STORIES FROM THE NICU: CHARISSE

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written by: Charisse 

​My name is Charisse Hogan, I’m 24 years old and I have Cerebral Palsy, Low Tone plus Ataxia

This is my NICU story. Of course I can’t remember my own birth or my stay in the NICU so this is all based on what I have been told over the years.

My mom had a full and healthy pregnancy with me, no signs anything was wrong, and everyone expected everything to go as it did when my 3 big brothers were born. When my mom began having labor contractions she went to the doctor, he gave my parents a choice of going back home to relax until she was further along or go to the hospital. My mom chose to check into the hospital. If my mom chose to stay home I would have been delivered as a stillborn.

When my parents arrived at the hospital a nurse decided to check on my mom and little unborn me. The nurse discovered something terrifying. My tiny heartbeat dropped quickly..barely beating. The umbilical cord had a knot and was also tightly around my neck. I entered this world by an emergency c-section. My mom was completely out during the C-section. My dad got dress to enter the room but the doctor refused to let him in the room. Every single second was extremely important. Second by second my little brain was being damaged. My dad watched through a window; he told me I was silent, blue, and my little body was completely limp. Before any of my family could touch or even come near me I was rushed to the NICU. I was without any oxygen for 7 whole minutes, I suffered a permanent brain injury (which led to the diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy, Low Tone, and Ataxia 2 years later). The hospital told my family that they did everything they could and I would not likely survive my first 24 hours. My family had been given the awful thought of loosing a child. 

My mom’s friend showed up at the hospital but the doctors told her they couldn’t give her any info, right away she starting a prayer chain at her church. Then a miracle happened, God gave me strength to survive those 24 hours. My birth was labeled as a miracle and the hospital nicknamed me Wonder Woman. Throughout all of this my mom said God gave her peace and she knew I was going to be ok.
I stayed in the NICU for 4 days, after that I stayed home on oxygen for 2 weeks.

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”Today Charisse is a major advocate for spreading CP awareness and even has a YouTube channel and Facebook page! The Cerebral Palsy is so lucky to have her gift of advocacy, encouragement and joy!” -McKenna

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