Praying for Charlie Spencer

We’d love to welcome Charles “Charlie” Spencer to our wonderful family! Charlie was born to James and Rachel Spencer (my cousin) of Fairmont, Mn on 12/28/17 at 8:59am at 35 weeks and 2 days. He weighed 5 lbs 10 oz and was 17.75 inches long. Immediately after birth it was evident Charlie has some respiratory distress. Mayo and Dulcimer staff worked quickly to arrange a life flight for him to Sanford’s Boekelheide NICU in Sioux Falls, SD. Rachel discharged from the hospital 6 hours after delivery so that mom and dad could travel to Sioux Falls to be by Charlie’s side. 

Charlie had a clean bill of health for the first few days, just receiving respiratory help for his underdeveloped lungs. Somewhere around day 3 or 4 in the NICU however things took a turn for the worse. After a high fever and some apnea it was determined that Charlie had gotten an infection of the blood. He was started on antibiotics. After culture it was determined that the culprit was a yeast that likely entered his blood through an IV placed in his umbilical cord at birth. A second medication was added to fight that. Charlie’s platelets were also being eaten up my infection at this point and he began requiring blood transfusions every 12 hours. 

 After several days of infection Charlie started having seizures. A spinal tap was performed and it was determined that the infection had gotten into his spinal fluid and brain, which meant a diagnosis of meningitis. In order to combat the seizures Charlie needed to be placed on a very large dose of phenobarbitol and another anti-convulsive medication. Because of the risk for Charlie to stop breathing during these medications it was decided he should be intubated and put on a respirator. 

 James and Rachel will have a long journey with their little guy and would like to stay by his side as much as possible. Currently there are travel expenses as they travel back and forth to Fairmont to be with the big sisters, Jenna and Erin as much as possible. The Ronald McDonald House has generously housed the family so there are no housing expenses. 

This rollercoaster will likely cause James and Rachel be off work for quite some time, and it will be a combination of paid and unpaid time off.  And even beyond that there will be thousands and thousands of dollars in medical bills from now and even after Charlie is discharged home and he will require follow up care from specialists for a long time. Any help that you can give, no matter how big or small, would be greatly appreciated! This family needs to be together in their time of need and not have to worry about how they are going to be able to make ends meet, they need to focus on getting their little man healthy again! And getting him home where he belongs!

 Please keep Charlie and the entire Spencer family in your thoughts, prayers and hearts as they navigate this difficult time! Thank you!
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Claire Gunselman Tworek 
Park Ridge, IL
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