Charlie and Ruby Warfel Fund

$111,320 of $110,000 goal

Raised by 1,926 people in 13 months
Created June 26, 2017
Thank you for supporting us as we continue to recover! Checks can be made out to "The Warfel Children Supplemental Needs Trust" and mailed to:

The Warfel Children Supplemental Needs Trust
c/o RBC
2101 Oregon Pike
Lancaster, PA 17601

What Happened?

 
Shortly before 5 p.m. on Monday, June 19, 2017, our lives were forever changed when a loose pit bull escaped its yard and mercilessly attacked both of my babies. Those who know me will tell you I am not one to readily ask for help, but my children are in desperate need. As their mother, I will do everything in my power to help them heal, including accepting the generosity of friends, family and strangers as we start down this long and winding path.

My husband Jeff, son Charles (Charlie), daughter Ruby and I celebrated Father's Day on Sunday and had a full week ahead of us. Little did I know on Tuesday my kids would be recovering from hours of surgery at Penn State Children's Hospital.
 
On Monday, Ruby, Charlie and I went to our pediatrician for Ruby's 2½-year-old checkup. She received a clean bill of health and we headed home. I drove down the narrow street at the back of our house and backed into our off-street parking spot. I got out of the van first, got Charlie out next as he was sitting behind me on the driver's side, and we walked around the back of the van to the passenger side to get Ruby. Charlie patiently waited behind me and I opened Ruby's door. I was about to unbuckle my little girl from her car seat when the dog bolted across the street and jumped into the open van door. It all happened so fast.
 
The dog leapt up onto Ruby and started viciously attacking her face. I will spare the details but what Charlie and I witnessed is beyond anyone's worst nightmare. I finally managed to pull the dog off of my daughter and out of the van, but it went straight for my little boy behind me. It knocked him to the ground and began its attack. Looking back it's all a bit blurry. It was raining and the dog was slippery. It didn't have a collar on, making it even harder to get a grip. I was on top of the dog, trying to pry its mouth open with my hands. I received several puncture wounds in the fingers, arm and neck as well as scrapes to my knees and forearms, but my injuries pale in comparison to what my children sustained. I am pregnant and fortunately the baby was not harmed. The three of us were screaming and at some point some people came to try to help. They were yelling commands at me and one of the women had a knife. I will never forget a man hovering over us with the knife saying to me, "I'm sorry. I just can't harm an animal," while watching an animal trying to kill my son as I screamed, "MY BABIES! MY BABIES!"
 
At some point my son was finally free. He was able to talk and said to me through his tears, "Mummy, that was a really bad dog." I picked up my son and got into the van. My hands were so bloody I had a hard time holding onto my phone. I called 911 and explained what happened and demanded the ambulance arrive as soon as possible. The operator of course couldn't give me a time frame and I knew how much blood my kids had lost. I decided I couldn't wait and drove them to the Lancaster General Hospital emergency room myself. Because of thunderstorms, my kids couldn't be airlifted and had to travel by ambulance to Penn State Children's Hospital. I had to get back into my husband's bloodstained van and rush up to Hershey only to wait something like eight or nine hours for my son's surgery to be finished so that Ruby could have her turn in the operating room. My husband and I waited by the side of our helpless daughter as she lay in her hospital crib while the doctors worked to repair Charlie.
 
Who are Ruby and Charlie?
 
Ruby is a spirited two-year-old who loves tutus, Peppa Pig, and the color pink. Charlie (or "Brother" as she calls him) is her best friend. She can be bossy and has been known to stamp her foot for emphasis when petitioning us for "just one more piece of chocolate". Ruby's compassion for others is huge. When she woke up from surgery and saw the scratches on my arm, she immediately said, "Oh no! Your boo boos! I kiss your boo boos." She is looking forward to becoming a big sister in December.
 
Charlie is a sensitive, gifted five-year-old who loves writing, drawing, Lightning McQueen, and the color red. He relishes his role as the big brother and is extremely protective of his little sister. He had been looking forward to starting kindergarten in eight weeks. He attended pre-kindergarten this past year and learned how to read and write. He aspires to be a famous writer or artist when he grows up. When the swelling in his eyes subsided enough for him to see again, he immediately began drawing pictures to decorate his hospital room.
 
