By Joel Brown
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
DURHAM (WTVD) — For the first time since Samantha Stevens gave birth to Hudson Bond back in July, she finally sees light at the end of the tunnel, a day when Hudson can live a life outside of Duke’s Pediatric Cardiac ICU.
“[I am] just so happy, so thankful…looking forward to bringing him home,” Stevens said.
Forty-eight hours after two-month-old Hudson got his new heart, his mother and the Duke doctors who performed the life-saving surgery marked the milestone of his recovery. There is still swelling and a lot of healing left to do, but Hudson’s surgeon is optimistic.
“Hudson obviously had some events but he has weathered a lot of difficulties and I think it looks great,” said Duke Heart Surgeon Dr. Jake Jaquiss.
“We expected everything to go well, as I’m sure everyone does in these situations, just to get by,” Stevens admits. “But to actually have it, and know that he’ll be going home with us soon [with] a healthy heart beating in his chest again is amazing.”
It’s been an eventful two weeks. When we first met Hudson, he was being kept alive with an artificial heart; it’s called a Berlin Heart. Hudson was desperate for a transplant.
His father’s attempts to raise money for medical costs with an ad post on social media were derailed after Facebook rejected the ad, calling the ad too graphic.
After public outrage, Facebook reversed course. Since then, over $100,000 poured into Hudson’s organ transplant page. It wasn’t just money, Hudson’s case raised awareness too.
“[He definitely] raised awareness of pediatric organ donation,” Steven said.
With the controversy long passed and Hudson healthier than ever, his mom is finally thinking about the future. Hudson’s doctors are too.
“I’m optimistic…that we’ll get him home by Christmas, that’s a good goal – we like that,” said Duke Pediatric Cardiologist Dr. Heather Henderson.
Hudson’s page on the Children’s Organ Transplant Association website has raised over $140,000. It’s money that will help cover Hudson’s medical costs now and into his adult life.
His family is paying it forward, pledging to donate any extra money to other transplant families.