Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy
THE LIFE OF Charlie Dial
Although she is only 16 months old, you’ve probably seen or heard of sweet Charlie Dial because of her incredible story to beat the odds that were stacked against her from the day she was born. She is the daughter of Austin & Taylor Dial, granddaughter of Dale & Sara Dial and Danny & Shannon Hemby.
In September of 2017, Austin & Taylor anxiously awaited Charlie’s arrival after a totally problem free pregnancy. Upon arrival though, Charlie was diagnosed with moderate Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy after enduring complications at birth. She was without oxygen & blood to her brain for 10 minutes before they were able to resuscitate her. Charlie was not expected to live through the night but was still life flighted to Houston in hopes of giving her the best treatment and chance at life possible. She underwent treatment & fought for a month at Memorial Hermann’s NICU & PICU until she was finally able to come home to be with her family.
Since her traumatic entry into this world, she has been diagnosed with hip dysplasia, laryngomalacia, epilepsy & cerebral palsy, meaning she will have a lifetime of medical dependency. In order to fight the many battles she’s been given, she takes daily medication, has physical, occupational & speech therapy multiple times a week and travels to and from Houston frequently for testing and checkups.
Although it seems her toughest battle has been won, she still has a lifetime of battles to endure that will be physically, emotionally & financially straining. Please join us at her benefit on March 30, 2019 at the Neches River Wheelhouse.
COH: "How'd you hear about the Circle of Hope?"
Taylor (mother): "I’ve known about the COH for a long time. I’ve known about it since they did a benefit for David Bares and, obviously once we had Charlie, it just sort of resurfaced again because of everything. Our friend, Kayla Ludwig, put us in touch and facilitated everything.
It was super overwhelming and I was very anxious.
Austin: "Yea, I was pretty anxious too."
Taylor: "I had no idea what to expect because I hadn’t been to a benefit in so long, and at David’s, I was there for a split second. A lot has changed since then, so we thought “Cool, we’re gonna have a link sale and raise some money!” and I just did not have a clue.
COH: "What was life like before you got started with the COH?"
We were in the hospital for an entire month after she was born-29 days. And all of her doctors are in Houston– her neurologist, epileptologist, orthopedic surgeon, her ENT. The only doctor she sees that is in Beaumont is her pediatrician. So there was a time when we were going to Houston weekly for the first 5-6 months she was alive. And that’s not cheap- from gas to and from, eating while we’re there, not to mention that parking is at the absolute cheapest $15 per location. Which really adds up over and over and over again each week we had to go. It might not seem like much but altogether, plus missing work, her hip surgery which we ended paying for almost completely out of pocket. Wasn’t covered at all. But she had to have it otherwise she’d never have a chance at walking. She had such a low chance of walking already. People don’t realize when the birth happened- that was traumatic- but there were a good 5-6 months where we were finding out about everything else. Her epilepsy didn’t even start until she was almost 4 months old. She was constantly having regular check ups once and sometimes twice a week on her hips, her MRI, EEGs, brains scans, etc. Her Laryngomalacia, because if left unchecked or untreated, it would’ve had an effect on her breathing, her vocal chords and everything like that.
Taylor: yea, and because she was intubated, that can cause a cyst to form on her vocal cords which would affect her breathing and speech. Now her visits are a little less frequent now, about once every three weeks.
Austin: Her neurology appoints are now every 3-4 months. But we were told she’d probably be seeing her doctor about her hips until she’s 18 years old.
Taylor: And that’s just her doctor visits. That doesn’t include any medical equipment she needs. Like right now we’ve been approached about a stander for her to help her work on her muscles. Right now we get to use lender equipment, but eventually we’ll have to purchase everything.
Austin: Another thing, and it sound ridiculous, but a normal baby, you can put them on the ground and let them run around. She’s 18 months old now and everywhere–our house, both grandparents houses, our office– everywhere we go, we have more than one high chair for her to sit in. It’s the only place she likes to sit and we can put braces around her and she’s able to actually sit up and entertain herself playing without us having to hold her up.
COH: "How did they help you?"
Benjie: "Well I do my chemo treatments here, but we have to travel to Houston often for doctor visits, CAT scans and other things like that. It helps us pay for those frequent trips, but other than that, it helps us make ends meet because my days of working are done. I’ve had a couple of surgeries, but after one of the procedures... going back to work was not an option anymore."
They’re a great bunch of people and they’re out there doing some amazing stuff.
COH: "What was it like to work with the Circle of Hope?"
Benjie: "They’re all good people. Emmett, Joel, Kirk, Jimmy and the ladies that help out– they’re doing a great thing. My friends were actually the ones who put my name in with them, but I was uncomfortable with it. But then one of my friends told me to shut up and get over it!"
COH: "What do you want people to know about the circle of hope?"
Benjie: "That they are religiously based and what they’re doing is such a good thing. I told Emmett the other day that I really appreciate what they’re doing, and he said “You're welcome, but just so you know... that’s the only time you get to say that!" And that's because they really don’t expect any accolades or anything special back from the people they’re trying to help."