Charlotte Downey was rushed for her first open heart surgery on the night she was born. After receiving Last Rights, she had a successful surgery at 12 hours old, the first of 6 major surgeries in her first 3 months of life. Charlotte sustained a Grade 4 brain bleed as a post-surgery complication, and her kidneys were not well perfused in her recovery, leading to a kidney transplant before her second birthday.
Charlotte overcame enormous medical hurdles over and over again, including cancer in her brain as a side effect of the immunosuppression from her transplant. This diagnosis was very rare for pediatric kidney transplant patients, and there was no data to treat Charlotte that showed a positive outcome. After 2 years of chemotherapy, she once again defied the odds and tested cancer free, qualifying her for an experimental immunotherapy treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Her oncologists had never had the positive outcome Charlotte attained, but as she moved past her oncology battle, her transplanted kidney started to fail.
In her 15 years of life, Charlotte was admitted to the hospital 68 times, many of them for several weeks, most of them requiring critical care teams and advanced technology. Many of those admissions resulted in hospital bills well over $700,000 each. Last year alone one hospital stay generated $938,00 in charges and another $1.2000,000. These were common occurrences in her courageous battle to get back to her family time after time. While insurance does pay a substantial portion, her family has been left with outstanding balances which are staggering.
Heartbreakingly, Charlotte finally lost her last battle on Sunday, June 9, 2019. As the family says their final goodbye to the most heroic and joyful girl, they are recounting many happy memories shared with so many people, but they are still broken hearted. We would like to ease some of the burden of medical expenses if we can, with your generous gift. Any help to clear some of these costs at this time of immense sadness is so appreciated, and so needed.