed and biopsy results to determine what kind of neuroblastoma Kohen has are pending. Friends and family are praying the tumor was dead because smaller tumors removed from his liver had been.
"That was really good news," Jorgensen said. "Doctors also tested his bone marrow because neuroblastoma has a tendency to move into that. The tests came back negative for the cancer — also a relief.
The tumors in the chest and on the liver were the only ones found.
"Hopefully that's all there will be since it was caught so soon," Jorgensen said. "Kohen's still going to have to go through the chemotherapy and all that, but it won't be as extensive if all the tumors were dead tissue."
The Wrights have more challenges looming ahead of them. Travel expenses and medical bills will pile up.
Jorgensen said Katie was a full-time student at Mid-Plains Community College until restricted by pregnancy complications.
Lance worked full time until he was fired following an on-the-job vehicle rollover that hospitalized him for several days. Kohen had been insured through Lance's job, but coverage was dropped when Lance's position was terminated.
"They didn't know the coverage had ended until it was too late to find alternative insurance," Jorgensen said.
As a result, fundraisers have been planned to help offset the family's expenses. A freewill donation spaghetti dinner and silent auction is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Dec. 14 at Messiah Lutheran Church, 2700 West A St.
T-shirts are also on sale for $15. They can be ordered by emailing Jorgensen at email@example.com or Melissa Rasmusen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A benefit account is set up at Centris Federal Credit Union under "Kohen Wayne Wright."
Updates about Kohen can be found on the "Prayers for Kohen" Facebook page.
To make a donation, click here.