Triplet spends birthday in hospital, while parents fear the worst

Triplet spends birthday in hospital, while parents fear the worst

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RIVERTON — It was his first birthday, and Maverick Carpenter spent it in the hospital fighting for his life.

The little tyke had been showing signs of not feeling well, so his dad, Cody Carpenter, took him to the doctor on Jan. 11. Taking his infant son to the doctor had become routine due to a rare genetic condition the boy was born with called Soto syndrome that causes a weakened immune system. Maverick, who is the youngest of triplets (born on Jan. 18, 2023), was also born with underdeveloped hands due to the amniotic bands being wrapped around them, cutting off circulation.

Mom Ashley Carpenter said hospital stays have been common and frequent in their son’s short lifetime, but they weren’t prepared for what challenges would be ahead.

“Around Jan. 11, Mav had stopped eating and was very pale,” Ashley Carpenter said. “My husband set up a doctor’s appointment just to make sure everything was OK, and the doctors said that we needed to take him to the emergency room right away.”

After several tests, including a lumbar puncture, it was determined Maverick had type A bacterial meningitis that doctors attempted to treat with various antibiotics. Even with those treatments, the infection continued to spread to the boy’s brain.

“We were told, at one point, that it was inoperable because the infection was in the subarachnoid space,” Ashley Carpenter said. “At this point seizures started, and Maverick was rushed to the ICU because he was not able to exhale on his own.”

She described witnessing, alongside her husband, the trauma their son was enduring, and they both feared the worst. They could possibly lose another child.

Longing to have children

The Carpenters have been married since 2017 and they knew, due to conditions they both had, that growing their family would be challenging.

“I don’t produce enough hormones to support a pregnancy and my husband has an autoimmune disease that required chemo,” Ashley Carpenter explained. “The two issues together have required IVF.”

Right after getting married, they began fertility treatments and in 2021, they found out they were expecting triplets. Not long after, however, the couple got some heartbreaking news.

“Our first success with IVF were triplets and we lost two of them at 14 weeks, but our now 2-year-old did make it,” Ashley Carpenter said. “We had a few unsuccessful rounds of IVF, so in 2022, when we found out we were pregnant with triplets again, we never thought they’d all make it.”

But this time, they all did make it. And on Jan. 18, 2023, the family had four children under the age of 2.

Ashley and Cody Carpenter with their four children. Maverick, third from left, is the youngest of triplets, and has a rare autoimmune disease that causes a weakened immune system. Maverick was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis A, and has been in the hospital since Jan. 11.
Ashley and Cody Carpenter with their four children. Maverick, third from left, is the youngest of triplets, and has a rare autoimmune disease that causes a weakened immune system. Maverick was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis A, and has been in the hospital since Jan. 11. (Photo: Megan Conrad)

Touch and go

When antibiotics weren’t working on Maverick’s infection, doctors inserted a drain to relieve the pressure, which allowed things to start draining enough to try a craniotomy. Ashley Carpenter said the procedure involved doctors cutting open Maverick’s head on two sides of the skull to get to the subarachnoid space and clean the area with a saline spray.

“The whole idea was to give the antibiotic a chance to kill the rest of the infection,” she explained. “At that point, we didn’t know exactly what the right thing to do was because there was no guarantee it was going to work.”

Shortly after the surgery, the couple’s biggest fears began to manifest as they started to see their son’s condition decline. He began having more frequent seizures and his eyes weren’t tracking anymore. The seizures caused little Maverick to have frequent fevers, and he had declined so quickly his parents began to prepare for life without their youngest son.

“On the 28th, I thought he was going to pass that night, so we said our goodbyes,” Ashley Carpenter said.

But Maverick didn’t pass away that night — and as the days went on, he started to improve.

“A few days later, his eyes were starting to focus, and he was moving more,” the bereaved mother said. “There is still an infection on the brain, but it is very minimal. He got his feeding tube out and he’s eating on his own. He does have hearing loss, unfortunately, but it’s just the nature of meningitis. He is legally deaf in one ear and mostly deaf in the other, so he’ll be getting cochlear implants soon to hopefully help with the ability to hear, eventually.”

Ashley Carpenter said seeing her son endure all that he has, has been difficult, but he has been a trooper through it all.

“Honestly, Maverick is just a master of life, and he is so happy,” she said. “He’s got a lot of mountains and then he just got another one added. He’s doing so much better but I know that he’s going to have a lot to face moving forward.”

Maverick is still in the hospital, and will likely be there several more weeks. The parents said they have been grateful for all the help they have received over the past several weeks.


He’s got a lot of mountains and then he just got another one added. He’s doing so much better but I know that he’s going to have a lot to face moving forward.

– Ashley Carpenter


“My husband and I both work from home, and we have nannies who help, and my parents help when they can,” she said. “We have a neighborhood that is heaven-sent. They sign up for two-hour slots here and there, and they bring us food and random groceries. It is certainly a lot, especially when you have work and your kids need you. It’s been rough.”

With the mounting medical bills, Ashley’s sister set up a GoFundMe* account to lighten the load.


*KSL.com does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

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Arianne Brown has been a contributing writer at KSL.com for many years with a focus of sharing heartwarming stories.

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