Patterson Family Story
The Patterson family is from Northam, in the Wheatbelt region of Western Australia. Charlotte is 6 years old, she was originally diagnosed with a congenital diaphragmatic hernia.
This meant that she was missing the left side of her diaphragm, which caused all of her abdominal organs to be squished up in her chest on the left side.
Charlotte’s left lung couldn’t develop at all, it was hyperplastic and she only had a small part of her right lung.
Charlotte’s heart was twisted, and was against her right chest wall when she was born.
Charlotte’s first surgery was when she was just 3 days old.
Since her very first surgery, Charlotte has had 59 more surgeries. In her short span of life, Charlotte has undergone 60 surgeries.
“She takes it all in her stride,” says Mum, Laura.
Since her initial diagnosis, Charlotte has also been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and Epilepsy.
“Charlotte’s superpower is being super brave and super happy all the time, no matter what life throws at her. She is the cheeriest, happiest little girl, and she makes everyone smile.”
Charlotte has 3 siblings, Josh, Isabella and Emma and a dog called Lady.
The family’s favourite thing to do together is visiting Rottnest Island, playing games and going to the park.
Laura says Ronald McDonald House has been an absolutely massive part of the family’s life.
“Ronald McDonald House kept us together particularly when Charlotte’s been very, very unwell in intensive care. When the kids are able to be with their Mum, it helps them cope with the situation so much better, being together.
The House is so much more than a room and a meal, it really has so much heart.
Some of the volunteers that we are close with, they celebrate our successes with us, and get teary and emotional when they see the amazing things happening and they get teary and share our grief when things aren’t going so well for our little Charlotte.
That’s what makes the place just so incredibly, incredibly special. It is just so beautiful.”
Since 2014, Ronald McDonald House Charities Western Australia has been the Patterson’s home away from home. The House has kept the family close together for 470 nights. RMHC WA will continue to support Charlotte and her Mum and Charlotte’s siblings when they need it most, during particularly difficult times.