Do I deserve to die?
About Charlotte (A biography)
Our Story In Darren's words
We'd love to hear from you
Charlotte in the MSM
Hannah, 7:20 PM |
Almost ThreeWe're excited about Charlotte's birthday this Saturday-- our baby will be three years old! Here are a two more pictures-- visiting with the puppy and an outing with daddy.
Darren is trying to get re-assessed so Charlotte can come home with him. And though her birthday will still be in the hospital, it is a happy day for all of us-- a milestone they said she would never reach. We'll try to share it with you through pictures here.
Hannah, 11:30 PM |
Pictures!Charlotte is in around 30% oxygen now, and doing wonderfully well. Below are the latest pictures:
Pray that she'll continue to get stronger, that she'll be free from infections, and that her oxygen will go down the last little bit it needs to. And for mummy and daddy, who are going through hard times, and that she would soon have a home to come to.
Hannah, 5:06 AM |
...updateI'm sorry this has been so long overdue... thanks to those who have written and are praying. Charlotte is doing well, but she is still at the hospital, on 30 % oxygen (at 4 liters).
Mummy and Daddy still need your prayers.
Hannah, 8:13 PM |
SaveCharlotte.com: The DomainSorry for the long delay in posting what is happening--I think Hannah shall do a more general update in the near future, this is just a quick technical update about the site, your links and bookmarks and stuff like that:)
For the last almost year now, The Renaissance Group has given us use of their domain free of charge. Just a few days ago the server that I used for redirecting the domain let me know they had plans to discontinue all free accounts within twelve days. I checked up on SaveCharlotte.com, with intentions on getting it pointing to a different server, and realized it no longer directed towards us--so I guess are time with that domain is over. I would like to express sincere gratitude to the generousity of the Americans who gave us the domain for the most crucial moments, Thanks!
For now, other people should update there bookmarks, and links to http://www.savecharlotte.com
When important things happen--you'll still find up to date information here!
UPDATE: Thanks to Slobokan and co, the savecharlotte.com domain is functioning again.
Joshua, 4:47 PM |
ProgressI haven't much of an update; but here are some new pictures-- Charlotte is doing really well, and growing stronger all the time. Please continue to pray for her health, for her home-coming, and for the family.
Hannah, 1:32 AM |
Long overdue update
I'm sorry for the long delay with no updates. Charlotte is doing well; so well that the hospital says she is ready to go home. Here are some new pictures.
But there have been family troubles, and Darren and Debbie have split up, so just now there is no home for Charlotte to go home to. Perhaps it seems this is a very personal request for a public blog, but it is important enough we felt we should make it-- please pray that they'll be able to work out their differences and come back together, for the children's sake.
And thank you for your continued prayers for Charlotte.
Hannah, 2:59 PM |
Our fighterCharlotte is back to her cheery self again... new pictures from today.
Darren is working on getting Charlotte home again. They thank you again for your prayer-- the last month has been very hard, but God gave us another miracle and she's pulled through.
Hannah, 9:25 PM |
day by dayCharlotte is getting stronger day by day, and today she was able to be out of the head-box and on nasel prongs for several hours.
Hannah, 12:02 AM |
Never mind the odds...Why has the hospital consistently insisted on categorizing Charlotte according to her "chances of recovery" or hypothetical quality of life? She isn't a number, and she has proved time and time again that she will fight to beat the odds, no matter how high they are stacked against her. She wants to live-- why is that so hard to understand?
She is now in 40 % oxygen, and Darren and Debbie are calling for the court order against her to be rescinded. What is required before she is considered worth fighting for? Must she first be able to walk into the courtroom herself and say "I want to live"?
Pictures from January:
Hannah, 5:12 PM |
don't look back....Charlotte was able to go back in the headbox today, with a 50 % oxygen level; and though a long way yet from how she was before she became ill, she is ever so much better than she has been.
Thank you for your notes of encouragement and your prayers-- please do keep on!
Hannah, 11:26 PM |
Battling on... [updated 27.2.06]A little improvement-- Charlotte's oxygen is now at 60%, 5% down from yesturday. Her situation is still very critical, so please keep praying!
UPDATE-- 27.2.06 6:20 pm -- From the hospital: Charlotte's oxygen is down to 53 %. Surely this can now be called an "uphill trend"?
Hannah, 10:56 PM |
Charlotte is doing ever so slightly better and is stable, though her situation remains doubtful and every moment is a new miracle. She is in 65 % oxygen now, and Darren is staying by her side.
Not worth fighting for
Last autumn Charlotte's birthday was a happy celebration. She was two years old, and though ever so much tinier than most two years olds, was responsible for bringing just as much joy into the world as any other. And the court had determined she was finally worthy of life.
It was a lovely birthday present-- in an 21 October ruling, Justice Hedley determined that she had so far improved that there was no longer any need for the order that had hung over her head for a year; the order which said that her life was not worth saving and she ought to be allowed to die without resuscitation. After a long, hard year of struggles, she had earned the same right to life the rest of us take for granted.
