Charlie was born on December 13, 2012. By three weeks of age, Charlie showed signs there was something wrong with the function of her liver. After months of ongoing testing and medical care, Charlie displayed severe scars on her liver that indicated she would require a liver transplant one day. Charlie was 10 months old before the medical team could diagnose her with Neonatal Sclerosing Cholangitis (NSC) which is a rare autosomal recessive condition. In December of 2013 shortly after her diagnoses, Charlie unexpectedly had a varicose vein rupture in her esophagus during a routine procedure and she was put in an air ambulance to CHU St-Justine Hospital in Montreal which was 5.5 hours from the family’s home in Alma, QC. As Charlie’s disease progressed at a rapid pace, the only option to save her life was to list her for transplant. The family prepared themselves for the reality it could take up to a year to find a match for their tiny daughter.
Due to the generosity of another family, Charlie only had to wait one week on the transplant list and on February 4th, 2014 Charlie was given a second chance at life. During their battle to save Charlie, the family’s finances were stretched thin as they remained by Charlie’s side in Montreal. The David Foster Foundation assisted the family with their mortgage and utilities back home so they could remain together through the transplant recovery.
“The help of the David Foster Foundation made a big difference for us because we have been able to be together during this adventure. We grew together instead of going through the hardest times of our lives apart.” Said Valerie Oulette, Charlie’s mother.
Now Valerie says “most recently, Charlie graduated from daycare and she started kindergarten last September. A new beginning for a strong little girl who lives a fairly regular life now. With everything being stable, we were able to welcome our newest family member, our little fur ball puppy Belle. Charlie and Belle have become best friends. Over the past six years, anything abnormal lead to an overnight trip to the ER. On February 5th, 2019 we celebrated Charlie’s 5 year transplant anniversary and we are happy to say that it’s been over a year since she was last hospitalized.”