Long road ahead for Byron infant facing medical challenges

Communities in north Big Horn County are once again rallying to the support of a family experiencing hard times with both heartfelt prayers and a number of fundraisers.

The newest addition to the Jaime and Stephanie Petrich family of Byron, Charlie, was born on Nov. 27 with Down Syndrome, along with other serious medical conditions and birth defects. A number of fundraisers are in progress to help the family with travel and medical expenses connected with Charlie’s medical condition, which is being treated at Denver Children’s Hospital.
Courtesy photos

The newest addition to the Petrich family of Byron, Charlie, was born on Nov. 27 with Down Syndrome, along with other serious medical conditions and birth defects. Within hours of his birth he was flown from Wyoming to Denver Children’s Hospital, where lifesaving procedures were performed in order to save his life, including a major surgical procedure that was performed the next day for his most serious defects. Charlie is currently on life support and only time will tell if his surgery was effective.

At only one month old, little Charlie has spent most of life at Children’s Hospital in Denver, and his parents Jaime and Stephanie have spent much of that time away from their other three children to be at his side during his ordeal.

A number of fundraisers are in progress to help the family with travel and medical expenses to and from Denver during Charlie’s stay, which will likely be a lengthy one due to the severity of his condition.

A crowdfunding site has been created for the family at www.youcaring.com that can be accessed by typing in the names Stephanie and Jaime Petrich in the search feature on the site. Already $7,699 has been raised to help the family with a goal of $10,000. A special account for donations has also been set up at Big Horn Federal Bank under the name “Charlie’s Angels.”  A Facebook page has also been set up entitled “prayers for Charlie Petrich,” as a way to keep the community updated on Charlie’s progress. Those visiting the site can also send the family well wishes through the site. A fundraising raffle is also in progress with a grand prize of a New Year’s dinner for four at the Brandin’ Iron Restaurant, including prime rib, crab and side dishes. Tickets can be purchased at the restaurant in Lovell.

Stephanie said the family is overwhelmed by the generosity of the community and said she can almost feel their prayers, which has been of great comfort to her.

By Patti Carpenter