Monday, April 04, 2011

Help Charlie Heal

Today, I'm making an enormous departure from the usual fare at La Maison Boheme.  Instead, I want to write about my son, Charlie.  Many of you are already acquainted with this teeny little super guy, but for those of you who don't know him... meet Charlie.

Charlie had a very rough start in life.  About 12 hours after he was born, he began having seizures. An MRI revealed he had suffered an in-utero stroke affecting the right side of his brain. More tests revealed other health issues including a heart murmur, an enlarged PFO (a hole in the heart), a narrow aorta, kidney problems, and a condition called Craniosynostosis.  In his first few days of life, we were surrounded by specialists and doctors who used scary words like Cerebral Palsy, Hemiplegia, Paralysis, Epilepsy, mental retardation, repeat stroke, etc. Charlie is 8 months old today and I'm celebrating.  I'm celebrating because while many of these prognoses are still on the table, Charlie is well on his way to surmounting the challenges of his stroke.  He is healing.  And I believe that he is getting better because of the love of friends, family and a wide community of support.

Charlie's friends and supporters have found all sorts of creative ways to help him heal and I have been amazed, humbled and thrilled by their efforts. They have created a medical fund, a blog called Help Charlie Heal, and this video to help spread the word about his story.

Even Charlie's brother, three-year-old Walker, is finding creative ways to help Charlie heal.  Walker loves to paint, so he and I decided to turn his artwork into greeting cards, which we are selling on Etsy to raise money for Charlie's upcoming surgery.  Walkers cards are flying off the shelves!  We're in the process of re-stocking right now, but please check out the Help Charlie Heal shop on Etsy when you have a moment! 

Charlie is doing very well these days.  He is a smiley bubbly baby and has all the outward signs of health and happiness.  He is not paralyzed.  He can see and hear.  He does not suffer from seizures anymore.  He has miraculously outgrown all (yes all) of his heart issues.  Charlie has weekly physical therapy appointments to combat impairment from the stroke, which is visible, yet minor.  All of our prayers have been answered.  The only thing that looms in the distance is his upcoming surgery.  One thing I've learned from Charlie is to ask for help when I need it, something that is usually very difficult for me.  But in honor of Charlie's 8 month-iversary and his continued recovery, I ask that you light a candle, say a prayer and send some healing mojo to my baby boy.  If you would like to make a donation to the Help Charlie Heal fund please click the "donate" button below or visit

To everyone who has already contributed to Charlie's medical fund... 
Thank you, thank you, thank you - from the bottom of my heart.


anita said...

That smile!!
Love the video, Sarah.
Pay day is tomorrow; I'll be buying some of Walker's art (you know I'm a huge fan!!)
Love and hugs to you and Charlie,

Jimmy The Undercover Designer said...

I can only begin to imagine what a mother would feel like.
I will link to you post and go to etsy
Love the boys' pictures.

Miranda said...

Charlie is a lucky boy and your family is lucky to have him as part of it. He has already surmounted great odds and I'm sure will continue to do so. All good wishes on the upcoming surgery. Looks like you have a wonderful and caring doctor, which must be very reassuring.

nkp said...

Sarah, with the web of love surrounding your beautiful baby boy, I can't but imagine that he will surmount all hurdles. He is precious and as much as you are a blessing in his life, I know you and your family are equally blessed to have this amazing little person in yours. I will send good prayers your way and I would love to contribute what my family can to help your precious Charlie along this path to wellness. Also, if it is alright with you, I'd like to post a link on my blog tomorrow, so other's can know of Charlie's story and reach out as well. I'm certain your family's journey will resonate with families all around the world.

Appletree said...

Sarah I wish I could help with money, but I will post this today and send love and prayers your way.

Lisa Fergus said...

okay, so I'm crying! As a mother of 2, I am so sorry your family has to go through this! But I am also so happy so many wonderful progressions have been happening! He is a beautiful boy!
My son is autistic and we have 3 hours of ST, OT, DT per week, so I know all about the day to day challenges therapy causes.
I am donating now! and I wish Charlie the best of luck in his upcoming surgery!!

jules @ The Diversion Project said...

wow sarah, he has grown so much! you're amazing and so is your beautiful charlie xx

Chassity (Look Linger Love) said...

Somehow I don't think I knew?!

Much Much Much Much love and thoughts heading your way. xo, Chassity

Loretta Fontaine (APPLESandRUBIES) said...

What a beautiful boy and a loving brother. Charlie is wonderful and you and he have overcome so much! You are in our prayers for a successful surgery!


DaniBP said...

I've donated to help your lovely boy and I will continue to do so until he gets the surgery he needs. Thinking of you and sending good thoughts your way. Charlie has the best smile ever!

