Help Baby Charlotte Get Enough Banked Miracle Milk™!

After suffering a severe traumatic brain injury in December that was originally deemed fatal, Charlotte Rose continues to defy all odds!  Not only is she alive but she is thriving, due in part to her daily infusions of mothers milk.   Read: 

Charlotte was the very first originally formula-fed child to receive banked breastmilk at St. Mary’s Hospital in Florida.   Since her “awakening” she has received pasteurized banked breastmilk which we purchase from the Mothers’ Milk Bank of Austin. Charlotte is a living testament of the tremendous nutritional and healing powers of breastmilk. As you may already know, pasteurized banked breastmilk is commonly used in neonatal units all over the country but basically unheard of in a Pediatric ICU.  Until Charlotte- that is!

Charlotte Rose soon after her injury
Charlotte Rose after her injury and surgery

Since her homecoming on February 15th, Charlotte has made tremendous strides!  She is holding her head up now and almost sitting up on her own.  Her strength and will to play and perform, even the simplest tasks, is so inspiring.   Physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy have been scheduled with great consideration taken, to ensure her much needed rest.  Recently, I spent a weekend with Charlotte. I tell you there is nothing more life- affirming than being in the presence of this special child. I would like to share the most poignant moment.

Charlotte's remarkable recovery defies all odds--she is smiling!
Charlotte’s amazing recovery defies all odds–she is smiling!

It wasn’t when she squealed at Elmo or fed herself for the first time or fell asleep in my arms. It was when I carried her outside into the yard. I fully expected her to shield her face from the bright sun by burying her head in my shoulder.  But instead, Charlotte intuitively stretched upward and boldly lifted her face to the sun. She closed her eyes and just let the warm rays stream across her face.  She was very still and peaceful as the beams of light kissed her ivory skin.  I was awestruck!   It was so surreal like she knew exactly what she was doing.

Many people ask me, “What’s the extent of Charlotte’s brain damage? Her deficits? The long-term predictions? I do not dare to know the answers to those questions.  Oh sure, I can spew the medical lingo as well as anyone.  I can profess to know about the complexities of the brain and what’s to be expected. Normally, I am pretty smart and savvy -don’t pull any punches. I am a “shoot from the hip”, reality-based type of person when it comes to medical issues.  But, I confess to you now that I am none of those things when it comes to this child. Charlotte Rose cleaned my clock, flipped my lid and rocked my world!  She simply tossed aside any logic or intelligence I thought I had and replaced in with sheer faith in God and faith in breastmilk!

Here’s where we need your help:  In June, Charlotte will be undergoing a very delicate surgery, cranial reconstruction.  The neurosurgeon will close her skull with the pieces of bone he removed in December. When she was injured, the right side of her skull was opened as a life- saving measure to allow her brain adequate room for swelling.  Because of that, great care must be taken and she has to wear a heavy protective helmet.   Charlotte is only able to eat and drink small amounts, so the banked breastmilk remains the staple of her diet via her gastric tube, which was surgically inserted through her abdomen into her stomach.   Charlotte needs a total of 21 oz of banked breastmilk per day. We are doubly blessed that as a bonus, breastmilk naturally contains the mega doses of Omega 3’s which are vitally important for her brain growth and development.   Can you help us give her the banked breastmilk she needs?  Any donation, $5, $10 or more–makes a huge difference to Charlotte!!

Charlotte playing!  Breastmilk contains naturally occurring and easily absorbed omega-3s, one of the building blocks of the brain.
Charlotte playing! Breastmilk contains naturally occurring, easily absorbed omega-3s, a key building block of the brain.

The practitioners involved with Charlotte’s care have confessed at being shocked by her mere survival let alone, her rapid pace of progress. They now admit and accept that this amazing feat is heavily due to the miracle of breastmilk.  Her doctors profess that this regime is critical to her recovery. Unfortunately, the insurance company refuses to pay for the milk . . . so Charlotte’s hope to continue thriving–to continue improving–is only possible because of the many generous contributions to her milk fund. Our hope is to continue to provide this miracle milk™ through her upcoming surgery & recovery.

Unfortunately, we are almost out of “milk” money and she has about 10 weeks until her surgery. We have exhausted all of our own sources so we are reaching out to you.  I imagine you may be thinking “Why not use regular donor milk from one of the milk sharing networks like Human Milk for Human Babies?” The reason is that the hospital and surgeons are adamant that we use only pasteurized banked milk from a bank affiliated with the Human Milk Banking Association of North America until after her recovery from surgery.

If you can help us meet our goal by contributing to the Best for Babes Miracle Milk(TM) Fund for Charlotte- it would be greatly appreciated and surely blessed.

Only $5 buys her an ounce of the Best BOOST she can get to prepare for surgery!

Please donate now at: continue to keep this precious child in your thoughts and prayers.

Thank you,

Maria Parlapiano, RN IBCLC aka GrAuntie Maria

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