Hear Charlie's story,
as featured on KS95 For Kids.
Charlie's mom, Shannon, isn't sure why she checked on her son one last time before bed. But the decision saved his life. "His dresser was toppled on its side, and his blonde curls were peeking out between the dresser and the bed," Shannon remembers.
The family suspects the accident was triggered when Charlie - known for disliking bedtime - attempted to climb the dresser and reach brightly colored candy on top.
When Shannon lifted the dresser, she found Charlie wasn't breathing and immediately began CPR. By the time paramedics arrived, he was taking only slow, infrequent breaths. "I kept thinking, 'please don't let him die,'" says Shannon.
"How Could This Have Happened So Fast?"
Charlie's dad, Chuck, was in a plane preparing for takeoff when it turned around, and airline officials arrived with news of the accident. "I thought, 'I just left them a couple of hours ago,'" Chuck says. "How could this have happened so fast?"
Chuck and Shannon next saw each other in the Level I Trauma Center for Children, operated by Regions Hospital in partnership with Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare. Doctors, who found no bleeding on Charlie's brain, said he likely suffered a concussion and an anoxic brain injury - a type of injury that occurs when the body is deprived of oxygen.
Nurses Provide Comforts of Home
Charlie soon moved to Gillette's Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, where a team of intensive care specialists monitored him around the clock. Shannon can't describe those first days without crying. "He looked so small and fragile," she remembers. "His eyes were closed, and he was hooked up to machines."
His parents say they were impressed by the expert care Charlie received - but even more amazed by the love and attention Gillette staff showed to their son. "They tucked him in every night with his blanket and his doggie," remembers Shannon. "They kept his curls untangled. Those seem like small things, but they meant a lot."
"That's Our Charlie!"
As Charlie's condition improved, his parents say they felt a renewed sense of hope. "We spent that first week worried that Charlie might not come back to us," says Shannon. "But then we started to see that little spark inside of him and thought, 'That's our Charlie!'"
Today, Charlie is a healthy and energetic little boy who, says Chuck, "can't wait to wake up and dive into life!" Charlie's parents say they're thankful that their story turned out as it did. "Not all families are so lucky," says Shannon. "If I hadn't found him right away, or if we hadn't had a place like Gillette nearby, our lives could have been much different."