A Very Merry Christmas For Charlotte Wyatt And Her Family
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
December 28, 2005
PORTSMOUTH, ENGLAND--Two-year-old Charlotte Wyatt spent part of Christmas Day with her parents and brothers -- without hospital staff -- at their home.
"It's the best Christmas present Charlotte and the whole family could have wanted," her father, Darren Wyatt, told the BBC.
Charlotte's mom, Debbie, said her daughter spent time looking at the lights on the Christmas tree, opening her presents and playing with her toys.
"She was looking around the room and taking it all in. She seemed happy and she was really relaxed."
It's a scene few would have envisioned just a week earlier.
The couple had brought Charlotte home for a supervised two-hour visit on December 6, but were told by staff at St. Mary's Hospital on December 14 that they would not be able to bring her home for Christmas.
But hospital personnel apparently changed their minds when Charlotte's parents received extra training on how to deal with their daughter's oxygen supply.
From the time Charlotte was born three months premature on October 21, 2003, doctors at the hospital insisted that she had serious heart and lung problems, was deaf and blind, made no movement on her own and felt no sensations except constant pain. They predicted in October 2004 that she would develop a lung infection during that winter and would stop breathing. At the time, the High Court agreed with the hospital that Charlotte's quality of life was "intolerable" and that it would be in her best interest to leave her to die if her breathing stopped.
Charlotte's parents resolved to fight to help their daughter stay alive. She has survived more than 14 months since that ruling, and has thrived to the point that two months ago the court partially reversed its earlier order.
The family is now on a waiting list for a larger residence so they can bring Charlotte home to stay.
"Hopefully next year we should have her home for good," her mother said.
[Editor's note: The family's website includes family Christmas pictures.]
"Charlotte in Christmas visit home" (BBC News)
Charlotte Wyatt Website