A critically ill baby who needs a new heart is to spend his first birthday in hospital next week.
Little Hudson Pirrie has been in hospital since he was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy in August last year
The life-threatening condition means the Burton tot’s heart is too weak to pump blood around his tiny body and he needs medication to keep his heart working.
His mum and dad Beth, 26, and Ryan, 27, now face an anxious wait for news of a transplant as there is only a limited number of child donors in the UK.
Despite a change in the law meaning adults need to opt-out of organ donation, children are excluded from the rule and the decision is made by parents on whether their organs can be donated to save lives.
It has led to mum Beth urging parents to consider donating their children’s organs.
She said: “We are desperate to receive the call so that our boy can get the gift he needs and have a chance of a healthy life outside of hospital making happy memories with his family.
“The thought of losing our little boy before his life has really begun breaks my heart.
“For him to receive that call would allow us to finally start our family life, away from hospital, at home. It would give Hudson a chance at life that he so deserves.
“His first Halloween, Christmas and birthday, which is on March 2, will all have been spent in his hospital room.
“Half of Hudson’s life has been spent in hospital and I so desperately want him to experience the outside world.”
Beth said she felt her life was complete when Hudson was born last year, weighing 6lb 5oz.
But in August she noticed Hudson was wheezing as he breathed. She grew concerned when he started to refuse his bottles and became lethargic.
She rang 111 and an ambulance was sent out, but paramedics told Beth his heart rate was caused by him being upset.
The next day, Beth rushed the tot to A&E where he was thought to have a chest infection but upon doing a chest X-ray, doctors noticed his heart was enlarged.
Further tests found he was in heart failure and he was rushed to Birmingham Children’s Hospital intensive care unit where he was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy.
Beth told Birmingham Live : “Because of Covid restrictions in hospitals and only one parent allowed in hospital at a time, I was by myself when we found out about Hudson being in heart failure.
“We’d had a healthy baby for five months and now a suspected virus had attacked his heart and put him in heart failure.
“I felt like my world had been crushed and to receive that information alone with no support around me made it so much worse.
“I was worried about what this meant for the future and asked the question ‘would he be ok’. The response was, ‘I’m afraid to say it can be fatal’.
“I felt like I was going to lose him and it was heart-breaking.
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“I had to ring Ryan to tell him the news. He’d gone home after swapping with me thinking Hudson had a chest infection – and was then told he was in heart failure and could die.”
Hudson was placed on milrinone and oxygen and was fed by a tube when he was intensive care. He has since been able to come off oxygen and no longer needs the tube.
But he has been unable to wean off milrinone because his heart function has not improved and he is on the urgent transplant list.
Beth said: “With the limited amount of organ donors suitable for him, if he was to deteriorate, he would be in a race against time.
“No parent expects to be in that position, but I had a healthy pregnancy, a healthy baby up until he was five months old and now I have a child awaiting a heart transplant.
“All I can ask is please have these discussions. It is devastating to know that for my child to live someone else has to lose their child, but in discussing and raising awareness of organ donation we can give so many children like Hudson the gift of life.”