We area 501(c)3 Non-Profit in the state of Minnesota. All donations will directly support our missions project! See our Missions Projects page to learn more!
While part of our goal is to raise money for causes that directly benefits families like ours, our foundation also aims to be a resource. We hope this website has a little something for everyone. Want direct info to relevant topics, links to helpful organizations, or good reads? Our resources page has you covered. Find blogs helpful? We have that, too. Want to learn about our family, and how we tackle this life? You're in the right place. But if you feel the need to take action and help, donating to our foundation will be a great way to support our mission.
There is much to see here, so take your time! And drop us a line if it's on your heart to do so! We appreciate you being here.
Through our unique experiences, our mission is to be a resource, life boat, and never-ending place of encouragement to other persons who have found themselves challenged with raising a child with a severe neurological disability.
Kourage: Strength in the face of grief or pain.
By definition courage means "strength in the face of grief or pain." Karter's life and our story is the epitome of this word, as we have already overcome so many challenges. His journey is just beginning, and we hope to use this page to inform, educate, connect, and support people on all aspects of what life is like living with his disability.
While we’ve learned a great deal through our experiences, we are not licensed medical doctors or attorneys. Although we have a PhD in being parents to a child with a severe brain injury, nothing on this site should take the place of your own medical team’s advice. Likewise, if you have specific questions about disability law, contact an attorney.
We are also only 4 years into this journey. We certainly have a LOT to learn and a ways to go! By no means do we “know it all.” Everyday teaches us something new. We plan to update, edit, and add to our website along the way. We HAVE, however, learned a TON that we wish we would’ve known from the start. If we can help other parents learn from our mistakes and experiences, then we have served our purpose.
Our site exists simply as a platform for quick resources, connection, and support. Please keep that in mind!
Karter was born on 6/26/16 via emergency C section after his mother, Tiffany, experienced a spontaneous fetal maternal hemorrhage. Other than decreased fetal movement that day, there were no signs or symptoms that he was in distress. As a result of this rare type of bleed, Karter suffered a massive Hypoxic (lack of oxygen) Ischemic (loss of blood) Encephalopathy (affecting the brain) injury. This is otherwise known as an HIE injury.
After 4 days in the NICU, the team of doctors gave us no other choice but to remove life support. They explained his brain injury was too severe to have any quality of life. We were told he would never be able to suck, swallow, breathe, see, hear, walk, or talk on his own. It was beyond devastating. On July 1, 2016 we removed life support, and we braced ourselves to send him to meet our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. To everyone's surprise Karter survived 2 days in the NICU, so they sent us home on hospice. It was an excruciatingly painful and agonizing time.
Karter continued to fight for his life during the next weeks, and thanks to our decision to readmit him to the hospital, his life was saved. The first year of his life was a giant roller coaster, not knowing if Karter would live to see his first birthday.
Not only did Karter survive, but he is thriving and progressing at his own rate. Of course his injury has left him with several challenges. He has been officially diagnosed with spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy, microcephaly (secondary to the HIE injury), has a g-tube, is considered non-mobile/non-verbal and has had seizures. While he is globally delayed in every sense of the word, these labels do not define him. He has the sweetest, silliest personality and most infectious smile! And, most importantly, he brings us joy, gratitude, and perspective of what’s important.
See his caringbridge link for the full story of the first year:
Karter’s birth injury and subsequent diagnoses left us with shattered hearts, mountains of fear, and insurmountable doubt about how we would “do” this life. From the moment he was born it felt as though we were hit by a giant F5 tornado, with no resources to clean up our disaster. How could we ever recover? What does this mean for our child’s life? Our family’s future? At times it seemed the grief clouds would never clear.
But we are here to tell you, with time, the storm does subside. The rain lets up. Real sunshine will appear again. And, although the weather will always be unpredictable, you CAN navigate it. Albeit difficult, you WILL figure this out. And if you’re on our site, I can promise you that we are here to help in any way we can along the way. You are NOT alone. We see you. We are WITH you.