West Boylston toddler, hospitalized since July, headed home for holidays

WEST BOYLSTON, MASS. (WHDH) - A young girl who has been hospitalized since July is getting a chance to spend the holidays at home.

Charlie MacNeil left Franciscan Children’s hospital with a sendoff of bubbles to head to her West Boylston home after spending months in various hospitals.

“It’s the only thing I wanted for Christmas,” said her mother, Becky. “So it’s really exciting.”

The 20-month-old was diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis, a polio-like illness that affects the spinal cord.

“I woke up at 6 o’clock and found Charlotte unresponsive and paralyzed in her crib,” Becky said.

Doctors say Charlie is on a ventilator to help her breathe and has a tube to help her eat.

It’s been a long road for Charlie and her family. She spent time in the ICU at Boston Children’s Hospital, then spent time in a hospital in Baltimore before landing at Franciscan.

“Her sickness didn’t come with a warning,” Becky said. “It was a really unexpected bump in the road.”

For Charlie’s family, finally getting to this point — right before the holidays — feels like a Christmas miracle.

“It feels really great,” Becky said. “It’s unreal, it’s almost like we’re taking her hospital again the first time when we had her.”

From July until now, Charlie has made incredible progress. But there’s still a long way to go.

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