Imagine being told that your unborn child has a heart condition and will require urgent open heart surgery as soon as he is born. This was the shocking news that Kelly and Brett Smith received when Kelly was just 20 weeks pregnant with their son Hudson. He was born with a condition known as Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome, a congenital heart defect in which the right ventricle of the heart fails to grow and develop properly.
Doctors told Kelly and Brett that the condition meant that Hudson’s heart would begin to fail almost immediately after birth and that without surgery his chances of survival would be slim.
Thankfully, so far, little Hudson has been one of the lucky ones.
He was delivered at 39 weeks at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital and underwent surgery five days later. Two weeks after his birth, Kelly and Brett were finally able to cuddle her son for the first time. It was a magical moment.
Hudson wasn’t out of the woods yet. His condition requires that the stent must be replaced twice again throughout this life, at 9 months old and 5 years old to accommodate growth and activity.
Three weeks before Christmas, Kelly and Brett were told that it was time for Hudson to again head to Melbourne for his second operation. This was due to his growth and that he was becoming more active by the day. Although they had been through this procedure before, the thought of again leaving their two other daughters, Abby and Mia so close to Christmas was a heartbreaking experience in itself.
Thankfully, after 10 days away Kelly, Brett and Hudson were given the all clear to fly home just in time for Hudson to celebrate his first Christmas surrounded by family and friends.
Although he recovered well, Hudson will continue to be monitored by his specialists at the Women’s & Children’s Hospital.