Monsignor O’Donoghue CES student Carter Khuth inspires his school and community as SickKids ambassador
Dec. 19, 2023
In the image displayed boldly on bus stops and buses throughout the city of Peterborough, Carter Khuth looks confident and resolved as he proudly displays the bravery beads he’s earned at SickKids through his early years.
Currently a SickKids ambassador for the Peterborough region, the Monsignor O’Donoghue Catholic Elementary School kindergarten student is the face of resilience as he appears in numerous ads in promotion for the hospital’s “era of precision child health.”
The path that has brought Carter and his family to this moment has been winding and uncertain as Carter suffered from a series of undiagnosed ailments, an early life filled with monthly and sometimes weekly visits to the hospital, many of which were life-threatening.
In the spring of 2022, Carter’s parents, Angel Bottom and Rob Khuth received a call they would never forget. A genetic test that four years previously was mistakenly read as negative was caught after being reviewed by a new doctor. Carter’s actual genetic results aligned with a diagnosis for Russell-Silver Syndrome, a rare growth disorder. With this information, Carter was able to receive the proper care he needed to thrive at SickKids hospital, which paved the way for Carter to enter school.
With his older brother Kayden already a part of the Monsignor O’Donoghue CES community, it was still a difficult transition for Carter to go from consistent hospital stays and speech therapy appointments to now attending school, socializing with friends, and taking part in a new routine.
“Carter is such an amazing young man whose personality blossomed every day as his confidence grew.”
“I have never been so proud as a principal to see a student enter kindergarten and immediately take off with it,” reflected retired PVNC principal Shelley Adair, who was principal at Monsignor O’Donoghue CES when Carter was registered. “Carter is such an amazing young man whose personality blossomed every day as his confidence grew.”
For anyone meeting Carter today, they would not know the child who was once shy and reserved, but instead would be greeted by a confident artist who enjoys trains, planes, monster trucks, and ships like the Titanic.
“In his school environment, he is definitely getting the best of everything, in his teachers, in his friends, and just the community as a whole.”
“We are so pleased with how far he has come with school,” says Angel. “In his early life, we felt that he was stuck with the short end of the stick and he couldn’t get exactly what he needed but in his school environment, he is definitely getting the best of everything, in his teachers, in his friends, and just the community as a whole.”
The inclusive and positive environment at Monsignor O’Donoghue CES has been instrumental in his progress. The simple yet powerful gestures of greetings from fellow students, teachers, and parents have created a sense of belonging that has contributed to Carter’s thriving development, Angel said.
“We’re just so proud of how far (Carter) has come and how brave he is,” Angel said. “I also want to share his story in hopes it will help other families who might be struggling in the same way.”