The first year event honoring Charles Gant.
Charles Gant was a loving and energetic eight year old boy when he passed away from viral encephalitis on June 3, 2009. He had a serious passion for the outdoors and he was a true bug and critter lover. Charles was full of life and compassionate towards others. His smile was contagious. He attended Dunn Elementary and had joined a gymnastics team which was another love that he had. You could always find him searching for bugs, walking on his hands, or doing flips on the trampoline.
Charles had been sick with a typical childhood virus with sore throat, headache and fever. It lasted longer than usual but when checked out by his doctors, it was something that had to run its course. Charles then became lethargic and started feeling really badly. He went to the ER after the pediatrician recommended fluids for dehydration. Charles did not perk up like we expected and was admitted to Kosair. His sickness continued to worsen and by the next morning he went for a CT scan to see what was going on. The doctors let our family know that his brain was swelling. He was then admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) where his intense loving care began. The doctors and nurses were unbelievable in their care, support and explanation of everything that they were doing in terms that our family could understand. His condition was so serious and as a parent something you can't quite grasp. The following day our family was given the devastating news that Charles' brain had stopped working because he had developed encephalitis from an unknown virus.
The compassion and support that the doctors, nurses, and other staff members of Kosair Children's Hospital had for our family was amazing during this unimaginable time. They became part of our family in the short 72 hours that we were there. Charles' brothers (Owen - 11, Campbell - 6) were greeted by a team from the child life department to give them the news. Charles' condition was explained to them on their level and they were walked through the natural process of telling him goodbye. It is an experience that will be with them forever. Anyone who knew Charles will never look at a butterfly, frog, caterpillar, lizard, or ladybug without thinking of him and the passion he had in the short 8 years he was with us. He lived life to the fullest and left behind wonderful treasured memories for all who loved him so dearly.
© Jerry A. Zegart Photography