Charles “Charlie” Spencer was born to James and Rachel Spencer 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. (http://www.sanfordhealth.org/sioux-falls/services/nicu
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 by 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.
We will remain here at Sanford until Charlie is infection free, seizure free, eating on his own and healthy. We are in for the long haul but we know our little fighter will get through this by the grace of God and the power of prayer.