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Charles' Story

A near-fatal accident. Parents lead drive for portable CAT scan device.

Sara Reges was taking her sons for haircuts when her youngest, Charles, saw one of his brothers getting off the bus. He ran across the street to greet him – and was hit by a car.

“It was every parent’s worst nightmare,” Sara said. They were whisked away by a medevac helicopter to Children’s National.

That was the beginning of an arduous journey during which Charles underwent nine CAT scans and remained half-paralyzed for two months. Each time Charles needed a scan, he had to be removed from life-support equipment because the machine was not portable.

“It was so strenuous that he ended up having CPR three times,” Sara said. “Being a nurse, it was something that I made my mission to change.”

Portable CAT scan machines exist, but Children’s National did not have the funds to buy one. So the Regeses worked with friends and supporters to raise enough money to acquire one. Today, Children’s National can bring its portable CAT scan to patients, avoiding the need to disconnect life-support equipment.

Charles has made a complete recovery, and the Reges family is eternally grateful.“Children’s National is a gem in our backyard,” Sara said. “Without it, Charles would not likely have survived. They gave us such great care and so much more.”