It had been an enormous fight,and she had made such improvements it was hard to see in the happy, responsive baby the same infant the doctors had characterized the year before as deaf, blind, with no hope to ever leave her plastic box or get any better, and in constant pain-- the baby they had decided was better off dead. She had proven them all wrong, and on Christmas she came home for the first time unattended by any but her parents. At the beginning of this month the hospital said she might be ready to be released for good in as little as a month.
But little ones cannot keep off infections forever, especially in a hospital and in wintertime, and she caught a cold which quickly began to hamper her breathing. In a normal case when your baby is ill the hospital will step up efforts to help. But Charlotte is special, and instead doctors submitted an emergency application to the judge to get permission not to treat her. Yesturday Justice Hedley concurred with them, reversing his previous order. Apparently the baby was on a "downward rather than an upward trend" and therefore not worth saving.
Never mind the vast improvements she had made, the way she had always made stunning recoveries after each of her illnesses, how she had proven the doctors wrong each time. Never mind that she had shown herself a fighter, and with all the strength in her little body was battling for her chance at life.
After all, she was Charlotte, and Charlotte... Charlotte might always be disabled child. She might never be quite normal, and her joys might never be quite the same as ours. Disabled people aren't like the rest of us, and when they are sick...they have to be allowed to die.
What has our grand world come to when we can do this, and still walk the streets without shame? How can we pretend we are innocent of a great crime? --for are indeed guilty to if we do not protest. And the measure of a society is in how it treats her most defenseless.
Or if you are a child with special needs, is it only if you can manage to never be ill, never show weakness, always be impoving that you will be considered worth having around? When it comes to the difficult times, will your life never be worth fighting for?
Don't let our baby die!Charlotte's viral infection is worsening, and in an emergency injunction Justice Hedley has ruled that she should be allowed to die. The Wyatts are pleading for their daughter, and Charlotte is fighting for life-- why can't she be given the chance she so desperately needs?
prayer requestThis is only a short update; and I can't answer a great many questions. But please pray for the Wyatt family.... right now Darren and Debbie are seperated, and Darren is in the hospital following an overdose. Charlotte is doing well; but she needs mummy and daddy to work things out; please pray for them!
Charlotte at Home
Home for Christmas!
The Wyatt family had a lovely christmas present this year... Charlotte was allowed home for a few hours, for an unsupervised visit.
Comment policyI want first to thank you all who have been following Charlotte's story and praying for and supporting her. We've very much appreciate your prayers, letters, and comments.
I feel people should be able to speak their minds, even if we disagree, and therefore I haven't been deleting or banning very many comments from this blog. This is going to change.
There are places you can go to to say mean and hurtful things. This is a blog for Charlotte, a little girl sick in the hospital. It is a family blog. It is not a political action/ social commentary blog. We know there are people who don't think our baby ought to be alive; we disagree, and your comments about being irresponsible citizens or unfair to her aren't going to change our minds. This is not a place you can go when you feel you need to lash out at someone with impunity.
You are welcome to email if you have issues you want to speak about with us. I can't promise we'll reply: we get alot of emails; but you will at least have had a chance to make your point. Why is this different from allowing nasty comments? For one thing, people talk differently when they realize they have actually someone on the other end, not a machine. A great many of the things said here you would not have said if you were speaking to our face. Please, even if you disagree, even if you hate us, even if you think our baby ought to die and we ought to be sent to a home for irresponsible people; remember that there are some basic rules of human decency in the way you address people in difficult situations!
In conclusion: The last thread is being removed-- I can't manage to delete just the nasty comments-- as well as some things from before; and in the future comments are moderated. We do have copies of the deleted comments, and can read them. But this is not the place for personal attacks.
Home at last?If a visit next Tuesday goes according to plan, Charlotte may be rejoin her sister Christina-- at home. Doctors have finally agreed that she is ready for day visits, and Mum and Dad are very excited about this development.
For an article from the BBC:
Charlotte may be home next week
Christina at home
Christina Hayley WyattPlease pray for little Christina; though she did not need oxygen immediately after she was delivered, she is now in the NICU on 20 %. The nurses say she is in no danger, it is only to give her lungs a boost, but it is scary for Darren and Debbie to see thier new daughter lying in exactly the same spot of the NICU as little Charlotte was two years ago.
But her prognosis is good: home in a month? And Darren has just been certified in infant life support; maybe soon the whole family can be together outside the hospital.
Update: Her first picture
and some more....
welcome!Charlotte's little sister was born by emergency c-section this afternoon. The baby is small, but we were relieved that though she is very early she did not need any oxygen and is doing well. Pictures forthcoming.
don't come early!Please pray for Debbie; being monitored in the hospital with contractions. The new baby is 34 weeks now.
