OMAHA, Neb. — Marquinn "Q" Buckley II has spent his whole life in the hospital.
The 2-year-old suffers from chronic lung disease that doctors say has been complicated by several medical factors, including reflux and pulmonary hypertension.
"He started off being less than a pound, and from the womb, he wasn't supposed to make it, so this whole way has been miracles," said Q's mother, Ta'Rianca Harris. "It's been disbelief. It's been a lot of stuff that he's not even supposed to be capable of."
On Tuesday morning, Harris and Q's father, Marquinn Buckley, finally took their son home. They say the monumental step forward is so exciting that it doesn't feel real.
"It's kind of unreal," Harris said. "For two years, we've had dates where he could possibly come home, and then it didn't work out. So now, it's kind of like, is this real, are we going home. It's a good feeling."
"We've been in the hospital for two and a half years. We haven't seen anything, so to teach him everything, that's going to be [a great feeling] to see how he reacts, his expressions to things," Buckley said.
The road to get Q to walk out of the hospital has been a long one. His parents say they've learned so much during the difficult journey.
"I was scared the most because they told me both of them wouldn't make it. It was a high chance they both wouldn't make it. She had two or three blood transfusions, so she needed a lot of blood," Buckley said. "What made me feel good about him was they couldn't get the tubes in but as soon as I walked back there and said my name, he opened his eyes and looked directly at me, so that gave me a different feeling, and it was great."
The effort to get Q healthy wasn't just difficult for his family. Doctors say it was a lot of trial and error. Many things that would typically work on other kids with similar health complications wouldn't work for Q.
"It's really frustrating. It's part of those challenges, the medical complications, and it really does become problematic when you're used to seeing results with things, and you're hitting a wall, and you have to start coming up with different things to manage patients like this," said Gordon Still, a pediatric pulmonologist at Children's Hospital. "It's very challenging, and it really is a lot of patience and thinking outside of the box."
Q's parents say they're extremely thankful for the medical staff that got their son to where he is today. They're excited to be able to finally take him home and do normal family things instead of having to drive to the hospital to see their son.
"It feels like we can get moving along. We've been moving along, but now it feels like things as a family at the house together. I don't have to worry about driving to see our kid," Harris said. "It's a whole different feeling not having your kid at home, and a lot of people don't understand it because they don't want their kid at home. But everything we do, we have to plan around him. Plan to come here, have to do things that we need to take care of business, run errands. But now we can just take him with us or sit at home with him."
This story was originally published by Alyssa Curtis on Scripps station KMTV in Omaha, Nebraska.