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.


”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

Published by McKenna_Thrush

You may be wondering what makes our relationship so unique... Cole has Asperger's, and I (McKenna) have Cerebral Palsy. The challenges of life, coupled with our disabilities can make for a pretty interesting day-to-day life. In fact our life sometimes seems like anything but day-to-day. ​I suppose the same can be said for our relationship from the beginning. We started dating just over 2 years ago and decided that we wanted to have a courtship than your typical dating relationship. The purpose of showing people our lives, is to show people that disability doesn't need to stop you from reaching your goals. You can still go to college, live independently, get married, and even have a family regardless of the cards you are dealt. We may not be your typical couple. we may not live "normal lives" but that doesn't stop us from living the best life we can!

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