STORIES
Angels Heroes

Charity Afton Yorgason

by Janalie from Cordova, Alaska

 (One Tattered Angel)
(One Tattered Angel)

My hero is Charity Afton Yorgason. Charity was born on August 30th 1988. The Yorgason’s were a foster family that lived in Utah. They fostered newborn infants. Before they had even met Charity they said that they would adopt her if no one else would. They had Charity as a foster baby and fell in love with her, even though she suffered from Anencephaly. When they adopted Charity they felt that naming her Charity suited her. For her middle name she was named after her new grandma, Afton. Her new parents were Blaine and Kathy Yorgason.

When Charity was young, the American Medical Association Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs had called for the legal right to remove organs from children born with Anencephaly. Anencephaly is when children are born without most or all of the brain, sometimes with portions of the skull or scalp missing. These children are said to be unconscious and because of loss of brain without life. About 1500 children in the U.S. are born this way a year. Half die on the first day. 90% die in the first week. As those babies start to die their organs become useless for transplants. To be able to harvest the organs, they would have to be removed soon after birth.

The Deseret News had been trying to get Blaine to write a book about Charity for years. Then when they sent him a note talking about the Act of harvesting children he finally decided to write the book. Three months later, the first 16 months of Charity’s life was published. After seeing the article and the book, the American Medical Association Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs decided to have the act suspended until further research had been done on these babies.

Children such as Charity are said to have no reaction to life around them, feel no pain, and no emotion. Charity was known to smile if she liked you and laugh if you did something silly. She loved baths and once even played in one like a normal baby with her hands and feet. Charity loved music but only soft soothing music. She didn’t like bad words or fighting. If any of that happened around her she would start crying or if actions were continued she would get sick. She liked to dance to music and have songs sung to her.

Charity is my hero because she suffered all that pain for many years. She showed that she may not have a brain but she is still alive and knows what is going on around her. Charity against the odds lived until she was almost 8 years old. She inspired many and her story saved thousands of babies from being harvested. She died on June 26th, 1996.

Page created on 5/10/2007 7:21:17 AM

Last edited 5/10/2007 7:21:17 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.