Meet Charlie in Springfield

Updated:Aug 26,2014

KWH Charlie FlyingA few hours after Charlie was born, he was diagnosed with complex congenital heart disease. We were told that he would need three open heart surgeries for management of his single ventricle heart.

Charlie developed congestive heart failure about a week after he was born and struggled to gain weight for many months. The first surgery was when he was six weeks old. He was also on multiple medications and required feeding through a G-tube.

In his first ten months, he was hospitalized seven times, had two open heart surgeries, and countless other procedures, tests, and blood draws. Despite all this, we celebrated his first birthday amazed that he could say all the things he was supposed to say and do all of the things he was supposed to do.

He remained in good health until his third, and hopefully last, heart surgery shortly after his third birthday. After a tough couple of months, he emerged from this healthy and fully recovered. He continues to require daily medications and is somewhat limited in his exercise capacity, but he has remained healthy and out of the hospital since the last surgery.

Charlie became a Heart Ambassador when he was a 5-1/2 year old kindergartener.

KWH Charlie 9 yr old updateNow CHARLIE is 9 years old and in the 4th grade.  Charlie has a scar on his chest because he’s had three open-heart surgeries to help his heart work better.

It has been almost six years since his last surgery!

He loves to create with Legos, make his own movies and play baseball. He also likes rock climbing and is working
on his karate moves. One day he’d like to compete on American Ninja Warrior!

Helping the American Heart Association is very important to Charlie. He knows the AHA will continue to fund research to help doctors learn more ways to help people like him live longer, healthier lives!

Web Booklets on Congenital Heart Defects

blue papersThese online publications describe many defects and the procedures used to repair them. It’s organized so that you can print out the sections that relate to you or your child’s defect and concerns.