Happy Birthday Charlotte!A day we had been waiting for throughout the long hard year--the order was lifted!
You were born for life, and though it was hard for them to see that sometimes, you kept on fighting for your chance. The odds were stacked against you, but you did not give up. This is a very happy day for our family, as the dark shadow that stayed over you for the last year has been removed. The sentence-- that your life was not worth living-- has been voided, and you have the same right to live as any other little girl in England!
PosterA supporter in the US has designed a beautiful new poster for Charlotte, which you can download here and print out to show your support.
Thank you, Noelle!
Back from CourtDarren and Debbie are back from London now, after another hearing before Justice Hedley. Both of them gave evidence; for Debbie, it was her first time. "I would just like the order lifted and have Charlotte home", she told the judge.
The NHS is still firmly against a change in the order, although as the Wyatt's attorney, David Wolfe, said "The overwhelming medical consensus is that there are situations in which it would be appropriate to ventilate her if she needed it".
Hedley's decision is to be given on Friday, Charlotte's second birthday. We are trying to be optimistic, but these past months have been very hard on the Wyatts. Last night Debbie was in the hospital again with abdominal pains. The new baby, a girl, is due in the middle of December.
2 yearsCharlotte's birthday will come before the month is out; on October 21 she will be two years old. Will she be allowed to begin this new year without the court order hanging over her head? Or is that too much to ask?
We want our little girl home
Darren and Debbie are putting forth an earnest plea to the hospital-- please let our little girl come home. She is now on around 30 % oxygen, and spends the entire day out of her headbox and on nasel prongs. One doctor told them now the issue of her coming home is no longer down to equipment, the difficulty is in enough nursing care; but Darren and Debbie have asked repeatedly to be trained in whatever would be needed.
As her second birthday comes up she has made great progress. She loves going outside and her play therapy, and responds a great deal to touch and sound. She doesn't like being left to herself in the hospital-- it is time she came home, and had the constant love and family atmosphere that every child deserves.
difficultiesPlease be praying for Debbie-- on Monday she was in the hospital because of pains that were feared might be the beginning of labor. She is at home again now, but under orders to rest and with a bag packed at readiness in case she needs to go in again. They have been under too much stress lately; and the pace of life seems impossible without help.
Charlotte is doing well.
MilestonesCharlotte achieved another milestone today, as her lungs continue to get stronger. She was put to bed in an oxygen box with just 10 litres tonight; versus the 50 litres needed last september. And she is at about 30 % oxygen. . . the number the hospital gave us in the spring for what was necessary before she could come home.
We are celebrating.
I am alive!
Charlotte is on the nasel prongs nearly all day now, and Darren is being trained in all her care toward the time (very soon?!) when she will be coming home. Every morning he goes to the hospital to give her a bath, get her ready for the day and set up her breathing equipment, and at night he is there again to play with her and put her to bed.
These pictures were taken today in the hospital.
SaveCharlotte PostersDarren and I have created a small A4 poster for those who support Charlotte Wyatt. Darren asks that you use it to show your support--especially for Charlotte, but also for all other little babies who might be going through, and will have to go through the same things in the future. You can download this poster by clicking here, and then print it yourself. We may possibly make bumper stickers as well in the future. This is especially designed for supporters in the United Kingdom. Please feel free to make your own posters as well--or bumper sticker designs. Please let us know about them, and we may post them on the website as well.
Beyond DefeatWhat do the courts need before they acknowledge that our baby deserves a chance at life? We will keep fighting till they do; and never give up.
This video footage captures, poignantly, why this battle is so important to us. For us, it is hardly a theoretical debate on quality of life issues or philosophical subtleties. This is Charlotte. She wants to live. Please, give her a chance!
Turned DownI just got a call from Darren about five minutes ago. The Wyatt's were turned down again... Even when things are not easy--it is encouraging to know that He is in control, and shall never let us down.
They will go to Mr Justice Hedley again in October.
Court this Thursday and Video FootageOn Thursday Darren and Debbie will again go to court for their daughter. Charlotte has been growing stronger-- she is now on about 35 % oxygen, has long spells on the nasal cannula, and, finally this summer, has been able to go outside for the first time; but the NHS is fighting the same fight they fought last year.... that this baby who they said was blind, deaf, in constant pain, and with no hope for the future or quality of life should be let to die.
Update: 10/19/06 The video of Charlotte's first outing has been moved to YouTube, and is available in two parts.
And here is more recent footage of Darren with Charlotte in the hospital.
New picturesCharlotte is on 35-40% oxygen, but she is doing much better and goes on nasel prongs for some time every day. Here are some pictures taken in the last two weeks.
On nasel prongs:
Daddy and Charlotte
Here is a picture of Charlotte's first outing on 15 July. She is going out again tomorrow, and we are looking forward to putting pictures and video footage of that up here.
