At just eight years old, Hudson Pedlar is fighting for his life at the Stollery Children’s Hospital.
On Oct. 21, 2018, Hudson was admitted to the hospital after feeling unwell for a couple of days. Things quickly took a turn for the worse when he developed a bacterial infection, causing severe bilateral pneumonia and he went into septic shock.
“His body was so sick that his heart and his lungs and everything couldn’t keep up – couldn’t do the work.”
“Through updates from co-workers we found out Hudson had a 50/50 chance of survival, which broke all our hearts,” wrote Debra Berg to CISN Country. Berg works with Hudson’s father, Brian Pedlar.
Hudson was on life support for 19 days and remained on a ventilator for the next six. While in hospital, his ears, fingers and toes swelled up and turned purple. Doctors were blunt.
“I’ll never forget the words he said to me,” Robin said.
“It was, ‘If we don’t take care of the vital organs, we won’t have to worry about the extremities.’ And that’s when it hit me that this was extremely serious and we were possibly going to lose him.”
To alleviate the pressure, incisions were made up and down Hudson’s arms. As the swelling reduces, he requires skin grafts and muscle transplants.
Doctors also needed to make a heart-wrenching decision for the young hockey player.
“Last week he underwent a below-knee amputation on his right leg,” Hudson’s mom said, fighting back tears.
“He went through the expected emotions, right? He went from crying to angry, scared. But his first question was, ‘Am I still going to be able to play hockey?'” Brian explained.
“Although Hudson has been making improvements, he’s not out of the woods yet,” Berg said. “Brian and his wife have been living every parent’s nightmare.”
On Tuesday, the CISN Country morning show team of Chris Scheetz, Jacqueline Sweeney and Matt DeBeurs surprised the Pedlar family as part of the radio station’s 3rd Annual CISN Country’s Christmas Wish.
“We are on the sixth floor of the Mazankowski (Heart Institute) at the PICU where Hudson currently is,” whispered Debeurs over the airwaves.
Moments later, Hudson’s parents Brian and Robin Pedlar came around the corner and were stunned to see the radio host holding a phone.
DeBeurs handed the phone to Brian, where Berg read the letter that she had written to CISN Country.
“Wow! I’m speechless,” said Brian after listening to Berg’s kind words.
Listen below: Eight-year-old Hudson Pedlar is going through a tough time. But thankfully we heard their story, and were able to make this Christmas special for him and his family.
It was then Robin’s turn. Her co-worker at the City of Spruce Grove, Tanya Ouellette, then read her letter.
“This typically very energetic little boy, with the most beautiful big brown eyes that you would ever see — and who loves every type of sport, especially hockey — was admitted to the Stollery Children’s Hospital after feeling unwell for a couple of days,” Ouellette said. “He’s been through more procedures than anyone should have to at such a tender age.”
After she read the letter, through tears, Robin thanked Ouellette.
“The day your son can go to an Oilers game, he’s going to go to the game and your family is going to be treated like royalty,” Sheetz said.
Family members and friends are also selling T-shirts with “#HudsonStrong” written on them as a way to raise money for the family, with 80 per cent of the proceeds going to the family and 20 per cent going to the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation. Scheetz announced that United Sport and Cycle will now be selling the shirts to help out.
“That’s absolutely incredible, thank you so much,” Robin said.
“I’m speechless,” Brian reiterated.
“You have a whole community around you, and loving you, and cheering on Hudson,” host Jacqueline Sweeney said.
The family said that Hudson still has a long way to go but they are sharing the love and support from the community with their young son.
“We’ve definitely been overwhelmed,” Robin said. “It’s just been unreal.”
Hudson will remain in the hospital over Christmas, but his parents are just thankful he’s alive.
“We’re going to have Christmas together, no matter where we are,” Robin said. “And next year will be different.”