4-year-old takes ceremonial first shot at AmFam Golf Championship

Published: Jun. 22, 2019 at 10:06 AM CDT
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Since the start of the American Family Insurance Championship, more than $4.5 million has been raised and distributed to nearly 200 charities. The golf tournament's main beneficiary is the American Family Children's Hospital, which has received $2.5 million over three years.

As the tournament gives back, it also gave a special opportunity to one of the hospital's former patients.

Friday was a special day for 4-year-old Charlie Kuehl. At one time, his parents were told he wouldn't survive.

As people make their way to the AFI Tournament, there's a tradition where kids who thought their health didn't have a shot — get to make the first shot.

"At the 10-week ultrasound we knew Charlie was going to have some problems," said Sarah Kuehl, Charlie's mom.

Jeff and Sarah Kuehl have been on a long journey with their son. Charlie's kidneys had complications draining and started to fail.

"A great team at the American Family Children's Hospital, but a great team doesn't mean it will work out. But, we were fortunate that it did," said Jeff Kuehl.

Before they knew it, Jeff made a life changing decision to help his son.

"We didn't know if the transplant would work and we certainly didn't know it would work out as well as it has," Jeff Kuehl said.

Jeff gave his son his kidney, with hopes he could give his son a chance at life.

Charlie is taking every shot knowing he was close to not having one.

"Quite a journey and a ride from where we thought we would be," Jeff Kuehl said.

Charlie's parents say that he will be a golfer now for life.

After his big moment, Charlie got a special surprise. The Watt brothers met Charlie and his parents. They had the chance to test their skills and putt together.