2015 Miracle Child - Carter Wayne Dingler
Carter Wayne Dingler, CMNH’s 2015 Miracle Child, is a sweet and cheerful boy who has brought smiles and inspiration to many folks in East Texas since he was born in February 2014. This was the first pregnancy for Amanda and Chad, Carter’s loving parents. Amanda experienced an uncomfortable but seemingly normal pregnancy, until a routine pre-natal check-up revealed that her condition was far more serious.
Due to extremely high blood pressure, Amanda’s kidneys were failing; leaving her and her unborn baby in critical danger. With barely enough time to contact her husband and family, Amanda underwent an emergency caesarean section, bringing Carter into the world much earlier than expected at only 29 weeks gestation. Carter weighed a mere 2.5 lbs at birth and was rushed to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital where he received immediate and skilled care from team of specialists led by Neonatologist, Dr. Tiffany Taylor.
Carter was a fighter from the very start. During his stay in the NICU, he developed chronic lung disease as a result of the respiratory support he received for his underdeveloped lungs. Carter was constantly surrounded by family and loved ones supporting him through what Dr. Taylor remembers as a “very complicated course in the NICU.” He developed retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), a critical condition common to premature babies that occurs when the blood vessels of the eyes do not develop correctly, potentially leading to blindness. A credit to Carter’s fighting spirit, the ROP corrected itself without requiring medical intervention. After 93 days of successes and scares in the NICU, Carter was able to go home with medication and equipment to monitor his still fragile lungs.
Dr. David Osteen, his Pediatrician, took over Carter’s care when he left the NICU. While Carter continues to have some respiratory difficulties that may persist for years to come, Dr. Osteen has remarked that “It has been very rewarding to see Carter grow from a 2½ lb preemie that could not breathe on his own for the first month of his life to the happy, active toddler that we see today.”
Anyone who meets Carter is immediately struck by the light in his eyes and the cheer in his laughter. Between visits to the Special Needs Clinic at TMF, Carter likes to ride on the tractor with his Dad and take care of the cows. He even has his own cow named “Minnie” after his favorite cartoon, Mickey Mouse! TMF Child Life Specialist Aaron-Ashley Yorn, who has worked extensively with Carter, sums it up saying, “Carter has spunk!”
You can help East Texas children like Carter Dingler by supporting Children’s Miracle Network. One hundred percent of the funds raised locally for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals stay right here at CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances to provide life-saving pediatric equipment and medical services to children in our area.