Saturday, October 31, 2009

Update on Carter-Man

I first need to apologize it has been so long since I last updated about Carter. He has been through so much since the last update regarding the airway scope. He has come down with several infections and had seemed to overcome most of them until last Thursday. He seemed to be experiencing breathing issues and his heart rate was very elevated. Skip and I called 911 and they responded extremely fast. When Carter was discharged from the hospital, I had it notated in their systems about Carter's situation and his diagnosis and the fact that he had a tracheostomy. When he arrived at the hospital, he seemed to have calmed quite a bit. I must say that through all of this his oxygen levels remained between 96%-98% which is awesome! He was running a fever and they gave him a large dose of tylenol and within about 20 minutes he was sleeping calmly, his fever had come down, his heart rate was back to normal, and he was breathing great. They took blood cultures and sent us home after talking with Carter's oncologist. Friday seemed to be okay although it was obvious he did not feel great. Saturday was about the same until the afternoon, when he seemed to get worse. He began sweating and breathing a little faster than normal. We decided to take him directly to INOVA. We called the on-call oncologist and she directly admitted us. Upon arrival, they were elated to know that Carter no longer needed to go to the PICU because he had not been on the ventilator for sometime. They took blood cultures, a culture from his trache, and swabbed him for the flu. Within 20 minutes, it was determined that he had Influenza A (most likely H1N1). They immediately moved him from the Hem/Onc unit to a quarantined area for children with the flu. It was unbelievable the amount of children that were in the hospital for the flu. He slept the entire day Sunday and seemed to perk up on Monday. But....his blood cultures from the Thursday night ER visit had started to grow a staph infection, as well as the cultures drawn Satuday night. He also had an infection growing from the culture from his trache. The type of staph infection that was growing is apparently a "sticky" infection so they though that maybe it was in his PICC line and that they may have to pull it. He had been placed on very strong antibiotics and seemed to be responding. His cultures were still growing so they pulled the PICC line and placed an IV for his treatments and antibiotics. He had a very scary episode on Wednesday where he was breathing heavily again and had an elevated heart rate. He seemed to get very tense and then relax. We became very nervous as this very possibly could have been neurological. After much medication, he calmed down and slept very well the entire next day. The doctors all agreed that this did not appear to be neurological but flu related. They did do a quick CAT scan and the tumor had not changed since the last CAT and the last MRI. He had another episode last night of the same nature and one of the PICU Intensivists came over to look at Carter and once again explained that this flu is bad. He told me that he has perfectly healthy children in the PICU because of this flu. He ordered albuterol breathing treatments for Carter every 3 hours and advised the nurses and doctors to keep him as comfortable and relaxed as possible as he already has several underlying conditions. Carter calmed down and has seemed to have a decent day. Skip and I asked that they do another flu swab and a culture from his trache. The flu was still positive and we were told it could take him a month to get over this. We are still awaiting the most recent blood cultures and cultures from his trache to make sure that the staph infection is gone and the infection from the trache is gone. He did receive his treatments today. We are hoping that the staph infection is gone and that he can get a new PICC line on Monday. I am not sure when he will come home. We want him to be in the safest place possible and for now, that is at the hospital.

Tonight was very bittersweet at my house. We had the usual friends and famiy over for soup and trick or treating but we were missig my baby. I loved seeing the kids but it was not the same. I missed him more than words could ever express but I held it together for Caroline and his best friends, who I know missed him terribly. Madison carried his trick or treat bag around and told everyone that her best friend was at the hospital and could not come but she wanted to fill his bag. Carter is truly a blessed boy to have so many people who love and adore him. Please continue to pray for him. I know that the prayers are being heard and that there are many angels watching over him.

On another note, please pray for my niece, Lauren. She has been diagnosed with a heart disease and she also needs many prayers. My family has been through so much this year but we all still continue to be strong and have faith. I know so many of you pray for Carter daily. Please add Lauren to those prayers.