Expenses and Moving Forward
 
Ruby and Charlie are lucky to be alive after the attack but they each have a long road ahead of them. Their doctors assure me and Jeff there is a lot of hope for both of our babies but it is simply too early to know for sure what they will need down the line. Every penny donated will go toward the kids' current and future medical expenses. The amount of money they will require will far exceed our family's financial ability or any kind of settlement we can expect. The major costs to our family are listed below:
 
1. Future surgeries - Because of the severe facial lacerations, nerve and muscle damage each child has suffered, they are guaranteed to need multiple surgeries over the course of several years. We are not sure if Charlie will ever be able to smile again. One side of Ruby's beautiful smile is drooping and her left eye doesn't close at this point when she cries. Aside from operations to restore function to their faces, the kids will need to undergo further plastic surgeries and/or laser treatments to improve their appearance and help minimize their outward scarring.
 
2. Speech therapy and counseling - Charlie may need speech therapy to help him overcome the damage he suffered. Both kids will need intensive counseling as they are now understandably terrified of dogs. Charlie has night terrors and wakes up in the night shielding his face. When he woke up after surgery, the first thing he talked about was the dog. Up until now, Ruby has had zero fear of our family cat, Penny. Upon returning home, she asked Jeff if Penny was going to bite her. There are two large dogs living next door to us, and I already wonder how I will get my kids in and out of their home without fear.
 
3. Hospital stays - Ruby stayed three days in the hospital while Charlie slowly made his way from the pediatric intensive care unit to the pediatric intermediate care unit. On Saturday, June 24, he was moved to the regular floor.
 
4. Rabies shots/medications - The dog had not been immunized in close to four years, meaning the three of us need to undergo a painful series of rabies vaccinations. The kids received numerous medications in the hospital and will be sent home with several prescriptions.
 
5. Everyday living expenses - We are a working class family. Jeff works hard as a printing pressman on third shift. I left my job two years ago to be a stay-at-home mother until the kids are in school full-time. Jeff will be off work for an indefinite period of time and the loss of income would be tough enough even without a baby on the way.
 
How You Can Help
 
1. Make a donation - We are grateful for every amount we receive, no matter how small. We promise all of the funds raised will go directly to helping Ruby and Charlie heal.
 
2. Spread the word - Share this campaign on all your social media. Talk to your friends and family about it. Send out an email. Put up a flyer at your break room at work. If you're a churchgoer, talk to your priest or pastor.
 
Should you have any questions about making a donation, feel free to contact my sister Kerry Shuffelbottom or me. Thank you in advance for supporting our family through this horrific ordeal.
 
Much love,
 
Margot Shuffelbottom Warfel (Charlie and Ruby's mother)
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Our case has been in the news this week, and I decided now was as good a time as any for an update from me. We are glad the criminal component is over so that we can continue to move forward and focus on the kids' recovery. In case you missed it, here is what happened in court on Monday:
https://lancasteronline.com/news/local/owner-of-dog-that-attacked-lancaster-children-sentenced-to-years/article_31cb63b6-680a-11e8-b793-5b30a84a1095.html

A benefit concert for the kids takes place on Saturday, June 16, 2018, at Zoetropolis in Lancaster, PA. It starts around 1 p.m. Here is a link with more details. Please share! https://www.facebook.com/events/155133338512845/?ti=cl

Charlie and Ruby are busy getting back to being regular little kids in between doctor visits and laser therapy in Boston. They get to take a break over the summer but will continue their treatments in the fall. Since my last post, the most exciting event for Charlie & Roo was the arrival of their baby brother at Christmastime. He is a happy baby who has brought immense joy to our family at an incredibly trying time.

We appreciate all the love and support we have received throughout this past year; however, we are still only one year into a difficult and lengthy recovery. Please continue to keep us in your thoughts!

Much love,
Margot
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Another benefit has been graciously organized for the kids and I want to post the details.

Where:
Lancaster Moose Lodge #299
132 N. Water St.
Lancaster, PA 17603

When:
Saturday, September 30, 2017 starting at 3 p.m. to Sunday, October 1, 2017 at 1 a.m.

There will be 200 meal tickets for sale for $25, and regular admission costs $15. If you're in the area, please consider coming out for a day of music, food and drinks to continue to support Charlie and Roo.

Otherwise, there isn't much new to report. A week and a half ago, Jeff and I took the kids to see their surgeon at Penn State Children's Hospital in Hershey. He told us they are still ahead of schedule as far as the healing process is concerned and we should keep doing what we're doing. That basically means managing their scars and having Charlie do some facial exercises. We don't have to go back to see him until February.

I was warned from the beginning that this is going to be a long recovery. Many have compared it to a marathon instead of a sprint. Today marks 12 weeks since the kids and I were attacked. Most days it feels like it's been a lot longer than that.