We are still waiting for the court date-- three more weeks? but our main hope now is for her to come home. Darren and Debbie are taking the final steps toward that, as their solicitor and independent experts now agree it is the best course of action. They've asked for another meeting with the hospital; which we hope will take place soon.
As Darren said in court, yes, we do belive in miracles. Charlotte has proved to be our miracle.
Update on CharlotteThe court date is continually being postponed, but little Charlotte is getting better by the day and we are looking forward to the time when she can come home. On Wednesday she was for 7 hours on nasel cannula, a huge step in the right direction.
We have a new home-made video of Charlotte in the hospital, narrated by Darren, here. Many thanks to Blogs for Terri for hosting this for us.
Charlotte Comes Outside!
Darren and Debbie are very happy with how she is doing, and last Saturday, although Charlotte had slipped out of her oxygen for about five minutes before Darren came by, she was still fine, and it was a great encouragement to them. He then played with her for a long time, blowing in her face, and watching her gurgle and smile at him. For about an hour she was on the nasal prong machine (which the hospital has started using again!), and then she was for about fifteen minutes with the oxygen mask.
Family NewsDarren and Debbie got some scans done last Monday, at the moment everything seems fine for Charlotte's younger brother or sister. They found out that the baby was due December 27, this means that the baby turned 13 weeks old this week. Below is the baby's first photograph. . .
Court DateYesterday afternoon, after advice from their Solicitor, the Wyatt's decided to move up the date for the appeals court. Instead of the hearing being this Thursday (on the 23'rd of June), it will be on the 27'th of July. Their solicitor made the change this morning.
More picturesWe've made an addition to our photo-albums; a site with nearly two hundred photos of Charlotte from the time when she was very small up to just a short while ago. You can visit it by following the link on the left or simply going to www.picturetrail.com/charlottewyatt.
Difficulties with the Hospital
Getting strongerThings seem to move slowly when you desperately want someone you love to get well and be able to come home, but we were very much encouraged this morning when, in answer to prayer, Charlotte went from 20 litres of oxygen down to 18. Her lungs have been getting stronger by the day, and she is gaining weight now as well.
Climbing even the tallest mountains, one step at a time.
new picturesWe've added a new page to the photo album, with photos taken last week of Charlotte with her brothers and mum & dad. You can see them by following the link at the right, or go directly here.
Onward . . .
They said she would never get better then; and had no quality of life. She was in 70 litres of oxygen at 100%, and they said she was in constant pain. Now she has made now she needs only 20 litres at 50%, and astonished the specialist by how much she grew since Feburary. The hospital agrees she is no longer in constant pain, and can track and reach out for toys. She is alert and responsive, and when her parents speak to her, tries to respond.
There was a meeting this morning with people from the hospital, and many things were discussed. They do not want her to go home till she has come down to 30% oxygen-- maybe six months, on their time-table-- but will consider letting her spend some time at a hospice, where there will be a more home-like atmosphere and more room for family.
They also spoke about allowing her to go on short outings outside, beyond the hospital doors. She has not yet had a chance to feel the fresh air on her face, and the day she can be taken out will be an important milestone.
Update 21 May 2004 -- The Portsmouth News talked about this meeting on the 21'st of May 2004. You can click here to see a scanned in copy of the newspaper, or read the article online.
Date for the Appeals CourtThe Wyatts finally have a date for the Appeals Court to hear them. June 23. Let's pray that God causes the judges on the Appeals Court to decide in favour of Charlotte.
The case of Leslie BurkeThis website is about Charlotte Wyatt and the things that can be done to help her; but there is another really important case in the courts now that our readers should also hear about, and that the Wyatt family is very much interested in. This is the case of Mr. Leslie Burke.
Leslie Burke was born in Lancaster, the oldest in a family of five. He was pretty normal when he was growing up--but had the hardest time balancing. This was the only indication that things were not quite right.
In 1983 he was working as a postman when his employer asked him to get a physical. He was diagnosed with Cerebellar Ataxia. Their is nothing that you can do about this disease, and he was told that he would not see his 40'th birthday--he did, four years ago. The only thing that you can do is to just get on with life.
He did this, and has got a lot done since the doctor's diagnosis 18 years ago. This condition gets worse and worse, and he is now in a wheelchair all the time. He was worried that when his condition has progressed,and he can no longer speak or eat by himself, the hospital would decide to remove his feeding tube, like they did with Tony Bland.
Last year, on July 30 2004 he won the court battle that said he must be given food since he wanted it to be continued. The hospital filed an appeal last September and the appeals court will hear them this coming Thursday (May 19) and come to a decision.
Cerebellar Ataxia does not affect one's mental ability--and he will mentally be completely there, it will only affect his physical abilities. He does not look forward at all to the prospect of slowly dying off because of starvation--even though the doctor's think it dignified.
Click here to go to his website, which has lots of more info on the case.