I want to thank everyone for their continued love, prayers, and support. We continue to receive cards, gift cards, letters, and gifts for the children. We are so very thankful!!!! Also, thank you to everyone who came out to the golf tournament. I wish that Skip, Carter, and myself could have come. Maybe next time!! Again, thank you all so much- God has truly put together an army of angels for my family. Although 2009 has been a trying year for my entire family, I still have faith and I still continue to see God move. I am thankful to serve such a wonderful and loving God...I know no matter what he will get me through it. I once heard someone say.....He has not brought you to this point to leave you!! And I truly believe this!!!!

Love to you all,


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Last Chance to Order Cookbooks!!

The deadline to submit your order(s) for the Carter's Crusaders cookbook is this Friday, October 30th. Please send all order requests to:

The cookbooks will be going to the printer on Monday, November 2nd. They will be mailed to CeCee Embrey who will distribute them accordingly. The cost of the cookbook is $15. Checks should be made payable (upon delivery) to Carter's Crusaders. Thanks so much for your support!!

Saturday, October 24, 2009


The Fall Golf Tournament for Carter's Crusaders is this Thursday (10/29) still has open spots. Not only that, but the registration has been extended - NO LATE FEES!!! The registration fee is still $85 dollars and you don't want to miss this opportunity to help Carter and his family! The Spring tournament was such a HUGE success, that we're hoping to duplicate that again next week!

This is a perfect way for you and your friend(s) to put together a team (of 4) and come out for one more round of 18 holes before Winter is upon us. If you are interested in taking part in this fundraiser, please contact Jennifer Romack at (540) 379-2109 or Lee's Hill Golf Club directly at (540) 891-0111. Ask about the Carter's Crusaders' golf outing and you will be taken care of!

We really hope to see some repeat faces and are looking forward to seeing even more new faces in our crusade to recruit more angels for Carter-Man!! Thanks in advance for your participation!

Monday, October 5, 2009


I wanted to quickly update everyone and let them know that Carter's ENT appointment was FABULOUS!! His upper airway looks great and his vocal chords are moving like they were designed to do. He said there is such a difference between this scope and the previous one!! He should not have any trouble breathing without the trache, although it may take awhile for him to get used to it again. We are going to start capping his trache tonight to see how it goes. Carter's ENT did tell us that his swallow is still weak but hopefully will only get stronger:) We will continue to pray that his swallow continues to get stronger and he can get back to eating by mouth!! Thank you to everyone for their prayers! God is listening and answering:)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A Coincidence....NO, Divine Intervention!!

I want to start out with a story that moves me each time I think about it. As most know, Carter is provided with nursing care at home. We normally have a nurse from 9-9 Monday through Friday and on some weekends. We also have required monthly visits from a Nursing Supervisor. We had our first visit on Wednesday with who we thought was just a nursing supervisor. She was more than that- she is yet another angel that God has lead our way- she is our neighbor who only lives 6 houses down from us. I had never had the opportunity to meet her so when she arrived she was a complete stranger. When she arrived, I was on the phone with the GI doctor regarding some of Carter's medicines. I came in and read the folder that she had set up for him and it read, Carter-Man Harris. I wondered how in the world she knew that we called him Carter-Man. I then sat down with her and she began to get teary-eyed and preceded to tell me that she was my neighbor and knew all about Carter. She said that for months she had been praying for God to give her the strength to come down and introduce herself. She said she wondered if he would. She then kept praying that he would somehow lead her to Carter. She returned to work (after a leave of absence after crushing her ankle- OUCH!) and it just so happened to be with the same agency that we use for nursing. She was sitting down with the owner to coordinate a plan for her to see all of the patients that she needed to see. She was first directed to a little girl, Lily, whom I know and have known her Dad for years. When she was told that Lily had a brain tumor, she responded, "I have a little boy in my neighborhood who also has a brain tumor". The owner of the company replied, "Oh my goodness, are you talking about Carter? That is your next stop!" Her prayers had been answered- just not the way she had expected. God led her to us and what a blessing that was!!! Oh yes and there is more..the day before I had thought about and prayed about wanting Caroline to meet someone in the neighborhood that would go to Grafton Village next year and someone that I could scoop up when Caroline and I go to the playground. Sure enough, she preceded to tell me that she had a four year old that would go to Grafton next year- another prayer answered! I am so thankful to know that she is right down the street and that I have another prayer warrior on Carter's side. I also am looking forward to the day when Caroline can meet her daughter and have someone her age to play with in the neighborhood.

