SPECIAL REPORT: "Hudson Strong"
NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. (WENY) – The joy of a newborn baby. That's what the Weigel Family had the chance to celebrate when their son Hudson was born at Robert Packer Hospital on August 21st, 2018. The family had no way of seeing what was going to happen next.
Just two days later, Hudson was diagnosed with multiple heart defects and had to be rushed to another hospital. After getting transferred to 3 separate hospitals, Hudson was eventually flown to the Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital in New York City.
Once the whirlwind of transfers ended in the Big Apple, his family had to adapt to the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, so they can be at his bedside every day that they are able.
Along with an 18-yr old daughter who recently came from Elmira to visit Hudson, they have two toddlers to take care of in the city, who may not fully understand the situation, but know enough to be there for their baby brother.
During my visit to the city, I was able to sit down with his parents in the park right outside of the hospital to see how things are going for him, and for the family as a whole.
His mother Bridget told me, “It's been 5 and a half months of not sleeping in your bed, not eating in your house, and not being around the people that you care about. Our life now is nurses, and doctors, and reports, and blood work, and echoes. Our life is very different.”
The Weigels continue to stay Hudson Strong for their son. He continues to battle his medical adversities every single day, with a certain glow that has impressed his family and medical team alike.
His mom added, “My son has showed me a strength I didn't know babies could have.”
“He fights everyday to live, and he has something really special inside of him. I just love watching him. He loves to cuddle, and he is a mommy's boy all the way. He has such a sweet, but demanding spirit, and it just shows.”
Now Hudson's mother may say that he is a mommy's boy, but his father Eric has been just as close with his son, heartbroken over what he has gone through so far in his young life.
He said, “With Hudson, he's never seen the outside of a hospital. This is his 4th hospital. It's tough, but it's in his best interests to move him forward with life.”
“Whether it's a new heart or whether he stays single ventricle, it's tough to watch your kid day in and day out hooked up to machines and IV's. It's just tough.” Despite the negative odds facing Hudson he's overcome so many hurdles since birth.
His dad went on to say, “He's had the odds stacked against him. He's proven doctors wrong. When Hudson came here, he had a 30% chance. Hudson when into his first procedure and came out not on ECMO. We were told there was a 50/50 chance he wouldn't make it out of his next procedure. Hudson's still here, and I don't blink an eye on him.”
According to hospital officials, Morgan Stanley is regarded as one of the best in the northeast for the care that Hudson requires. However, due to strict media guidelines for pediatric patients, no interviews were given by his doctors.
So, I reached out to the hospital where he was born for more medical insight. I spoke with Dr. Navin Kumar Subrayappa, and while he couldn't comment specifically on Hudson, he was able to provide me more information on some of the heart defects Hudson has been diagnosed with.
He stated, “In terms of tricuspid regurgitation, there have been problems with the heart that can affect the tricuspid valve, and that may entail the need for a heart transplantation. So, all of these (tricuspid regurgitation, critical aortic stenosis, HLHS) can contribute to ongoing heart failure, and contribute to a patient needing a heart transplantation.”
Due to the current state of his heart, transplantation is now the route being taken in New York City. The story of Hudson's life has barely reached the end of its first chapter. He and his family patiently await for what's to come, with endless hope for a new heart, and to one day be back home together.
His dad finished out his interview saying, “Whether he's got a disability down the road or whether he is recovered 100 percent, I'd never blink an eye. The kid's phenomenal. He just changes your life, he really does. He's a life changing child.”
Hudson's GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/cxbmf-hudsonstrong