Guest Story | Charlie Wagner Update

Charlie with Bonnie and Mauda in 2013 (age 3)

This past week, Julie Davis and her son, Charlie Wagner, checked into Kiwanis Family House for a one-night’s stay.  We last saw Charlie in 2013 as a happy three-year-old boy.  We are pleased to share an update with all of you.

In December 2009, Julie went in for a routine ultrasound appointment at 29 weeks pregnant when it was detected that her water had broken.  Concerned for her health as well as her baby’s, her doctor flew her from Redding to Sacramento to give birth to her premature son at UC Davis Medical Center.  Hours later when Charlie was born, he was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a buildup of cerebrospinal fluid inside the brain.  Charlie was hospitalized for the first 85 days of his life, during which time Julie was a guest of the Kiwanis Family House.

Things weren’t easy once Charlie returned to his Alturas, California home.  There were numerous emergencies, surgeries, and hospitalizations.  He began experiencing seizures around his first birthday and this severely affected his development.  By the time he was three, his development had stabilized and Julie said this about her son.  “His brain is growing by leaps and bounds and as long as the Kiwanis Family House can be our home away from home, I can continue to bring Charlie to Sacramento for the help he needs to reach his full potential.”

Charlie recently celebrated his eighth birthday.  He has been referred to Shriner’s Hospital for Children for a “gait assessment” and potential corrective surgeries on his left leg.  So it looks like mother and son will once again be making periodic visits to Sacramento, now from their current home in Fresno.

Before checking out, Julie wrote us a brief note.  “Dear Family:  We are glad we got to visit.  It was great catching up and seeing our friends and family we love so much.  Thank you all so much for what you do for families every day.  We love you.”

Charlie on his latest visit to KFH, again sitting with Bonnie at the front desk
Charlie with his mom Julie and Executive Director Dan Germain
Charlie today (age 8)