I have learned a lot through this journey with Carter. I have learned that God does answer prayers- sometimes just not the way we would like for them to be answered. It is all part of his divine plan- one that we, as mere humans, could never understand. His thinking is far from what we could ever imagine.
I have learned a different way to pray- yes, I pray that Carter will be completely healed and will be returned to me walking, talking, laughing and breathing without a tracheostomy. But, I also pray that God's will be done. I have been through a lot in my life and realize that life is not fair and is not always fun and games- is the life we have been given and the paths we have been asked to walk. Although there are tough times, there are always blessings and sometimes we have to look to find them. God does not bring you somewhere only to leave you- he has promised that he will never leave us or forsake us and this, I believe, is the truth. I know that he has walked with me and carried me during tough times in my life and he has always pulled me through! We have an awesome God, an Almighty God!!!

As for Carter.....things remain about the same. We are starting the process of trying to see if he will be able to breathe without the trache. We received the caps for the trache yesterday and are waiting until after his ENT appointment on Monday to start. We need to assure that his upper airway is in good shape and that his vocal cords are moving appropriately. If this is so, then we will begin, full force ahead. Please pray for us that his vocal chords are moving and his upper airway is in good shape so we can have this trache removed FOR GOOD!!!! As far as physical therapy, he is doing great! He seems to get stronger each session. He is standing, with assistance, much easier (although he cries while doing so- I am sure it hurts him). For his last two sessions, his physical therapist and Dad, assist him with walking from the couch to the table. He obviously needs a lot of assistance but it is amazing that he can even lift his feet up. I wait for the day for him to walk to the table for dinner again!!! I know God will bring us there!! I see his works everyday. We are still waiting for the stander to come in- I believe that this will help him dramatically!! He has more use of his arms and for that we are thankful, he is sitting alone for up to 10 minutes using his arms for assistance. We are continuing on the same treatment path. We will have his next MRI at the end of October. We pray for good results!!!!!

I, also, want to thank everyone for their continued support. We continue to receive cards, gift cards, food, and donations. For this we are more thankful than you will ever know. Thank you to everyone:) I wish that I could send out thank you cards to everyone but unfortunately there are not enough hours in the day. So, please, take this as a sincere thank you from Skip and I. Without the support we continue to receive, we would not be able to get through this. Also, thank you to everyone for the donations, cards, and heartfelt sympathy during the loss of my grandfather. It was more helpful that you will ever know. We are all doing well, although we miss him dearly! Happy Fall to everyone:)

A little boy whom I have followed for some time earned his angel wings Wednesday...please pray for his family during this difficult time and send them words of support. His website is as follows...



Thursday, October 1, 2009

Get Ready to Golf!

There will be another Golf Tournament at Lee's Hill Golf Club on Thursday, October 29th. Come on out and get another round in before the cold weather comes here to stay! We were able to raise a good deal of money for the Harris family back in May and we're hoping to do it again! For more details please click HERE to view the flyer. Hope to see you there!!

Carter's Crusaders Cook Books coming soon!!

Friends and Family, Carter's cookbook will be going to the printer soon. We are hoping to have them complete and ready for shipment by the end of October or thereabouts. Kathryn has worked very hard on these. Please send your orders to

Pass the word!! Email anyone you can think of who would like to have one. These would make great Christmas gifts! They are $15.00 each. No payment is needed until delivery, but once received checks can be made payable to Carter's Crusaders. Checks can be given to CeCee Embrey upon delivery or mailed to Carter Harris 14 Glen Oak Road, Fredericksburg, Va. 22405.

Thanks again for all your support!!