Age: 17
Location: Regina
Condition: Hole in his heart

If you were ever to meet Charlie you would never guess that he has undergone major open-heart surgery. When the energetic, happy-go-lucky Regina boy is not in school or spending time with family and friends, you will probably find him playing guitar, football, hockey, basketball or golf.

Charlie was born with a heart defect and spent nine years of his young life making regular visits to see a pediatric cardiologist, which meant driving to Saskatoon for appointments. While his heart defect was detected at birth, specialists originally believed that the hole might close on its own over time. In 2014, doctors decided that his over worked heart couldn’t wait any longer and Charlie made his way to Vancouver for the big procedure.

The travel to a new city was an expensive venture for the family. Both Charlie and his sister Georgia had to be taken out of school. While Charlie and his mom flew to Vancouver, his dad Corywn and Georgia drove to meet them.

Charlie’s mom Launa said having a children’s hospital in Saskatoon at the time would have made things a lot less stressful.

“It would have been way easier to stay in the province and not have the costs of travel. We would have had more family support, but it was what we had to do to get our boy healthy and well,” said Launa.

The biggest worry for Launa was the chance of her son getting a post-surgery infection.

“If he had an infection, we would be so far from his doctors in Vancouver. That was the biggest worry for us, coming home only to have something go wrong.”

The good news was there were no complications after Charlie’s surgery. In August 2018 he had grown to be healthy enough to join other young cardiology kids to walk with a PGA professional golfer at the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open at the Wascana Country Club in Regina.

“The opportunity to meet a professional golfer was an experience he will not forget,” said Launa. “He had a great time. He is a junior member at the Wascana Country Club in Regina. He was quite excited about it.”

In spite of these unique opportunities made possible by his medical condition, Launa said it was a very trying time for her family. Despite this, she is confident her son’s positive spirit is what carried the family through a very stressful time for all.

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