Jordi and Charlie

$37,891 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 306 people in 10 months
Created November 6, 2017
On Tuesday, September 19, 2017, the unthinkable happened to Jordi Finlay and Charlie Watkins, when Charlie fell on his way into their house and hit his head on the concrete. It is unclear whether he was unconscious before he hit the ground — he had been complaining of lightheadedness minutes before and was going inside to lie down — or if the blow to his head is what knocked him out. What is clear is that, in this single, unforeseen, heartbreaking split-second, their lives were completely upended.

Taken by ambulance to Cedars, Charlie immediately was admitted to the Neuro ICU in critical condition. In the days that followed, he had several bleeds in his brain; the main one in his brainstem, a part of the brain so sensitive it cannot be operated on. Basically unconscious, unable to breathe on his own or regulate his body temperature, Charlie was put on life support and treated for dangerously high fevers and constant shivering simultaneously. His pupils were mostly unresponsive, but that may have been because the part of his brain that was damaged is the part that operates the pupils.

Along with what happened to Charlie’s brain, his heart was no longer beating as it should; constant monitoring and medicine has kept him going. The heart situation could be the result of the shock to the brain, or it could be from a pre-existing condition. As with so much of Charlie’s current state, it is simply too soon to know.

And, yet, for all that has befallen Charlie, for all of the fear and uncertainty that he and Jordi now face, every day is better than the day before, and they remain optimistic that Charlie will make a full recovery. That said, the path to this recovery is going to be long and winding, and the process is going to require a tremendous amount of resources.  The outpouring of love and support that Charlie and Jordi have received has been truly astonishing, and deeply appreciated. Since many have asked what more they can do, we have started this fund to help ease some of the considerable financial stress Jordi now faces from their mounting medical & rehabilation expenses.

The care and concern shown by this amazing community has brightened these difficult days immeasurably. Thank you so much for the love and support you are sending Jordi and Charlie's way.
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Hi Everyone —

We wanted to share an update on how Charlie and Jordi have been doing, and to thank you again for all of your amazing support. Because of the extraordinary generosity of this community, Charlie has been able to receive outpatient therapy at the Center for Neurological Services (CNS) in Encino. Given the devastating injury Charlie sustained, this kind of care is critical to his recovery. And it is care that all of you have made possible. There are simply no thanks enough.

Daily, Charlie is re-learning skills that so many of us are lucky enough to take for granted. And, yet, Jordi and Charlie remain so grateful for each and every stride.

As Jordi writes:

“Since starting at CNS, Charlie has improved immeasurably. He is becoming independent with his walker, and is even walking without the assistance of his walker — with guarding and guiding from his physical therapists. His strength continues to improve and his balance is a work in progress. Charlie’s injury affected his eyes tremendously — they don’t work in tandem, which makes him see double and is very disorienting — so we are now working with a neuro-optometrist in Santa Clarita. We don’t know how much his eyes can recover, but by working on eye strengthening therapies with his occupational therapies, we are really hoping for the best.

Charlie’s speech and cognition skills are improving so much as well; his times are improving rapidly and his speech is clearer every day. All of the amazing people at CNS have told us that the fact that Charlie goes home and carries over his therapy is one of the main reasons he is recovering at the rate that he is. But I know that none of this would be happening without them. This is a very dedicated team of incredibly trained and experienced therapists, and we already owe them so much.

Charlie is as kind and funny as ever. His motivation and attitude simply amaze me, and I feel so lucky to be seeing him work so hard to get his life back.”

Heartbreakingly, insurance covers only a tiny fraction of CNS; in fact, Jordi and Charlie are paying for this critical treatment almost entirely from the funds you have all so graciously provided. Now, Jordi and Charlie find themselves at a difficult impasse, as they have the resources to cover only a few more weeks of therapy with CNS, and Charlie’s insurance plan insists that a more generalized physical therapy could suffice.

Seeing the phenomenal gains that Charlie is making is proof that this isn’t the case; it is reason enough to continue at CNS for as long as his doctors recommend. You have all been so generous already, and we know that you have many other responsibilities. But every dollar goes a very long way towards enabling Jordi and Charlie to move into a very different future together. So, if you are able, any further support you might be willing to provide would be appreciated immeasurably and go farther than you can imagine. For everything you have done and continue to do, thank you.
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Hi Everyone - Thank you from the bottom on my heart for all the support you've shown Jordi and Charlie. Jordi has asked me to share her words with you here:

First of all, I wanted to say a huge thank you for the support and generosity you have all shown Charlie and me. It is mind-blowing and really sort of puts the world into perspective.

Charlie came home on the 28th of November , after exactly 10 weeks in the hospital (ICU, telemetry, and acute rehab), with the goal of attending the Center for Neuro Skills in Encino on a full day schedule. CNS worked with our insurance for weeks trying to negotiate Charlie’s coverage, but eventually the insurance company decided it wasn’t worth the money.

However, due to the amazing generosity of all of you kind people, we are able to send him and pay on a weekly basis. Amazing! So, this week Charlie got started at CNS. So far it’s been a lot of assessments, getting used to a new environment and schedule, and excitement on our part. We feel so lucky that we can make this happen, and truly feel it is the best place for Charlie to be right now.

Current goals are learning to walk, getting his eyes working a little better, fine motor skills, and getting that cognitive processing speed up. Charlie is so motivated and so hard working, I really feel he is going to get the most out of CNS. His progress is incredible and I am so proud of him.

Thank you all so much for your support.

Jordi & Charlie
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Thank you so much to all who have donated. We are grateful and humbled, and feel so blessed to be part of this amazing community. I am astounded by how much we've raised in such a short period of time. You have provided much hope and relief to this wonderful couple. Please feel free to pass along the link!
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$37,891 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 306 people in 10 months
Created November 6, 2017
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