Little Black Hills Battles – Carter’s Story

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Little Black Hills Battles – Carter’s Story

Carter Berlin was just four years old when he was diagnosed with a disease that is especially rare in children. Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP) is a chronic autoimmune disorder that causes his body to attack his myelin sheaths, the fatty coverings that protect his nerves.

Carter’s parents first noticed something was wrong when their young son started to stumble and fall a lot. As his condition progressed, Carter began dragging one of his legs, and he got to the point where he couldn’t hold a spoon or sit up on his own.

Heather and Ryan Berlin took Carter to the Mayo Clinic Emergency Department in Rochester, MN, where he was diagnosed with CIDP and received his first Immunoglobulin (IVIg) therapy treatment.

Since then Carter, now 10, has been receiving regular care at Monument Health, where pediatric nurses are able to administer Carter’s infusions through an IV port inside his chest. IVIg therapy essentially replaces Carter’s immune system so it doesn’t attack his nerves.

The Monument Health Pediatric Unit is able to care for children like Carter by offering outpatient maintenance visits like IVIg infusions.

The Rapid City Hospital Pediatric team works closely with Carter’s care team at Mayo Clinic to carry out his plan of care in a setting closer to home. Carter has been receiving care every 10 to 14 days at Monument Health since his diagnosis.

When Carter was younger, he had anxiety about his infusion appointments. His mom credits a trusting relationship with the caregivers at Monument Health for Carter’s progress in overcoming this anxiety. Carter’s nurses helped him build confidence by listening to what makes him scared and what they can do to make it easier for him.

“We’ve gotten to know all of Carter’s nurses really well at Monument Health, and we’ve built a friendship with all of them. They’ve been friendly, caring and supportive throughout this whole journey with us,” Heather said.

Carter’s journey has been a long one. In addition to his infusions, he’s undergone therapy to build up his muscles, and relearned how to walk and run. He has overcome more than most adults could only imagine. Yet, you’d never know it if you saw him.

Click here to learn more about the Little Black Hills Battles program and other local kids like Carter!

Children's Miracle Network

Donations through Monument Health’s Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) program are devoted to helping children like Carter. All funds stay local.