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The Road To Victory: Chase Merriweather

The Road To Victory: Chase Merriweather

We are very excited to share Chase's inspirational story with the world and are honored and so very thankful to have had the help of the Philadelphia Eagles to do so. 


Don't Stop Dreaming because You Had a Nightmare

Don't Stop Dreaming because You Had a Nightmare

Three years ago, it was only the 4 of us, Me, Chad, CJ and Chase. I remember October 2013 like it was yesterday. We were planning our surprise trip to Disney. Never in a million years we would ever imagine it turn out the way it did. In an effort to keep our family and friends updated on Chase's condition we started a carepage. Today I come across a draft Chad and I put together as our last post on that page. Thinking of how to explain the past few weeks was difficult. Our future was totally unknown and the message full of emotion and hope for what Chase will accomplish in the future. Just a month after this post we would see the resiliency of our little superhero! 

Dec 16, 2013

"Happy Holidays to all…The holiday season is a special time of year when families bond closer together, we take time to remember those who are no longer with us, and celebrate the year to come.

For us, this holiday is filled with mixed emotions. We celebrate as Chase continues to get a little stronger and shows us more and more of his infectious personality each day. He is now out of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit which is a huge step closer toward his rehab and recovery. On the flip side, unfortunately the tissue under his hands and feet were in extremely worse shape than initially anticipated. To avoid further damage to healthy tissue, complete amputation was required on all four extremities (on top of the H-Flu Type A bacteria that was initially found in his blood stream when he was first admitted, they recently discovered significant E-Coli bacteria present in his body as well). The news was extremely hard to swallow, but considering everything we put it into proper perspective:

    • During the first few hours of his illness while he was in septic shock there was a good chance Chase’s vitals wouldn’t respond to medication and he might not have made it past 24 to 48 hours…
    • Next, there was significant concern he may be on a combination of blood pressure medicine, heart medication, ventilator, and/or dialysis for the rest of his life to keep his organs functioning properly…
    • One week in, after the discovery of the hemorrhage in his brain (which covered over 30% of his brain) there was serious concern to what his neurological picture would look like and/or if he would recover since his body was already compromised…
    • Next as they weaned his sedation medication he was initially unresponsive to both eye and ear exams. There was fear that he may not be able to hear and/or have serious vision problems moving forward…
    • Finally, when they recently discovered this infection under the damaged tissue in his hands and his feet, there was a chance he would have to have the amputation be above the knees and elbows which would limit the types of prosthetics he would be able to use.

Chase beat all the above odds! Chase is not only our Superhero, but him as well as other children in this and other hospitals across the world fighting these “impossible” battles are truly heroes and should give us all an additional reason to celebrate this holiday.

“GRATITUDE turns what we have into ENOUGH and MORE… It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity… It makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow” - Melody Beattie

So friends and family and all those concerned about our little Chase-Man, the best medicine for him right now is LOVE, ACCEPTANCE, and OPTIMISM to be the best he can be. Tears are inevitable as we learn to accept, but we hope they turn into joyous tears as he continues to beat the odds. We are committed to do what’s best for CJ, Chase, and their soon to be born baby BROTHER! :)

With Love
Chad, Chisa, CJ, and Chase


Chasing Dreams

Chasing Dreams

December 14, 2013 was a cold and snowy morning. I woke up beside Chase in the ICU at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to the faint sounds of medical monitors, but somehow they sounded different that morning. The room he had spent the last two months in seemed calmer. I glanced over at my husband, Chad, who was sitting on a couch by the window. He looked up at me and whispered, “We’re finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel”. The day prior, Chase had undergone his last surgery for 2013: the amputations of both his hands and feet.

The days of feeling sorrowful about Chase’s situation were over! I had cried my last tear and we were now ready to help Chase write his next chapter. This is how it all began.

While on what was to be a quick getaway family vacation to Disney World in October of 2013, our son, Chase, was suddenly stricken with a near-deadly strand of the flu virus which quickly sent him into septic shock. Chase was hospitalized at the Florida Hospital for Children for nearly a month. Just as we thought things were improving, Chase suffered a brain hemorrhage and underwent emergency brain surgery and was also on dialysis. While we were very thankful for the tremendous work and effort from the staff at Florida Hospital for Children for saving our son’s life, we wanted to get Chase back home and provide a bit of normalcy for our oldest son, CJ. In November 2013, the doctors in Florida assisted in making the trip home possible. Chase was now in stable condition and was able to be airlifted to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, but was still in a sedated state.

Once our family was finally reunited it was far from normal, but we made it work. Every few days, Chad and I switched shifts with the boys to make sure Chase was never left alone and that CJ was able to see him every day after school. One night, CJ and I had returned home to a surprising video message from Chad. It was Chase saying “Mommy.” Before that moment we were unsure of his mental state following the brain surgery, but at that instant I knew my Chase was back!

In the weeks to follow, Chase continued to improve and showed his upbeat personality to all the nurses, doctors and specialists who cared for him. He entertained them by singing, dancing to Michael Jackson, wearing his Mario hat and even pretending to box with Chad.

During Chase’s illness, the medications that helped protect his vital organs stopped the blood flow to his extremities. This led to the development of necrosis in his hands and feet, which resulted in amputations. It was a reality that Chad and I knew we might have to face.

However, the loss of his limbs has not slowed Chase down one bit. In fact, Chase uses life’s hurdles to fuel his superhero spirit! He continues to play his favorite sports and will be participating in soccer this spring for the first time since his illness. Of course a super hero usually has a sidekick. That role is filled by CJ, his older brother. He plays a major role in encouraging Chase to attempt new challenges and problem solve when he may be struggling, while his little brother Cole tries his best to keep up and adds to Chase’s many superhero responsibilities.

While Chase has been through a lot in a relatively short time, our little hero’s determination, huge personality, and fighting spirit won’t stop him from doing the things he enjoys most. We continue to be amazed by him every day!

As parents, we strive to make sure that Chase never loses his drive to succeed and that limits are never imposed on his true potential. With these ideas in mind, our nonprofit organization Chase Ur Dream was started. The ordeal we went through with Chase was an absolute nightmare and stepping into the world of prosthetic legs and arms was foreign to us. We aim to assist other families who might be in similar situations with the information and tools they’ll need to help encourage their child to continue to dream big and never lose their determination to do their utmost to achieve their goals!

In addition, we’ve started the Chase-Man adventure books to help tell his story and teach children the importance of tolerance and unlimited potential regardless of someone’s physical condition. Books can be found on Amazon.

To show your support, get updates about the Chase-Man superhero book series and learn more about ChaseURDream nonprofit initiatives, please visit chaseurdream.com.