Charlie's Story

Images Captured by O La La Photography

Tiny Light Charlie always has a smile on his face. He loves to play with his big brother and read stories with Mom and Dad. Charlie loves his toy kitchen and also toys that make music. 

Charlie has a very rare and complex condition known as Tetrology of Fallot. This condition is caused by four heart defects that do not allow his blood to carry a normal amount of oxygen. This causes the body to become cyanotic or “blue” because of the poorly oxygenated blood that flows through his veins. Charlie’s parents found out about this condition in the 19th week of the pregnancy. His parents were shocked by the diagnosis but decided to do everything they could for Charlie even before he was born. Unfortunately, Charlie was not able to be carried to full term and was born five weeks early.  It was at that point the severity of his condition became known. 

When Charlie was just over a month old, he had to have open heart surgery to repair his heart. He weighed less than six pounds at that time, and his heart was the size of a California strawberry. After the surgery, Charlie’s heart rate skyrocketed, and he had to recover with his chest open while on a cooling bed for several days. However, the support from the health care team, as well as family and friends, helped Charlie's family through those difficult days. 

Charlie’s heart condition will continue to be monitored, and he may need further surgeries as he gets older. His parents hope that he will be stronger every day, that he will be able to achieve every goal he sets for himself, and that he will see every dream he dreams come true. 

Story by Shauna Salmon