Dedication puts Charlie on the up

Lucy and Ben Doughty with Charlie after the transplant
Lucy and Ben Doughty with Charlie after the transplant

A BABY boy who suffered liver failure and nearly died in the first precious weeks of life has featured in a charity calendar to raise money for the staff who saved him.

Poulton tot Charlie Doughty was born in August 2010 but spent the first few months in hospital suffering from jaundice.

The condition caused his skin to go yellow, his stomach to swell and blood sugar levels to rise to dangerous levels.

He became so sick his bones started to break as he was not producing enough calcium to develop properly.

His parents, Lucy and Ben, were told he had a rare condition to do with bile salt which is produced by the liver.

But when he reacted badly to treatment they were told he would need a liver transplant.

Five weeks later Charlie underwent a successful transplant and was released from hospital at Christmas last year.

He has now passed the critical stage during which time the patient may reject the donated organ.

Lucy, 27, said she came up with the idea of a calendar to thank Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Ronald McDonald House, where she stayed while Charlie was being treated.

She said: “It was such a traumatic time because for so long we did not know what was actually wrong with him, he just looked so poorly.

“When he reacted badly to the medicine, doctors took a biopsy of the liver but something went wrong and he ended up in intensive care, it was such a shock.

“But staff at the hospital were fantastic as well as those at Ronald McDonald House, which provided home from home accommodation in hospitals.

“Without that I don’t know what we would have done, it was a brilliant facility and without it I don’t think we would have coped.

Charlie, now 17 months, will feature in the calendar along with four other children treated in Birmingham.

Lucy said: “We went back to Birmingham last month for another biopsy and he is doing really well.”

This time last year Charlie was taking 15 medicines a day and couldn’t feed, his parents were beside themselves with worry.

Now, thanks to his expert care he is on three medicines a day and is eating really well.

The youngster is making very encouraging progress indeed.

All the money raised from the calendar will be donated to Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Ronald McDonald House.