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Jackson Newspapers - Ripley, WV
  • Calling all Superheroes

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  • RAVENSWOOD - There will be a benefit for five-year-old Kate Shamblen and her one-year-old brother, Carter Shamblen, two young superheros fighting the odds, on Saturday (August 2, 2014) at North United Methodist Church in Ravenswood.
    The benefit will begin at 11:00 a.m. and end at 2:00 p.m. Along with the benefit, there will be a yard sale from 9:00 a.m. until 2 p.m. for Sara Burgess who is battling cancer.
    During the yard sale, there will be coffee and donuts available. There will be hot dogs available at 11:00 along with venders with Thirty-One, Avon, Jewelry and Candles. Entertainment provided by gospel singers, Dee and Lois Rhodes. Also there will be a silent auction with items from Longaberger as well as primitive pieces. A portion of the proceeds made by the venders will go to medical and travel expenses for Kate and Carter Shamblen.
    To the naked eye, Carter Shamblen looks like an ordinary little boy. However, concerns arose at his three-month-old check up.  After testing, it was confirmed that three-month-old Carter had a Carnitine deficiency. Carnitine deficiency is a condition that prevents the body from using certain fats for energy. Once it was discovered, the doctors prescribed him medication that could be fatal if not taken consistently. Statics show that 1 in 100,000 newborn babies will contract a Carnitine deficiency.
    After Carter’s first diagnosis of Carnitine deficiency, he became diagnosed with Macrocephaly, which is when the circumference of the head is more than two standard deviations above the average for that age group. Carter also has “failure to thrive,” which is when children are unable to retain and utilize the calories needed to gain weight and grow as expected. If that alone was not enough, young Carter also has hypertonia.
    Hypertonia is a condition marked by an abnormal increase in muscle tension, and a reduced ability of a muscle to stretch. Carter’s mother, Leigh Ann Flinn, spoke about the ramifications of Carter’s hypertonia. Carter will turn two on August 28, and is currently unable to walk. However, he learned to crawl at 12 months and has learned recently how to pull himself up. Carter’s hypertonia has caused difficulties with feeding him as well.
    Carter also has hyperthyroidism, which is a condition where the thyroid gland is overactive and makes excessive amounts of thyroid hormones. The doctors prescribed a medicine called Synthroid for Carter to take. Carter goes for lab work every three months for his hyperthyroidism.
    Carter also possesses a heart murmur. The heart is a muscular organ with four chambers. It pumps blood out to the lungs to pick up oxygen and out through the body to deliver oxygen. Four valves control the flow of blood through the chambers of the heart and out of the heart. The heart beat sounds are the sounds of the valves closing. A heart murmur is an extra sound besides the first and second heart beat sounds. The extra sound is created by turbulent blood flow. Carter’s sister, Kate, also possesses a heart murmur.
    Page 2 of 2 - Both Carter and Kate have epilepsy. Epilepsy is a central nervous system disorder (neurological disorder) in which the nerve cell activity in your brain is disturbed, causing a seizure during which you experience abnormal behavior, symptoms and sensations, including possible loss of consciousness. They are both on medication for their epilepsy.
    Kate’s issues are less severe than her younger brother’s; however, she has a hypertonic bladder. A hypertonic bladder is a low functioning bladder. Kate sees an urologist in Columbus, Ohio.  Leigh Ann says they venture from Columbus, Ohio, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, Morgantown, WV and Parkersburg, WV for doctor appointments.
    Leigh Ann and her mother, Tracy Hall, would like to thank West Virginia Birth of 3, the children’s primary care doctor Miranda Bollinger (for going above and beyond), Team Carter and Team Kate for their prayers and support. Tracy Hall, Carter and Kate’s grandmother stated that Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope” is the Bible verse that the Lord placed on her heart for Carter and Kate. Tracy also stated, “The Lord has been with us through this.”
    The family asks that if you are unable to donate, then the most valuable gift you can give them is prayers. As far as the benefit is concerned Tracy stated, “We invite people to come and eat, regardless if you can donate.”
    Leigh Ann stated she tries to “focus on what he’s teaching me, to appreciate life, and spend time with your children. He’s taught my whole family what it’s really about.”
    Everyone is welcome to come support these two young heroes in their journey on Saturday at North United Methodist Church in Ravenswood.
       

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