The Wyatt's have become very interested in his case, and both Darren and Debbie have spoken a lot on the phone with him today. Darren will go to London on Thursday to offer his support during the hearing, and to meet him for the first time. One of the Judges that will decide will be the same as that will decide in Charlotte's case.
Update 22 May 2004 -- There is not much to say, but many readers have expressed interest on what happened. Both sides presented their case, and the Judge will make a decision in six weeks time.
Our storyDarren wrote up this account of little Charlotte's birth and the months following--- the story in their own words of Charlotte and themselves:
It all happened on the 18th of October 2003. It was one of those days when I just wanted to get out of college, then suddenly my phone kept ringing. I was at that time in class doing silver service, I was not supposed to have had my phone on, I said to my friend what shall I do he said just answer it, so I did and it was Debbie. She said that the midwife had been round and told her that she needs to go to hospital to get checked over so I rushed straight back, up to that stage we was told that the pregnancy was all ok, when we got there they monitored Debbie over the weekend then, they told us that they needed to get the baby out and the chances of survival was very minimum, so then Debbie had to go to theatre and I was there also. This was very scary I could not stop shaking Debbie was looking at me and holding my hand saying is everything ok, I just said yes as I didn't want to worry her. At around 7.30 pm on the 21st of October 2003 Charlotte was born.
I could not believe my eyes she was so tiny, only weighing 458 grams what is less than a bag of sugar, but she was alive I heard her little cry I just cried then they had to take her away into the intensive care department . We didn't even think she would make it one night. I could not sleep, I had to rush back to get Daniel who is our oldest son he was around 10 months at that time. The next day me and Debbie went to see Charlotte together for the first time, it was scary we just both looked at each other and cried we was told that Charlottes survival was less than 50% but we just held each others hands and took a deep breath, and I prayed please God let our little girl live and I believe with my heart that is what God is doing. At that time there were loads of different noises, bleeping sounds and Charlotte had loads of wires attached to her all over, she was so tiny and fragile her skin was even fragile you could see all her veins. I thought we are not giving in and I believe maybe in her own way she thought the same. We could not even hold her at that time; all we could do was containment holding what is one hand on her head and one on her stomach they call it bonding. Because Charlotte was so premature and so tiny she had problems with her lungs, kidneys, and her heart as she was born at 26 weeks all the main organs was not developed properly yet, and also this was even more fatal as Charlotte was the growth of a 19 week old baby. The reason for the early delivery was placental abruption.
I could not understand why this was not picked up at Debbie's 12 week scan, but I suppose that is another story. Anyway we both took it day by day with Charlotte has we did not know what to expect the next day, you didn't even know if she would make it a week, but a week became two weeks then they told us that Charlotte had to go to Southampton to have a operation. Charlotte was so tiny and she was going to have two clips on her heart because she had a heart murmur, what is also called a duct , this was very scary as you didn't even know if she would get through the operation but we got to Southampton and then they told us that the operation could go either way it was 50 /50 so we was horrified to hear that, so we decided to go for a walk while the operation was taking place, I was so scared as our little Charlotte could go and I we was horrified but when we returned the doctor came in with good news the operation was a success I just started to cry as I was so happy. Anyway when she came back to Portsmouth hospital we just took it day by day again doing our containment holding and just praying please God let her live. Three months went past and then it came to the time where we could hold Charlotte. It was so nice to actually hold her for the first time we felt so happy.
In Charlottes first three months she had infections and she could have died at any time as she was so fragile, but she got over those I think she even got to the stage in the first three months to be ventilated but Charlotte is a fighter and she got over all that, so at that time Charlotte was three months and she could come out of her incubator she was on the cpap at the stage and this went on for a while then she was transferred next door what was special care what is the next stage from intensive care so Charlotte was in a step in the right direction she was even feeding from a bottle then as well what I believe was in January 2004, and then she was transferred to a cot, Charlotte was diagnosed as her sight and hearing was ok and her brain was ok as well at that stage, it was just her lungs, kidneys and heart we had to worry about. Anyway Charlotte seemed to be making progress, and she was growing, then one day she had a set back. This is the one before July, but she recovered really well. I was there at that time-- it was very scary but, our Charlotte is a fighter, and after that she made tremendous progress she was even on the nasal prongs. It was now at the stage where we was looking forward to her coming home, she got to the stage in June 2004 where she was in 0.4 on the nasal prongs. We were told at that time she would be home soon if she carries on improving, then the hospital moved her from the baby unit to the children's ward, and that is when all this big set back happened.
I noticed over days her oxygen crept up, and up, and then I was told one day that she had a infection what was a blood infection, and then they had to reventilate Charlotte. Up to the stage where she was transferred she was ready to come home and she was in a lot less oxygen what she is in now, we have been told by the hospital if Charlotte gets to 30% oxygen she can come home, but she was in less oxygen than 30% when she was transferred to the children's ward so why didn't they let her go home then, as she would not have caught the blood infection what caused her set back?
