Hudson, a little boy with big challenges

From News Leader:

1-year-old born with Down syndrome, health problems is thriving now

Jordan and Rachel Heinz with their son Hudson. Hudson,1, was born with several health problems and has endured three surgeries, but is thriving today. They consider him a blessing and miracle.
Jordan and Rachel Heinz with their son Hudson. Hudson,1, was born with several health problems and has endured three surgeries, but is thriving today. They consider him a blessing and miracle.

There was no reason for Rachel Heinz to get genetic testing during her pregnancy.

As a healthy 25-year-old, she wasn’t high risk, and her chance of having a child with Down syndrome was 1 in 1,000.

Her chance of having a baby with Hirschsprung’s disease was 1 in 5,000.

And the chance of having a baby with ventricular septal defect, or a hole in the heart, was about 1 in 500.

But when Hudson Heinz was born on Oct. 26, 2011, he had all these conditions. Within 24 hours of giving birth, first-time parents Rachel and Jordan Heinz found themselves absorbing waves of shocking diagnosis, fighting for their son and discovering a love and strength they didn’t know they had.

“Jordan and I faced everything as a team and that got us through it. When we saw (Hudson) for the first time, we fell in love with him instantly. When we looked at him, and still when we look at him, we never saw him differently. I’m so proud of him,” Rachel said.

Hudson has been nothing but a blessing, said Jordan.

Physical therapist Susan Pon works with Hudson Heinz, a 1-year-old with Down syndrome, as his parents, Rachel and Jordan Heinz, try to entice him to crawl. Physical therapist Susan Pon works with Hudson Heinz, a 1-year-old with Down syndrome, as his parents, Rachel and Jordan Heinz, try to entice him to crawl. / Nathan Papes/News-Leader

Today, Hudson is thriving, thanks in large part to his parents’ constant devotion. They have tried to learn everything they can about his conditions, spend hours a day working with him and are constantly on the prowl for resources to help him. They hope to share what they’ve learned with other families.

“If there is a parent reading this and something unexpected happens (with their child) … it may be unexpected and scary and kind of overwhelming at first, but it all works out. It’s all about your attitude and perspective. Hudson gives us our perspective and attitude because we see what he’s gone through and how happy he is and how well he’s done,” Rachel said.

« The scariest thing »

The Heinzes brought Hudson home a year ago yesterday after he spent five weeks in Neonatal Intensive Care, first in Springfield, then in St. Louis. Read all.

 

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