Diagnosed in utero with a congenital diaphragmatic hernia given a 50/50 chance of surviving birth, Charley was born and immediately intubated. At 5 days old she had an operation to repair a large hole in her diaphragm on the left side. At 15 days old she had open heart surgery to repair her aorta and a band placed on her pulmonary artery. She spent many weeks in hospital over the first few years with pneumonia. She was a happy 2 year old who loved climbing and singing.
Age 2 she again underwent open heart surgery to remove the PA band. During this surgery Charley suffered brain damage which left her physically disabled and unable to walk, sit, talk, eat and use her left arm. She was now incontinent, had a peg for feeding and will always require a wheelchair. She has scoliosis so aged 6 she had growing rods inserted and she is currently awaiting spinal fusion.
With over 12 surgeries to date Charley is understandably very scared of hospitals. During one surgery she had a cardiac episode which has meant she now has to have oxygen 24/7. So many pneumonias have damaged her lungs but during lockdown she had a fundoplication and has gained more weight than she had in the previous 5 years.
She will always need 24/7 support but she has made good progress and verbally makes up for the physical aspects she no longer has. She is a sassy miss who loves animals and making loom bands using a fork. Her favourite TV is Dhar Mann or Born Differently - she is a very special girl and super warrior .