Celebrating the Life of Carson James Dunmire

October 26, 2018 at 4:01 AM, the hearts of many were changed forever; Carson James Dunmire had made his arrival at a whopping 9 pounds 5 ounces. Mom and dad, Kristen McCall and Donny Dunmire, were able to see their baby boy and snap a picture or two just in time for Carson to be whisked away to the hands of the skilled surgeons at Children’s hospital of Pittsburgh. Hearts were racing, emotions were flowing, and prayers were being sent for all involved. October 26, 2018; Carson beat the odds and came out on top from his life or death surgery, but the road ahead was going to be a long one.

Sweet Carson endured many obstacles and visits to the operating room. After his first surgery, he had an issue with a heart arrhythmia (Junction Ectopic Tachycardia to be exact) and had to return to the OR to have his chest reopened. After further examination, it was determined that Carson was born with a condition called Heterotaxy where his liver and stomach were on the opposite sides of where they should be, born without a spleen, and he had a heart defect. On November 7th, his chest was able to be closed again.

Sixteen days after birth, November 11th, his momma was FINALLY able to hold that sweet baby boy, and he was doing well. Four days later, he was able to have his breathing tube removed and continued to do well. He slowly began dropping down on the number of IV meds he was being given, his swelling was decreasing, and the nurses were going to begin weaning him off of his oxygen; he was beating all the odds. At this point, the medical team was working on getting him to a weight of 11 pounds and also for the pressures in his heart to get to an appropriate level to be able to perform the second surgery that would allow Carson to come home. His momma was over the moon with being able to snuggle and hold her baby boy.

Fast forward to the weekend before Kristen had to return to work. She had received news that Carson would need to return to the OR to have his pulmonary veins fixed due to narrowing. December 17th, mom had to come back to work and began having to split her time between home with Donny, Payden (her 5 year old stepdaughter), Dustin (their 16 month old son), work, and spending time with Carson in Pittsburgh. It was a struggle, but she was strong and did what she had to do. The love and prayers of so many people continued to shower this family.

The following months were a roller coaster of ups and downs. He struggled with infections, including osteomyelitis in his sternum, placement of feeding tubes, a torn stomach, an appendectomy, and many other struggles in the OR.

Late February, doctors suspected further narrowing in Carson’s pulmonary veins, and he was taken back to the operating room. Unfortunately, the point of having no further options had presented itself, and on his 4 month birthday, Kristen and Donny took their precious baby boy home on hospice care where they enjoyed every bit of time in their home as a family of five. The following days overflowed with visitors, quality time with his mommy, daddy, brother and sister, and of course so many snuggles!

March 3rd, well we will use mom’s statement here to describe this event—“129 days...that’s how many days you graced us with your presence. So thankful to be able to spend the last 5 days at home...our sweet boy gained his angel wings at 12:03[PM] today. He’s certainly in a better place with no more pain and surgeries. He knew nothing but love ”

Carson, there was so much love for you before you ever even entered this crazy world, but the love everyone had for you grew like wild fire over those 129 days! Fly high and be free, little warrior ❤️

If you’re able, please donate what you can to this sweet family to assist with funeral expenses, hospital bills, and to just help them through this hardship. If you’re not able to donate, just send your thoughts and prayers and share this story. Thank you!
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Organizer and beneficiary

Taylor Shields
Meadville, PA
Kristen McCall

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