To see Hudson Brooks with his parents on the family farm near Alameda, you would never guess his life began under very difficult circumstances. The first child of Jeremy and Rachelle Brooks arrived in January of 2017, 16 weeks ahead of his due date, weighing only 1lb 13oz. An ultrasound test revealed the umbilical cord and one of Hudson’s arms was in the birth canal. The doctors decided Hudson would have a better chance of survival if a C-section was done that day in a controlled environment, rather than Rachelle going into labour.
We were worried when the doctors wanted to deliver Hudson that early,” says Rachelle. “But we decided just to roll with the punches. Thankfully, Hudson has been a fighter right from day one.
Because of his fragile medical condition, an extended stay of 112 days in Regina’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the Rawlco Centre for Mother Baby Care was required. Hudson’s care required him to be incubated for the first 45 days, giving his tiny lungs the help they needed to keep him breathing until they grew bigger and stronger. At one point, doctors were also treating him for a brain hemorrhage.
Thinking back to that time still brings Rachelle to the verge of tears. “It was an emotional roller-coaster. We never gave up hope, but there was one point where I was unsure…” Rachelle’s voice trails off and she takes a moment to compose herself. “But our little fighter never stopped battling.”
“I can’t say enough about the fabulous care we received,” Rachelle continues. “When they used diagnostic machines to assess Hudson, including an ultrasound, X-ray and an electroencephalogram (EEG), the staff treated him like one of their own kids. Honestly, it felt like we were being looked after by family. Thankfully, they had the tools they needed to save our baby. Otherwise, I don’t think he would be here today.”
“Hudson is one of 11,000 children who receive diagnostic imaging services each year at Regina’s hospitals,” said Dino Sophocleous, president and CEO Hospitals of Regina Foundation. “We’re grateful to everyone who supported our ongoing campaign to raise funds for new therapeutic and diagnostic imaging equipment. That support is making a difference in the lives of so many people.”
By June of 2018, Hudson had undergone four surgical procedures for hernias (the doctors told Rachelle hernias are common with premature babies), and a fifth operation is planned. He no longer requires any treatment for breathing issues. For the most part, he’s just like any youngster his age. He plays with the other children at his daycare and he loves being outdoors on the farm with his parents. Rachelle says he’s even starting to talk. “I try to get him to say ‘mama’ and he says ‘dada’. I swear he’s doing it on purpose!”
It hasn’t been easy, but we have also met so many wonderful people along the way,” Rachelle concludes. Thank you to the amazing staff in the NICU and the generous donors to Hospitals of Regina Foundation who gave Hudson a fighting chance. We are beyond grateful.