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Caroline DeLuca


1997 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Caroline DeLuca Obituary
Caroline DeLuca
1997-2016
Caroline DeLuca went to heaven on March 24, 2016. She died as she lived, surrounded and loved by her mother, father, and three sisters.
Born with a rare neurodegenerative condition called STXBP1 (or Ohtahara Syndrome), Caroline shined despite suffering debilitating and life-threatening epilepsy. Thanks to the care of Dr. Gary Clark, chief of neurology at Texas Children's Hospital and lifelong pediatrician Dr. Stephen Bolline, she celebrated her 18th birthday this past November.
Caroline's bright smile, zest for life, and energy were contagious. She loved family, sports, music, Broadway shows and church. She participated in cheerleading and baseball through The Challenger League at West University. Caroline was lucky enough to see several Broadway musicals including her all-time favorite, Mamma Mia. She especially enjoyed her weekly music therapy sessions with Maryanna Sokol, where they sang and danced to Caroline's favorite songs. A lifelong Episcopalian at St. John the Divine, Caroline was a weekly participant in the Wonderfully Made Sunday School program, enjoying worship until her illness prevented her from attending.
Caroline spent her summers with her family on Kiawah Island, South Carolina. Not a day went by that Caroline was not in the pool at the Beach Club enjoying the water with her many friends. Even after Caroline lost the ability to walk, she continued going to the pool and the beach and always found peace at the water's edge.
The search for educational opportunities that would be the most rewarding to Caroline started at The Rise School, where she thrived, making lifelong friends including Chandler, Carena, Ysabella, Blakely, Joshua and countless others. When her time at the Rise School came to an end, she attended several more schools, including Poe Elementary. Eventually, the pursuit of a perfect fit for Caroline became the driving force behind the development of a school for medically fragile children; where even the most profoundly disabled would be nurtured and stimulated. Thus, The Caroline School for Special Children was born in the spring of 2002. Now housed at Easter Seals Greater Houston, Caroline's legacy will live on through the educational opportunities afforded to children like her.
Caroline and the DeLuca family were committed to research and the study of her disorder not only to help her, but other children with neurological conditions. Throughout her life, Caroline was a trailblazer - at 18 months old, she participated in a study at UTMB doing hyperbaric oxygen treatments. At age 5, unable to move or swallow and with six months to live, Caroline was the first person in the United States to be identified with and treated for, Cerebral Folate Deficiency. Three weeks after beginning treatment, Caroline regained her ability to walk and swallow. Her amazing recovery led to two articles in the New England Journal of Medicine. Over her final eighteen months, she benefitted from an experimental treatment with CBD oil which significantly reduced her seizures. Caroline donated numerous blood samples to further research, never once refusing a blood draw.
Caroline is survived by her parents, Anthony and Elizabeth DeLuca, her three older sisters, Lauren, Allison, and Virginia Claire. Grandparents, Janis Ross, Nancy Taylor, Michael Taylor and Margo Taylor. Greeting her in heaven is her Grandaddy, Edward Price Ross III, her great Grandfather, Adrian Flake, along with other friends and family who passed before her.
The DeLuca family would like to thank Caroline's long-time caregivers: Morena Blanco (Lupita), Doris Magaña, Brenda Harris , Shon Harris and Evelyn Posada. They would also like to thank Texas Children's Hospital for their excellent care, and Hospice of the Texas Medical Center, especially Dr. Nancy Glass, Sue Steinbruecker, and Darelle Robins.
Services will be at the Church of St. John the Divine (2450 River Oaks Blvd., Houston TX 77019) on Wednesday, March 30th at eleven o'clock in the morning with a celebration of Caroline's life to follow at the DeLuca home.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the following:
The Caroline DeLuca Scholar
Attn.: Virginia Tomlinson
Texas Children's Hospital
Office of Development
Suite 5214
P.O. Box 300630
Houston, TX 77230-0630
The Caroline School Operating Endowment
Attn.: Kelly Klein
Easter Seals Greater Houston
4500 Bissonnet
Suite 340
Bellaire, Texas 77401
Published in Houston Chronicle from Mar. 28 to Mar. 29, 2016
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