Anyway I get a call saying please get to the hospital as soon as possible as Charlotte has to go on a ventilator due to a lung collapse. Then she had to be transferred to Southampton yet again, Charlotte was there for around five days and we was told that the infection had got into the brain what had caused her brain activity to be slower than when she was born, then when we got back to Portsmouth with her we was told they would not reventilate her again as it wouldn't be in her best interests. We was told by the doctors that she was basically brain dead, in pain and had no quality of life-- could not see, hear, and goes on and on, so we decided to take it to the high court.
Since September we have noticed Charlotte getting better and now she reaches out for things, she smiles she knows who her parents are her oxygen as come down and there great signs that she can see, hear and does have a quality of life. That is why we will battle on, as we believe the hospital maybe have given up on her but we have not. That is our story up to now.
Darren with Charlotte when she was still tiny
Press ReleaseBelow is a press release that the Wyatt's released yesterday--they released it with several new pictures that are already available at her photo album (the press release was written by a news agency, and not by the Wyatt's. It has a few known error's in it):
The parents of tragic baby Charlotte Wyatt today released new pictures of their daughter - which they say prove her health is improving.So far Mirror.co.uk is the only newspaper that has written a new article about her with it.
Police to investigate the hospitalDarren called the police this morning, asking them to investigate the hospital on charges of perjury. Last September they said under oath that Charlotte could not see -- and that she would be blind for the rest of her life. This is evidently ridiculous -- as they had said she could see before her set back in July, and now they again agree with Debbie and Darren; they say that she can see.
The doctor's also said last September that she would never be able to hear, never be able to communicate, never be able to get better--all these things have been proven wrong. He has asked them before--and nothing came of it.
It was these lies that caused Charlotte's DNR order. Let's pray for more success this time. Pray that justice will be done.
Two steps forward, one step back
Charlotte is continuing to get stronger, but today there was another set-back from the hospital. Though she spends most of the time in her oxygen box, she had been slowly introduced to nasel cannula for the past few weeks; going up to two hours a day, split up into two sessions.
Darren and Debbie loved this new advancement-- she was more alert when she was on them, and certainly easier to hold and stimulate. But today they found out the nasal prong machine had been removed, and on inquiring, that the hospital had decided to stop giving her time on it. No reason was given, simply "it hadn't been a success".
But why not a success? She did so well on them!
They may mean well, but right now it is difficult to be anything like certain.
If the hospital believes your baby does not deserve to live, will that affect their decision making?
When will there be any accountablity?
Best interestsIf you want to read how the court came to the conclusion that little Charlotte's life was not worth saving, you can find the decision from last autumn here.
If you want to read of how they sidestepped the evidence of her drastic improvement over the winter, you can read the April decision here.
Your helpThe NHS and the courts have failed Charlotte Wyatt, but we will continue to fight for her life.
We've set up a medical fund to help pay for independent re-assessment, for her care, and for medical equipment so that she can be brought home.
Please consider helping out however much you can. Little Charlotte depends on us now, and we must not let her down.
Update: Below is another button we've made, if you'd like to use it on your website or blog to help in the fundraising effort.
If you've put this on your site already, you may need to update it, since the original encrypted code was not working.
Update 2: Some problems have also been reported with the button on this site, and we are trying to determine their cause. In the meantime, if it does not work for you, you can still make a donation via the main paypal page. Our account is firstname.lastname@example.org .
The new fightSometime in mid May Charlotte's Mum and Dad will go to the Appeals court, asking them to rescind the DNR order. If they fail there, they will try the European court. At this point we don't have much hope in a favourable ruling, but we will do all we can.
Whether the courts rule in favour or not, the hospital has lost all the trust they had. After exploring different options, we've decided the best thing we can do is to bring little Charlotte home. Our plan of action now is to bring her home, and have her reassessed by a pro-life Christian doctor.
She is certainly a high tech baby, and the equipment necessary to take care of her at home will cost a great deal of money-- money the Wyatts do not have. We'll be asking you to do what you can to help.
Let's show the world that we mean what we say about the value of life and donate generously to help them. If you know others who might also be interested in helping, urge them to give as well. This is important--show that you really care.
Charlotte Wyatt -- a longer biography
At birth she weighed only 458 grams, and was barely five inches long. She was immediately put in an incubator, and it was three months time before Darren and Debbie were able to hold her.
But Charlotte improved excellently, and by July of 2004 she was eating from a spoon, and required hardly any oxygen. At this time, she could see and hear without any problem.
St. Mary's hospital then decided that it was time to move Charlotte out of the intensive care unit, and into the children's ward. Almost immediately, she got a blood infection, and started needing more and more oxygen. Then the day came when her parents were rung up and told that Charlotte's lungs had collapsed, and she had been put on a ventilator.
