OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — September is an extra special month to one Indiana couple with an Omaha connection, whose raw story of faith and perseverance is now a full book.
Shauna Lockett documented her husband Jeff Lockett’s experience with cancer, which included long stays at the Nebraska Medicine campus.
The couple credits Nebraska Medicine doctors for saving Jeff's life.
In the summer of 2015, Jeff Hockett had already been diagnosed with lymphoma and leukemia, both cancers of the blood, and his health began to take a turn for the worse.
“When the doctor walked in and said there’s nothing more we can do, we need to talk about end of life care, we’re like, 'No, this is not the end,” said Jeff Hockett.
“The breath was taken out of my lungs, I mean to hear that my husband, my best friend, wasn’t going to live anymore,” said Shauna Hockett.
Jeff and his wife Shauna, who are from Bloomington, Indiana, had already been to Omaha multiple times for opinions from Nebraska Medicine Hematology specialist Dr. Julie Vose.
Once they got word Jeff didn’t have much longer to live, they found a medical flight to Omaha that day and ended up at Nebraska Medicine.
“We just feel like God orchestrated all of it,” said Shauna.
Shauna recently wrote a book, Blood So Beautiful, about her husband’s journey from the diagnosis to when he was officially cancer-free.
Once in Omaha, they knew Jeff needed a stem cell transplant, and so after two months of chemotherapy to prepare his body, he got his brother Ben's stem cells, which were a 100 percent match.
They credit Dr. Vose for putting Jeff through the wringer and never giving up on him.
“She was willing to fight for us because the doctor here, unfortunately, wasn’t,” said Shauna.
The couple stayed in Omaha from late July 2015 to January 2016 and then for several more months later that year, after complications from the transplant.
Thanks to Shauna's late father, who was a retired police officer at the time, the Omaha Fire Department got involved and gave them a place to live during their stay in Omaha.
“They moved us in, provided a bed, couch, TV, dishes, utensils, everything,” said Shauna.
Now the Hocketts live on a family blueberry farm back home in Indiana with their two dogs. They regularly visit Omaha, which they now call their second home, and hope others going through similar hurdles, read their book, and know they’re not alone.