Karter Goodchild just turned four years old. He wasn’t even supposed to live to be four days old.
Karter was born with severe spastic quadriplegia, a form of cerebral palsy. From the moment he was born, the doctors didn’t think he had any chance of surviving. At first, they said he wouldn’t survive a day. And then they said five days. And then they said a year. But Karter proved them wrong.
Karter is unable to walk or speak, but he can eat in small amounts and is currently learning how to communicate by controlling his eye-tracking tablet. The tablet acts as a great way for him to play with his two sisters and get involved in family activities.
Another great way for him to get involved in family activities is to ride his Freedom Concepts adaptive bicycle. The Goodchild’s initially found out about Freedom Concepts through Carter’s physical therapist at school.
“Last year Karter had hip a very serious hip surgery, and our school PT told us that one of the best things we can do to help him recover is get him on a bike,” said Tiffany. “A lot of the time it’s hard to tell if Karter likes something or not, but it was clear that Karter liked biking as soon as he tried it.”
Because of Karter’s diagnosis, he has many mini seizures throughout the day. The two biggest triggers for these seizures are anxiety and discomfort. When they first got the bike, Karter could only go for bike rides on cloudy, calm days. Too much wind or sun would cause him to seizure.
“Since getting the bike, Karter has been much more tolerant to weather,” said Tiffany. “The bike is his happy place, but he knows he needs to be outside to ride it, and as a result, he can deal with weather much better now. He hardly ever has seizures when on the bike.”
Karter rides his bike almost every day, but when he’s not riding his bike and wants to be outside with his family, he sits in his Chill-Out Chair. The Goodchild’s have quite a few special needs seating options for Karter, but they love the Chill-Out Chair because it looks and feels like something every kid wants to sit in.
“When the girls are playing outside, the Chill-Out Chair is perfect because it allows Karter to hang out with us while still being comfortable,” said Tiffany. “When we’re inside, Karter doesn’t like lying down so the Chill-Out Chair is his personal little chill-out spot.”
In 2019, Karter inspired Tiffany to start the Kourageous Karter Foundation, a non-profit organization with a goal of not only raising money for community accessible projects but to also be a resource for other special needs families.
“Although Karter is globally delayed in every sense of the word, these labels do not define him. He has the sweetest, silliest personality and most infectious smile! And most importantly, he brings us joy, gratitude and perspective of what’s important.”