Melyssa & Carter

Hi! I’m Rachel Strelow and I’ve started this Go Fund Me page on behalf of my sweet God Son, Carter Mykel Pedersen. 

Many of you have seen Melyssa, myself and her family post asking for prayers and well wishes for Carter over the last few months, and those prayers have definitely helped in his challenging medical journey so far. So thank you immensely for those and keep them coming.

For those of you who don’t know the details of Carter here it is...

Carter was born on June 10, 2018 via emergency cesarean. His mother, Melyssa Pedersen (one of my best friends) had a really healthy and normal pregnancy but on June 10th she noticed that she wasn’t feeling Carter move around in her tummy. She actually hadn’t felt him move in a few days and started getting worried. So, in my true “soon to me registered nurse fashion” I forced her to go to the hospital that evening to get checked out. 

To our surprise, once the doctors hooked Melyssa up to all the monitors she was was rushed into delivery. Her entire family (and me) was shocked to find out she had to have an emergency caesarian 5 weeks early and even more shocked to find out that little Carter was barely 3 pounds at birth! 

Melyssa has contracted a rare illness while pregnant called CMV. This rare illness is only dangerous to women who are pregnant as it can be harmful to babies. Unfortunately, Melyssa contracted this illness (not to her knowledge as this illness shows up just like a general cold) sometime in her second trimester which caused Carter to stop developing normally. 

CMV has a whole host of problems like; low birthweight, heart conditions, breathing problems, physical development delays - just to name a few. So when Melyssa and her family found out Carter had this, needless to say everyone was heartbroken. 

A few days after his diagnoses of CMV took place, the doctors also performed a standard genetic test (I’ll touch on these results in a little bit) and they also decided to do a heart echo test to see how his heart was looking and found two major problems with his heart - one being a hole from front to back and the other being one of the main ventricula’s  developed on the wrong side of the heart. He was going to need emergency surgery to fix these problems and fast. 

Melyssa and Carter were immediately transferred to Children’s Hospital so Carter could get the treatment he desperately needed. After a few days of monitoring and all while a team of doctors were trying to decide how to best fix Carter’s heart problems, Melyssa got even more unfortunate news... Carters genetic testing cams back with some unusual results. 

Carter was diagnosed with a rare condition called DiGeorge Syndrome. This syndrome is where the body doesn’t develop the chromosome 22. With this syndrome comes many medical challenges but one huge one is major heart defects. So not only has Carter been dealt the CMV illness but also this rare condition which prevented his heart from developing normally. 

As you can imagine, Melyssa being a first time mother, all of this news has been not only shocking but devastating.  All new moms have a picture of a happy pregnancy, a normal delivery, and a healthy baby... but sadly this didn’t happen for her or little Carter. 

As of right now, Carter has had 2 major heart surgeries, a vocal cord repair and more to come. He is on full time oxygen to help him breathe, feeding tubes to help him eat and is monitored 24/7 by the amazing hospital staff and his even more amazing mother Melyssa. (Melyssa hasn’t left his side once...she stays at the hospital with him day and about a super mom!!)

So now that the shock of everything has kind of “set in” the reality of how expensive his medical bills are and the cost of Melyssa being out of work has reared its ugly head. 

So, what I ask of you all is to consider donating to the “Carter Mykel Fund” to help ease the stress, anxiety and financial pain Melyssa is going through and to help her put money aside for Carter’s future. 

We believe he IS going to get better and live a full and healthy life. He just has to get through these health hurdles first. So any donation amount will be BEYOND appreciated by Melyssa, her family and me. We all will be forever grateful. 

Thank you for reading and for your continued support. I love you all.


  • Susan Evans 
    • $100 
    • 46 mos
  • Erica Bletsch  
    • $50 
    • 46 mos
  • Brittany Schulz  
    • $25 
    • 49 mos
  • Michael Pedersen 
    • $25 
    • 49 mos
  • Sasha Strother 
    • $10 
    • 49 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Rachel Strelow 
South Milwaukee, WI
Melyssa Pedersen 

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