Patient Spotlight: Charlotte Green
Just after Christmas 2021, Charlotte Green, then just a few weeks shy of her second birthday, got sick with what seemed like a cold. It marked the beginning of a nightmarish journey that progressed from respiratory distress to septic shock from the powerful respiratory infections that were overwhelming her system. In multisystem organ failure, she spent five months on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, a machine that took over the work of her heart and lungs. As a result of the sepsis, Charlotte also lost all four limbs.
In July 2022, Charlotte was stable enough to transfer to MWPH to focus on making lung and respiratory progress in addition to intensive physical, occupational, and speech therapy. With the help of MWPH’s specialized pediatric respiratory therapy team, Charlotte began to wean off ventilator support.
Her time as an inpatient at MWPH, remembered by her mom Kim, “was the first time she got to be around other people, see other kids, and get out of bed more often. All we want is for her to just be a kid – and MWPH gave her that chance.”
Charlotte quickly made progress at MWPH. She had already received upper-limb prosthetics before coming to MWPH, and she got her first lower-limb prosthetics while at MWPH. When Charlotte had improved to the point that she only needed the ventilator at night and oxygen during the day, enabling her to be more mobile, she was ready to go home. Kim and Dixon, Charlotte’s dad, finally were able to take her home in October 2022.
After discharge, Charlotte continued physical, occupational and speech therapy three times a week at MWPH. With the team’s help, she worked on activities of daily living, such as using a fork, drawing, and painting. Today, she is walking on her prosthetics and gaining more and more independence. She is improving her skill in getting up and down from a chair or the floor.
“The progress she has made in just one year because of her therapists is absolutely incredible. MWPH is such a special place of healing,” Kim said.
Charlotte will turn 4 in January, and she is a busy preschooler like any other. She loves to play pretend kitchen, playing with Play-Doh, and challenging her parents to games of hide and seek. She also loves to go to the park, do arts and crafts, and play musical instruments.
For Dixon and Kim, seeing Charlotte return to living a full and active life is a dream come true. “We were worried about her surviving for such a long time, and now we are fortunate to be worrying about typical toddler things like potty training and finishing her breakfast” Kim said. “It’s such an incredible blessing.”
“The University of Maryland saved her life, but MWPH is where Charlotte learned to live her life. They’re making that miracle happen for so many families, helping kids thrive every day.”
The Green family is looking forward to the future with joy, having welcomed a baby girl to the family in June. “And our extended family – everyone at MWPH – has a standing invitation to Thanksgiving,” Dixon said