The Tattered Angel Mission
The Tattered Angel Foundation is dedicated to educating others to the power of the human spirit and to improving the quality of life, both for children with handicaps - tattered angels - and their families.

Rarely perceived or discussed is the innate power and intelligence of the human spirit. While the body may be tattered and broken, the human spirit remains beautifully intact. Moreover, it possesses a strength that professional and familial caregivers often recognize and can draw upon for astonishing results, including resilience and developing extraordinary relationships.

Sadly, however, physical appearance and limitations are frequently the criteria for the measurement of the human soul--the totality of the person. Consequently, society tends to endure rather than embrace tattered angels. These special individuals can be shunned or relegated to institutions. How can we change the perception of tattered angels? How can we help professionals and families become better caregivers?

The Foundation was founded by Blaine and Kathy Yorgason in memory of their adopted daughter, Charity Afton Yorgason (1988--1996). Charity was born with the complete absence of a cortex--the two upper hemispheres of the brain. This left her with only spinal fluid where her brain should have been. Totally disabled and yet refusing to die, she lived a remarkably exemplary and fulfilling life of nearly 8 years.

While she had no physical capacities, worldly beauty, or glamorous attainments whatsoever, Charity was an absolutely outstanding human being! There was a decidedly courageous, heart-warming spiritual side to her that only blossomed as, one after another, she overcame incredibly daunting adversities. No matter that the world insisted on calling her a "vegetable," she glowed with pure joy, she actually "saw" out of eyes that had no optic nerves and "heard" even the slightest of sounds through ears that had no inner ear mechanisms, and from year to year she grew mightily in her capacity to express and communicate, not only her love but her gratitude--her feelings and attitudes regarding the circumstances that surrounded her. This giving or instructive side of her constantly filled her family with wonder and more than a little awe.

In every way imaginable, throughout her lifetime Charity filled the Yorgason's lives and home with happiness and pure joy. Daily they gave thanks that their daughter's young birth mother had refused an abortion, that the AMA resolution was protested strenuously enough that it was tabled, and that Charity was blessed to live through her birth so she could grace their lives with her powerful mind and joyful presence.

Following Charity's death, Blaine M. Yorgason wrote a book about his family's life with her, One Tattered Angel, and both he and his wife have lectured widely, in the years since its publication, concerning their mind-expanding experiences with their daughter. Their message is not so much the account of a hydranencephalic child, therefore, as it is the story of the incredible life-sustaining power of the human spirit. It is the story of the remarkable mortal accomplishments of a "throw-away" baby, "one tattered angel," and of the sweet joy and happiness she constantly gave to those who loved and chose to serve her.