Thrice Charlotte was put on a ventilator, leaving her in September needing an oxygen level of 100%. The doctors at Portsmouth then decided that she would never recover, she would be always blnd and deaf, in constant pain, and unable to communicate for the rest of her life. They urged Mr. Justice Hedley to allow them not to care for her if she would need to be ventilated again. Her parents felt she was a fighter and should be given every chance, and they pleaded for her right to life, but the medical establishment was all on the other side. The Judge decided in favour of the hospital.
After the Judge decided that she did not have to receive aggressive care, most Doctors thought that Charlotte would die within few months-- during the winter, from another infection-- but she did not die, and instead prospered. Slowly, slowly she started getting better. She started being able to respond to her parents again, to laugh, to cry, to smile, and now she can see and hear. She also has started to be able to take food by mouth again, when they place small amounts on her lower lip. Her lungs have grown stronger, and now she needs only 45%, instead of the 100% she had needed last autumn.
In the middle of March, her parents went again to the Judge, and asked him to rescind his order, telling him that their daughter was no longer in constant pain, and was no longer unable to respond. The Judge "was pleased" with Charlotte's improvements, but listened to the hospital, which said that they were not good enough to warrant resuscitation if she got sick again. He did however say that he would hear them again after Easter.
On 21 April, the Judge again decided against removing the Do Not Resucitate (DNR) order from Charlotte, a decision her parents will appeal to the Appeals Court, and, if necessary, the European Court.
Many times Charlotte's parents have asked for her medical records, and their attorney has also, but so far to no avail. The hospital, defensive after being shown wrong in so much of what they said, is unwilling to give any information that might show how they have failed.
But Charlotte is still fighting for life, though her case in the English Judiciary does not look hopeful.
. . . .
This post will be updated frequently
Charlotte Wyatt BannersA few people have asked us for banners that they can put on their blogs and websites, to show support for Charlotte. Below are a few that we have made.
This second one is bigger, and does not fit in body area of this blog. You can preview it here
C'è Walter has also made a banner -- the code for this can be accessed here. If none of these work for you, feel free to make one yourself and we'll link to it on this post.
Update to photo albumI've updated the photo album to include another page of recent photos and one from when she was tiny. You can see them here.
Something you can doAnother request from Charlotte's parents-- would anyone who has been in a similar situation be able to write us about their case? He will give the letters to the judge for the next hearing. We need to prove the doctor's definition of 'hopeless' 'terminal' and 'not worth saving' wrong.
Right now we are also researching private hospitals that might be willing to take Charlotte and would value her life, for it would be good if she could leave the place she is in now. She is not receiving as much therapy as her parents would like, and the hospital has yet to release her full records to them. And it's hard to trust someone who thinks your baby would be better off dead.
Harvey Marcovitch and Mark Mullins on CharlotteThe BBC's Radio 4 has a very interesting six minute discussion between Harvey Marcovitch, of the Royal College of Paediatricians, and Mark Mullins from Lawyers Christian Fellowship. You can listen to it here. Although it is a bit old (from October), you would never be able to guess that from listening to it.
Are all the doors shut?Darren & Debbie were on BBC earlier today, discussing yesterday's court ruling and what the future looks like. The video clip is here, and includes a few shots of Charlotte and her mother in the hospital. Debbie discusses what kind of response she gets from her baby when she holds her: "She smiles at you, she makes noises, she makes eye contact."
The recording ends with a plea I should like to repeat here. If there is any hospital out there who shares our views and is willing to help and to take Charlotte, please contact us, because she needs a place where she will be truly cared for and valued.
More video's of Charlotte in the hospital (from the BBC):
March video (.ram format) --with background on the case and lots of nice shots.
Baby "should be allowed to die" (.ram format)-- from yesterday, with coverage of the aftermath of the ruling as well as recent video from the hospital.
And a .ram format of today's interview is here
(Videos © 2005 by the British Broadcasting Corporation
Clips of Charlotte at the hospital are © 2005 by Darren and Debbie Wyatt)
European CourtBesides the court of Appeals, the Wyatts will also appeal the decision, if possible, to the European Court of Appeals. We are working to find out what action you can take to help her. Prayer, or course, is always essential.
Charlotte's Mum is expecting!
The Wyatt's new child will, of course, always be treasured by them -- but it will never replace Charlotte -- so don't even start thinking so. As Darren is often quoted as saying "you can't just throw [her] away like a bad egg and say you will have a different one."
The Court of AppealsCharlotte's Mum & Dad will appeal this morning's decision. Let us pray that the Court of Appeals will decide in favour of Charlotte's life.
Defeat in the courtsIt wasn't enough. Justice Hedley was glad that little Charlotte could see, hear, respond and smile, but believed his former ruling should continue to hold--- no resuscitation. This on hearing from the majority medical opinion--- the same opinion that last autumn held that she was permanently blind, deaf,and unresponsive, and would never survive the winter--- that she was 'terminally ill' and therefore any aggressive treatment would be pointless.
