Cheering on Charlie
“Prepare yourself for him not to pull through.” I can still hear those words in my mind. March 31st and April 1st — two dates that will forever be ingrained in my memory, those were the days I thought I was going to lose my husband.
My husband Charles was always a very active guy who liked to play sports and fish. In 2007 he suffered herniated discs, and his back continued to get worse over the years. In March, 2013 he became paralyzed from the waist down for no apparent reason. He was unable to stand or walk and had to be carried to doctor appointments. On March 18th, he was rushed into emergency spinal surgery — we were told it was likely he might never walk again.
He came through surgery without any major complications and a week later he was transferred to a rehab facility. Through therapy Charlie learned to walk again and was scheduled to go home on April 2nd. He was able to receive a one-day pass for Easter and we had a lovely day with family. As I drove him back to rehab, he complained of feeling very hot and felt his heart racing – his vitals appeared stable back at rehab. About 10:30 pm I received a call from the rehab center informing me that Charlie had lost consciousness, may have suffered a heart attack and was being transported to the hospital. He was intubated and went into cardiac arrest. Several hours later he was in stable but critical condition, and I was told he might be brain dead. He remained unresponsive for 24-hours, and then was on life support for almost a month.
He is now back in the rehab facility and doing well considering his doctors initial diagnosis. Charles is unable to care for himself, must be lifted into his wheelchair and can only walk with the assistance of three people. He has sustained severe brain damage and will require medical care for the rest of his life. We are a young couple with a three-year-old and now our lives are on hold.
Even with insurance, Charlie will have many uninsured, illness-related expenses such as: co-pays and deductibles, doctor visits, a handicapped van, home modifications and additional therapy. This is a financial burden we cannot meet alone.
To help offset such expenses, a fundraising campaign in Charlie’s honor has been established with HelpHOPELive, a nonprofit organization that has been assisting the transplant community for 30 years. In 2000, they expanded their mission to include those who have sustained a catastrophic injury. All contributions are tax-deductible, are held by HelpHOPELive in the Mid-Atlantic Traumatic Brain Injury Fund, and are administered by HelpHOPELive for injury-related expenses only. If you would like to make a contribution:
Make checks payable to:
Note in memo section:
In Honor of Charles Hee III