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Dad Says Little Charlotte Enjoyed First Home Visit
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
December 8, 2005

PORTSMOUTH, ENGLAND--It was only two hours long, but Charlotte Wyatt's first visit home Tuesday was an important milestone for her and her family.

"She was smiling and really enjoyed today," her father, Darren, told the BBC after Charlotte returned to St. Mary's Hospital, where she has lived since she was born two years ago.

"We just focused on Charlotte because it was her first day here," said her mother, Debbie. "We changed her nappy (diaper) -- just simple things."

Just six weeks ago, the High Court withdrew an order from the previous year that allowed doctors at St. Mary's Hospital to refuse to provide a ventilator for Charlotte if she stopped breathing.

During her home visit, she used portable breathing equipment.

Since Charlotte was born three months premature on October 21, 2003, doctors have insisted that she has serious heart and lung problems, is deaf and blind, makes no movement on her own and feels no sensations except constant pain. They predicted in October 2004 that she would develop a lung infection during that winter and would stop breathing. At the time, the High Court agreed with the hospital that Charlotte's quality of life was "intolerable" and that it would be in her best interest to leave her to die if her breathing stopped.

Charlotte's parents resolved to fight to help their daughter stay alive. The Wyatts claim that their daughter reaches out to them, tries to talk and sit up, likes to watch her toys, and is now eating solid foods.

"Charlotte's lived beyond all the expectations. She's a fighter," said Mr. Wyatt, who hopes his daughter will be able to come home again for Christmas.

The family is now on a waiting list for a larger home for when Charlotte finally leaves the hospital for good.

"She knows that this is where she belongs and this is where home is," he said.

Related:
"Parents' joy as Charlotte goes home" (BBC News)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/hampshire/4502658.stm
Charlotte Wyatt Weblog
http://charlottewyatt.blogspot.com

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