DomesticJenny said...

Stories like Charlie's break my heart. My thoughts and prayers are with Charlie and your family!


My prayers and good vibes are coming Charlie's way. Big hugs to you and your sweet boy. xo

Karena said...


I posted about Charlie late last night, got up this morning, went to Etsy to buy a set of the exciting art cards and Voila all gone.

Please reserve a set for me as I want to contribute for Charlie and also pay tribute to Walkers art!

Art by Karena

Ashley said...

Charlie's story truly moved me. My husband is a partner at a New York based PR firm and he would be honored to help you and your family with publicity to get Charlie's story out to national print and broadcast media, pro bono. Please let me know if this is something you would be interested in.

Ronda said...

Hi Sarah,
We don't know each other but I've been enjoying your delightful blog for a while and wanted to reach out after you had Charlie. My daughter, Ruby had a brain injury at birth--she also has a lot on her plate--CP, seizures, microcephaly, deaf-blindness, etc. Ruby has surpassed so many doctors' expectations, and I have no doubt that your Charlie can do the same. You seem like a strong, loving and incredibly resourceful mama and for that, Charlie is a lucky boy. Please know there are other mamas out there who 'get it' and who are sending love and healing to you and your family.
If it's okay with you, I'll forward this to our support group--we all need some cards!
Ronda Olinsky-Paul

LauraJane said...

Sending you my very best thoughts for your little man.

Katherine said...

Who doesn't need cards? Especially when they are soooo chic!

You've probably met tons of support by now, but my youngest had craniosynostosis as well at birth and had to have hers corrected at 3 months old. If you need someone to talk to, please reach out to me. It is scary, and for MONTHS after the surgery I had collectors calling me about what I owed. My HOUSE wasn't worth what was owed. It all works out in the end. My daughter is the most beautiful 13 yr old I've met, the debt is gone, and I have a bigger better house.

We'll be praying for you.

שילה אשוואל said...

Hi Sarah,

I was deeply touched by this post. Charlie looks like ali'l great fighter and he has an amazing family besides him.

I wish you all a successful operation and good health to Charlie.


Marie Brady said...

As a fellow mommy of two boys, I just wanted to send love, prayers and support to you and the family. XO

alison@MyLittleHappyPlace said...

My heart is so touched by your story of Charlie's strength, and your courage. My children are very close in age to yours, and I can just imagine Walker being such a sweet big brother, as my three year old can (sometimes!) be.
I can't think of a cause any more deserving of my prayers and support.

Loretta Fontaine (APPLESandRUBIES) said...

Sarah- Just posted your touching interview about Charlie on my blog APPLESandRUBIES .

I loved the sentence you wrote at my last question: "...the only proper response to hardship is to embrace it, listen to it and create a space for its transformation."


Ann said...


Know that your many friends and followers are out here pulling for you and Charlie and your family.

Pull your continued strength from us.


Angela Steyn said...

From my home to your home and from my heart to your heart I send you love and bucket loads of hope. I have a little boy who is just 6 months old... I cannot imagine the heartache your family has endured but what an inspirational little spirit your Charlie is! He is so gorgeous. I hope you can feel the warmth of all our prayers.

Angela x

Aubrey {All Things Bright and Beautiful} said...

I have seen this all over the blogosphere today and I'm so touched by Charlie's story and all that is going on in your life, I had no idea. Would you mind if I added something about this after your guest post for Wednesday? Your cute family is going to be in our thoughts and prayers.

Miss Rubio said...

I had to share this too. What a cutie Charlie is...with all of these wonderful people supporting and sharing on their blogs...Charlie will be on his way to a healthier life in no time. Warm wishes.

Meera @ firstsense said...

Charlie is such a beautiful little boy and well done to Walker for helping with his lovely art! Sending you and your family all the very best of wishes. xxx

Tobe | Because It's Awesome said...

sending love love love to you and your beautiful family, sarah. i need a set of those cards when they're back in the shop! ox

24 Corners said...

Charlie is a very blessed little boy to have so much love surrounding him. Walker's artwork is such a special gift to Charlie, he's a wonderful big brother!
I'll check back soon for and hugs to you all...and of course, prayers for Charlie, so happy he's doing well.
xo J~

Amy said...

You can just see his spirit shine through in his pictures! My oldest had craniosynostotis too....discovered at 6 months and operated on at 8 months. He is perfectly wonderful and healthy 20 years later. You are stronger than you know! Much love,

Anonymous said...

Hi there, found your blog via My Favorite and My Best, saw the photo of your little Boy Charlie and nearly burst into tears because he looks so much like my own little boy. I've made a small contribution to his fund....I wish I could do more. I wish you all the very best.

-Susan C.