Who to believe? In this case it seems obvious. You have a little girl fighting for her life, and she has proven to the world her life is not dead-ended. You have her parents who want to fight with her till the end, till all hope is gone. And the doctors, who consider it in her best interest to die. Note that these are the same who judged for David Glass that he had no hope and his "best interests" lay in "allowing" him to die.
There is a caveat in the judge's ruling-- he notes that this new decision is not open-ended and is subject to review. What evidence will he need, I wonder, to decide in her favour?
But Charlotte hasn't given up, and we won't either.
A life to cherish
It is chilling to read their words in last year's trial. Her quality of life was judged "terrible and permanent" and she was written down as blind and deaf, with no feeling other than pain. The doctors said she had no hope for a future, and would never live beyond infancy. The sooner the end came, the better, for she was best off dead.
Her parents disagreed. They knew their little girl like no one else could, and in the words of Darren, her father: "you can't just throw [her] away like a bad egg and say you will have a different egg." And in spite of the decision against her by the judge, they kept hoping against hope, and during the winter--- when all expected she would die from a lung infection--- they watched her grow and become stronger, and worked hard to amass medical evidence that she could see, and hear, and respond.
Little Charlotte will never be a normal child. She will always be struggling with some difficulty or other-- thank God she is a fighter. But that is no reason why her life is not less worth living then yours or mine, or that of the doctors who set themselves up to determine whether she should live or die.
Hers is not a life to be thrown away, but one to cherish.
Baroness Chapman and Charlotte Wyatt
My parents were told that I would be blind, deaf, unable to communicate and have no noticeable mental function. Doctors and practitioners do get it wrong. We need to ensure that people have the opportunity to prove the medics wrong. Although protected from the Bill as a child, there would have been two or three occasions after childhood where, from a purely medical perspective, treatment could have been withdrawn from me. The Bill ignores the fact that people have a basic right to life; that issue cannot and must not be ignored.Unlike the doctors had prophesied, she was able to see, and to hear, and communicate, she has proven without a doubt that she has mental function, and has been promoted to the position of Baroness of Leeds.
Charlotte's parents have also been told that their daughter would not be able to see, or to hear or communicate. She has already started to prove them wrong. Even the doctors who want her to die admit that she is responding to sound, and to light. She should be allowed to prove herself the rest of the way. The Baroness has survived and has done well in life. Charlotte can do even better--if we give her the chance.
Charlotte Wyatt--a short biographyCharlotte Paige Wyatt was born prematurely at St. Mary's hospital on the 21st of October 2003. She weighed 458 grams (about a pound) and was barely five inches long. Three times in her short life she had to be re-ventilated--the last time being July.
After that the hospital said that because she was born prematurely (at 26 weeks), and because she was only the size of a 19 week old baby, she had no chance to pull through. They decided that if her lungs would collapse due to an infection, they would not re-ventilate her, but stand by and watch her die.
Her parents refused to give up on their daughter and the hospital brought it to court. Last autumn, in a September ruling, the Judge agreed with the doctors. They had testified that her quality of life was "terrible", that she could not see or hear, and that she was condemned to live forever in a plastic box, in constant pain, with oxygen being shot at her all the time. There was no hope for her.
But her parents believed she was a fighter, and would not give up on their baby. Without the chance of resuscitation, everyone believed she would die over the winter from an infection-- but she did not; instead she grew better.
In mid March they went back to the judge with new information, information to prove that she had improved, unlike what the doctors thought, and that she would react to sound, and light.--that she could see and hear. Her lungs had also improved greatly, to the point where she needed only 45% rather than 100% oxygen, and she had gained weight. The NHS doctors admitted that she had improved a great deal--but they were not willing to make a new decision. They testified that although now she could hear and see, her brain had stopped growing. The judge did not rescind his order allowing Charlotte to die, but he did tell her parents to collect lots of evidence. This evidence they were to bring to him at a hearing after Easter, when he would decide if she should be allowed to live or not.
This coming Thursday, on 21 April, Mr. Justice Hedley will look at all the evidence her parents have collected to try and prove that her life is worthwhile. He will then make a decision on whether to rescind his previous order, letting Charlotte live, or if he will let the doctors allow her to die.
A life worth livingWelcome to the website for Charlotte Wyatt; the child who, defying her doctor's predictions and last autumn's court ruling, is now proving wrong those who said of her that she would never see, hear, or experience joy, and that it was in her best interests to let her die.
We will be updating the blog regularly with information on the case, and aim to be a clearinghouse of information and provide a central point for those fighting for her life.
"You see, the hospital gave up on her, we didn't. We carried on
fighting for justice and she has proved the hospital wrong by showing
all the things what they said she can't do--and is doing them. We will
continue to fight for her all the way as we believe that under any
circumstances you don't judge on an innocent childs life ."
-Darren Wyatt (Charlotte's Dad)
Charlotte in the Blogosphere
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