Also, this month we are traveling to the Shriners Hospital for Children in Boston. We were originally scheduled in Cincinnati but Boston is a little closer. I don't expect the doctor up there to suggest any intervention at this time. Still, I know a lot of other kids in this position have been greatly helped by Shriners, and other friends have encouraged me to check them out.

Lastly, Charlie started kindergarten at the end of August. We are proud of him for his strength and perseverance. There have been some challenging moments, but he has a lot of love and encouragement and we are determined to help him and his sister through this ordeal.

As always, thank you to all who continue to send well-wishes, positive thoughts and prayers our way. Please don't stop sharing our story. We still have a long road ahead of us!

Love,
Margot

+ Read More
I haven't updated in a while because I haven't felt up to it. I've been struggling with a lot of things. It's hard to wait a year or more to find out what comes next for my kids. It's hard to imagine dealing with all of this plus a newborn in about four months. Our family is tough, though, and I know we will get through this. I have faith in Charlie and Ruby as well as our doctors. It's just going to take time.

The kids are doing better than I am. I was finally able to get everything sorted out and they start counseling tomorrow. My sister is coming back to visit next week and they're both looking forward to seeing her. I haven't fully sorted out school for Charlie for the coming year, but he is definitely eager to continue learning.

Early next week Charlie will be evaluated for speech therapy. Ruby has an appointment with a pediatric ophthalmologist to check her eye. We don't go back to the plastic surgeon for another check until the end of the month. I have a routine appointment coming up to check on the baby, as well. I haven't forgotten about making a list of things he will need. I'll post it as soon as it's finished!

We continue to receive cards and packages from all over. Sharyn & Nigel from Sydney sent the kids a wonderful box of gifts including koalas, hats, and personalized night lights for Charlie and Ruby. The Australian presents mean a lot to me because my maternal grandmother was born and raised in Sydney.

John O'Leary is a motivational speaker who survived a tragic event as a child. He sent the kids a copy of his book "On Fire" and took the time to write them a note.

This Saturday is the movie fundraiser in Lititz, PA, at Penn Cinema. If you live in the area, please consider attending! As of now, the weather forecast calls for scattered thunderstorms. I can't think of better weather for a movie! Find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1313905745388373/?ti=icl

Again, thank you for all the love, support, well-wishes and prayers. Please continue to keep us in your thoughts and share our story. It helps to know we have so many people behind us.

Love,
Margot
Presents from Sydney, Australia!
An autographed book from John O'Leary
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THERE IS A NEW FUNDRAISER BEING HELD FOR CHARLIE AND RUBY!

On Saturday, August 12, 2017, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., come out to Penn Cinema in Lititz, PA, to see "The Nut Job 2" and support our beautiful babies as they continue their lengthy recovery.

If you're on Facebook, here's the link:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1313905745388373/

Otherwise, check out: https://www.penncinema.com/movie/charlieandruby/?theater=lititz

There will be a bake sale and a Chinese auction in the lobby before the movie. If you're interested in donating something toward either, please contact me or my sister. Also, please share with your friends so that we can get as many people to attend as possible!

I haven't updated this past week, but new information came out about our attack.

Here is just one of the many news stories:
http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/owner-of-dog-that-attacked-seriously-injured-lancaster-children-charged/article_fcd736a2-6b17-11e7-8490-df0cc4eb233b.html

I'm not going to comment much on it because there's nothing I can say that will change what happened. Jeff and I have faith the kids will recover in time. We have a long, hard road ahead of us but we are encouraged not only by the kids' progress so far, but by how much love and support all of you have shown and continue to show for our family.

Jeff and I are taking the kids to see the chief plastic surgeon at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia on Tuesday. Even though it's really early in the healing process, we are interested to see what he has to say.

Finally, we found out on Thursday that the new baby due in December is a boy. Both kids can't wait to meet their new baby brother. I know many have asked if there is something I need for the baby. I do know there are some things I wish I hadn't given away after Ruby was born. I am checking with family and friends first to see about borrowing items from them, but I will definitely post a list soon in case anyone would still like to help.

As always, thank you so much for the love and support and continuing to share our story. Charlie & Roo are tough little survivors who are and will forever be my heroes. Their resilience and determination helps Jeff and I remain strong and carry on.

Love,
Margot
It's a boy!
+ Read More
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$111,320 of $110,000 goal

Raised by 1,926 people in 13 months
Created June 26, 2017
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