The day Hudson became a big brother is also the day he began limping. While his parents wondered if he was hoping for a bit of attention, it soon became clear that his immobility was more than an act.
Just hours after 19-month-old Hudson became a big brother, his grandma noticed he was limping. When he visited his new baby brother and parents at the hospital, his mom assumed his limp was either from playing too hard or was just a way to get attention now that there was a new baby in the family.
Soon Hudson began struggling to walk after naps or in the morning. It was painfully obvious that his immobility was more than an attention-seeking behavior. His parents took him to Complete Children's Health where he underwent x-rays and blood work. Hudson's rheumatoid levels were extremely high and he was referred to a pediatric rheumatologist at Omaha Children's Hospital. That was the same day Hudson’s patents heard of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA).
Hudson’s family was in a state of shock. They would wake to find Hudson unable to put any weight on his legs. He would scream for help. He wanted to play chase or hide and seek but didn’t understand why he wasn’t able. His parents wanted to give Hudson answers, but they weren’t sure what to expect or how JRA would impact their son. All they could do was wait for their appointment with a specialist
“Not only were we getting used to a new family member, we were all trying to deal with an issue we knew nothing about,” says Hudson’s mom, during the weeks they waited to see a pediatric rheumatologist. “We had no confirmation of what Hudson was suffering from.”
When they finally met with a pediatric rheumatologist, it took no time for him to determine that Hudson had JRA, with the most activity in his right knee and left ankle. This helped his parents better understand why Hudson’s limping wasn’t confined to one side. Hudson was put on naproxen for two months to see if that would help.
With the medication not helping, Hudson’s parents began to research other options. They learned about the Arthritis Foundation and immediately became part of the juvenile arthritis community. They requested a care package for Hudson, a book for themselves and the opportunity to help with sharing the message of JRA.
By the time Hudson had his second appointment, his arthritis had spread to his other ankle and a toe on his right foot. His doctor prescribed weekly methotrexate injections, steroids and a plethora of vitamins to counteract the side effects of the drugs. Just five months after welcoming his baby brother into the world, Hudson is responding well and is a very happy and energetic toddler.
“Hudson’s diagnosis is something that has not only affected our immediate family, but grandmas and grandpas, aunts, uncles, friends, colleagues and strangers,” says his mom. “We have been blessed by the support from all of them. We are beyond grateful for everyone's continued prayers as we find our way through all of this. “
As Jingle Bell Run/ Walk Youth Honoree, Hudson and his family have a goal to bring awareness to his disease and share hope with other kids to help prevent them from suffering.