Real life

Charlie's Story

"Charlie is a happy, energetic 1-year-old. 

He is cool and calm and takes everything in his stride. To look at Charlie, apart from being tiny, you would have no idea what he has been through. 

Charlie was born on the 29th of November 2016 after no complication and a health pregnancy. As time went on Charlie struggled to gain weight, despite a healthy appetite.

 Three months later, he was admitted to Canberra hospital with an attempt to fatten him up with a nasal gastric tube. A chest X-ray was ordered and found Charlie’s poor little heart was 4 times the size it was meant to be. 

An echo showed hypoplastic aortic arch and multiple large VSDs. Charlie was quickly flown to Sydney within a few hours. 

Unfortunately, due to poor weather conditions Charlie went by himself, and a very nervous mum and dad drove down. He was in end stage heart failure. 

After a fortnight of trying to stabilise his little body, he was finally strong enough for surgery. After a 10-hour operation, everything seemed to have gone pretty well. Two hours post-surgery, just as we were saying goodnight to Charlie his machines started going off. Charlie went into cardiac arrest. 

We watched them perform CPR on his tiny body for what felt like a lifetime. Just as they were putting him on ECMO, our brave little man’s heat started beating on its own. We had a few other scares over this time but after a few weeks, Charlie had come ahead in leaps and bounds and was finally able to come home. 

Today, Charlie is on fortnightly weigh ins and oxygen sats monitoring, monthly physio and 3 monthly cardiology check-ups. His next surgery is scheduled for April/May,” – Kate, Charlie’s mum

You can help kids like Charlie by supporting vital discoveries at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute.

Learn more about CHD 

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