Charlotte is praying the windy, wet weather subsides today so that she can go trick or treating. Her next surgery is Friday (Nov 2), so her parents don’t want her outside in bad weather with a chance of catching a cold or flu before her next surgery.
She is planning to be a “batterina” – part bat, part ballerina. We will be sure to post photos, rain or shine.
In other news, Charlotte is receiving tutoring 4 days per week. She is working hard with a goal of reading and performing mathematics at a 4th grade level to be prepared for her eventual return to the classroom.
Charlotte’s recent checkups have gone well, infection-free and healing according to plan. The skin from her forehead used to cover her nose structure contains some of the hairline, so we’re curious how much longer her nose will be fuzzy. It’s kind of cute, but Charlotte would be happy to see the hairs go. The doctor and Charlotte have also decided to proceed this fall with Charlotte’s lip reversal. After the surgery, Charlotte will not be able to eat solids and will need to use a straw while her lips heal.
Thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers.
Charlotte returned home on Monday, and is doing well after her second successful major surgery on her nose (more on this from mLive.com). She says she is not in much pain, but says her wounds and nose are itchy. A visiting nurse takes care of the wound on her forehead each day, as the doctor’s felt it might be a bit overwhelming for Charlotte’s parents given that her bone is exposed under the bandage. The incision on her rib cage has been healing quickly and nicely and is not in need of special care. She goes back to Beaumont on Monday for a check up. The next surgery is expected to take place in less than four weeks, if this phase of healing goes as planned.
Charlotte enjoys the recreation room at Beaumont Children’s Hospital after her second major surgery.
While she was in the hospital, she was given a “Hero of the Month” award from the Kid’s Wish Network! Charlotte was very pleased to have been chosen for this award, which acknowledges children who have overcome very difficult situations. The staff at Beaumont Children’s Hospital nominated her for the award. She received a certificate, medallion, t-shirt and a gift card to pick something special out. She said she wanted to use the gift card to buy some nice things for people important to her.
Michigan artist Judyth Nelson mailed a beautiful watercolor of a princess in a pink dress especially painted for Charlotte. She granted permission for her to reproduce it if ever needed to raise money for Charlotte. We may take the beautiful image to make notecards or postcards that Charlotte can use to write back to her pen pals and well wishers. Once we have a chance to take a photo or scan that does the image justice, we’ll share it.
Charlotte enjoys some watercolor painting at Beaumont. While she was painting this image, artist Judyth Nelson was mailing Charlotte a painting made especially for Char.
Charlotte is recovering nicely from her second surgery, and the news of her latest progress has once again gone nationally, featured in New Jersey, Atlanta and many more news outlets.
We want to thank the members of the press who have spent time with Charlotte and her family and to help share her story of hope and healing. We really wouldn’t have been able to move ahead with her surgeries when we did without their help and of course, the help of their viewers/ readers.
Fox 2 News Detroit ran a nice segment on Charlotte yesterday, thank you to Deena Centofanti for continued coverage.
Also, we are very grateful for the staff at Beaumont, which has been fantastic at all aspects — from the medical professionals to the administration. Our experience has been amazing.
Beaumont staff posted this video update of Tim and Sharon, sharing an update on her most recent surgery and expressing their thanks to all the Beaumont Children’s Hospital staff who have helped her during her various visits. They also extend a thank you to her supporters around the world.
Dr. Chiayasate just came out and filled Tim & Sharon in on the results of the surgery. It seems to have been successful, and the family will need to come to Royal Oak weekly over the next four weeks, until her next surgery begins.
The doctor emphasized again that it is not uncommon for depression to set in during this phase of the reconstruction, as the appearance is alarming. Additionally, as Charlotte has what is essentially an open wound, she will be more restricted in her activities than she was after her last surgery. She will not be able to run around outside or to ride her bike at all, which she had started to do over the past few weeks.
Charlotte will be staying at Beaumont 3-5 days. The family is hoping to bring her home as soon as Sunday, but it all depends on how she feels when she wakes up and how quickly she heals.
Right now, Charlotte is undergoing surgery at Beaumont Children’s Hospital in Royal Oak, MI. She went into surgery at 11AM and it was expected to last approximately four hours. Tim & Sharon are eagerly waiting for word from the waiting room, and will update us as soon as she is out.
She was a bit more nervous about this surgery, which she didn’t verbalize but we could sense from her behavior. The doctor, in preparation for the stages to come, showed her photos of the surgery results on other patients. Visually and emotionally, this is expected to be the most difficult phase of her reconstructive surgeries.
In preparation, Charlotte has started seeing a therapist and will continue to have counseling during this difficult process. She started private tutoring last week, which thanks to the generosity of the community, the family can afford. Her tutor is focusing on sharpening primarily her reading and math skills, which need improvement to bring her up to her fourth grade peers. Her self-confidence and performance in the one-on-one setting are improving.
Thank you to those who have continue to share words of encouragement and prayers. Thank you to those in the press who have updated viewers and readers on her progress.
Charlotte went to Royal Oak for a check up today, and her nose is progressing nicely. She won’t have to visit next week, and her next trip will be for the third surgery on her nose. According to Dr. Chiayasate, this next phase of surgery is the most difficult in terms of her appearance. In this phase, they will extend a flap of skin from her forehead to cover her nose. The skin on her nose right now is mostly from her hip, so it doesn’t match the rest of her face. This upcoming procedure will help her nose to blend in.
He suggested that Charlotte speak to the media prior to surgery if she is willing, but supposed that she probably will not be comfortable after the procedure is completed as her appearance may take some getting used to.
This week, Charlotte watched her niece during soccer practice and spent more time outdoors, particularly in the evening when the sun is not very intense. Her best friend and next door neighbor, Aleanna, is moving to a new home, which has her feeling a bit blue. She still plans to have sleepovers regularly, but will miss seeing her each day.
Tim, Charlotte’s adoptive father, returned to work this week after about six months off on short term disability after surgical correction of torn shoulder ligaments. He was unable to return to first shift due to availability, so is now working second shift. After 40 years of first shift, this is quite an adjustment, but Tim is hopeful that an opening on first shift will be available soon. He does not know yet whether he will get approved time off for Charlotte’s surgery on October 4, as he exhausted his FMLA leave while recovering from his shoulder injury. We are hopeful he will be able to work out an arrangement to be with Charlotte at her surgery, as he has never missed one.
Thank you for your continued support. Charlotte enjoys reading comments from you and receiving letters, too.
Charlotte plucked a gorgeous red rose from her garden, and it brought a smile to her face.
Thanks for words of encouragement! We are moving forward, surrounded by love and kindness.
Charlotte’s left forearm is healing nicely, and within a couple of weeks she may be able to start guitar lessons. While Charlotte was out last month for her first surgery, we surprised her with a used guitar, pink case, practice amp and a month of lessons. The guys at Firehouse in Muskegon were very helpful with guitar selection and pricing, and are looking forward to helping Charlotte learn the new instrument.
The surgeons borrowed tissue and a vein from her forearm to construct her nose and establish blood flow to the area.