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Life Story / Obituary
It is in the midst of a struggle that we are able to prove our strengths. Although Karter Law Rounds was an innocent child, he faced many difficulties most people don't have to encounter in a lifetime, and still was able to touch the life of any person he encountered. Karter was a light to his family -- a unique young boy who taught us to appreciate the small things and to never stop trying.
Karter's story began in the spring of 2005, as winter made way for the growth of new life in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Just as the seasons were changing, so were the lives of Joe and Jen (Triezenberg) Rounds, as they were expecting the birth of their second child. He finally arrived on the third of May, joining his older sister Gabrielle and older brother Austin Relic. Everything about Karter was unique, from his birth weight of nine pounds to the name his mother and father gave him. They had for many years wanted to use "Law" as a middle name for one of their children, and knew as soon as Karter was born that he should be the one to have it. Karter would become a big brother, as well, as the family was rounded out with his sister Madeline Sophia.
At six months, Joe and Jen could see that Karter was already facing challenges. He wasn't making his developmental milestones and was unable to sit up. Very concerned about their little boy, they took him into the hospital for an MRI, discovering that Karter's Corpus Callosum had only partially developed. The family was hopeful for Karter to live a comfortable life, and did everything they could to see that he had the best care available. Just as the family began to learn about Karter's condition and how to best care for him, they discovered only four months later that he had epilepsy, and developed grand mal seizures.
At ten months old, Karter was able to eat with a spoon, and was still breastfeeding. In efforts to help him live a better life, Joe and Jen worked with doctors everywhere to make sure Karter was on the right medications for his condition. Unfortunately, a side affect of his condition was that he had trouble with different food textures, and keeping food down; he was eventually fitted with a feeding tube for proper nurishment. Doctors were impressed by his improvements after the feeding tube, saying that he "porked right up." Karter sadly began having trouble again keeping nourished, and struggled once more to keep any food down.
Despite all the difficulties in his life, there is no doubt that Karter could feel all the love his family gave him. Austin was a very concerned big brother, and would often help out with Karter, providing an extra set of hands for carrying diapers or other things he needed. Austin was always there to try to make Karter smile, and the two certainly had a special bond. The whole family would rely on each other through Karter's illnesses while seeking for him the care he deserved. They sought doctors in both Cleveland and Detroit, and always were asking questions and making note of things they could do to make sure Karter had what he needed.
Karter's family was always trying to figure out exactly what his illness was, and tried some experimental medications when conventional ones didn't do the trick. Unfortunately, the experimental medications didn't seem to help Karter, either. Since it was impossible to know precisely what Karter suffered from, they became mainly concerned with figuring out how to make him most comfortable. Due to an aggressive movement disorder Karter was constantly moving his arms and legs, this made it difficult to find a position that was comfortable for him.
Being a child who loved interaction with others, Karter enjoyed attending the Van Buren Intermediate School District. They first sent him for two day’s a week for a half day, and then later up to three days a week depending on how he was feeling. He rode the bus with other children and was happy to experience friendship from his schoolmates. He was always happy and calm when he came home from school, and often had art projects to show his parents when he got home. Karter's sense of touch was very important to him since he was unable to speak, so his parents would find different textures that he liked to hold onto. This served as a means of communication between Karter and his parents and siblings, which meant the world to the whole family.
Although Karter never went longer than four or five months without a hospital visit, it was clear to all who knew him that he was a fighter. In his playful moments, Karter loved to watch his favorite cartoon, Yo Gabba Gabba, and loved to watch the movement of colors on the screen. His whole face would light up, and his familiy loved to see him smile. Karter's vision improved when he saw an eye doctor and was given glasses, giving him the opportunity to see the people he loved more clearly. Karter was able to use the Ronald McDonald House, which provided comfort and care to him and his family while he recieved treatment. Anyone who met Karter knew what a special child he was, and he brightened the day of any person he met. Karter also was involved with the "Early On" program that provided occupational therapy care for Karter without him having to leave home. Karter had a special relationship with his therapists, Vicki and Terri who often visited him at home to work with him.
After a courageous battle with many illnesses, Karter sadly died on Friday, October 3, 2008, surrounded by his loving family.
Karter Law Rounds was a little boy with a big heart. He found enjoyment in the small things, teaching everyone he knew what great triumphs can be found in everyday life. He faced the challenges in his life with all the strength he had, and was able to affect the lives of the people around him along the way. Karter was able to bring out the strengths in each of us through the difficulties of his struggle, showing everyone he met that there is beauty in the differences between us. He will be so deeply missed.
Karter is survived by his parents, Joe and Jen (Triezenberg) Rounds; siblings; Gabrielle Triezenberg, Austin Rounds (7) and Madeline Rounds (15 months) all of Kalamazoo; and all his loving caregivers over the past 2 ½ years. Learn more about Karter, view his Life Story Film and visit with family and friends on Tuesday from 4:00-6:00PM, where a service to honor his life will follow at 6:00PM at the Life Story Funeral Home, Betzler-Kalamazoo, 6080 Stadium Drive 375-2900. Please visit Karter’s personal web page at www.lifestorynet.com, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo, sign his memory book online before coming to the funeral home, or make a memorial contribution to the Ronald McDonald House.