Meet Charlie Lynn: A Dayton Children’s Hospital Champion

Meet Charlie Lynn: A Dayton Children’s Hospital Champion

During Family Advocacy Day, Charlie and her family will discuss her health journey, Dayton Children’s Hospital’s role in providing her with necessary care, and why we must invest in the future of patients like Charlie.

Charlie has had anxiety and depression for years and was being seen at a local mental health facility. However, in 2022 she seemed to struggle more. By early winter, her symptoms were getting worse, she quit most extracurricular activities and her grades suffered.

"One day, she said she no longer saw the point of anything, including life, and I realized the problem was much bigger than we realized," says Tiffany, Charlie's mother. "We immediately sought help and were referred to Dayton Children's Hospital where she was admitted to their inpatient program."

Charlie, a Dayton Children’s Hospital champion.
Charlie, a Dayton Children's Hospital champion,
is participating in Family Advocacy Day 2023.

Although the diagnosis wasn't new, the severity was new to Charlie and her family. "Helplessness and terror are the words that best describe my feelings," says Tiffany. "The feeling of the unknown and lack of control to fix things was intense."

The behavioral health team at Dayton Children's provided inpatient care for Charlie. During this time, she was under 24-hour supervision. She participated in group and individual therapy and was attended to by physicians and psychiatrists who monitored her progress and adjusted medications. After five days she was released home and started the day program and intensive therapy for three weeks where she continued learning coping skills.

"It was comforting once she knew that we were taking the best steps to help her, but it was still the scariest time of my life because I didn't know what was coming next or if the treatments would work," says Tiffany. "Dayton Children's gave us support and you never realize how much support you may need until you receive it."

The family has private insurance, which requires a large deductible to keep premiums affordable. "Due to this, most of the charges fell on us to pay out of pocket," says Tiffany. "We are on a payment plan and in the process of paying off this expense." There are still ongoing therapy expenses, which insurance covers, but the co-pay is twice what it is for a physical health appointment.

Charlie goes to therapy every other week, feels healthier and has a more positive outlook on life. She enjoys being creative and working on her art. "As parents we are attempting to give her room to grow, yet remain extremely vigilant in watching for any signs that she is starting to struggle," says Tiffany. "The skills she learned at Dayton Children's were life changing and lifesaving."

Family Advocacy Day

Elevating patient stories and educating lawmakers remains critical to increase awareness about the essential care provided by children's hospitals.