Family has miracle as son takes unexpected first steps
HUDSON Chirio, 3, took his first-ever independent steps this week.
His mother Janelle said this was the best Christmas present she and partner Toni could have asked for.
"When he was 12 weeks old, we were told to expect him to do nothing and that that anything he did would be a miracle," Ms Chirio said.
"This will be the first time we're not in a hospital; a week in the lead-up to Christmas."
Despite being just three, Hudson has already had 15 brain surgeries.
Prior to birth, Hudson and his twin brother Mason had a stroke.
It affected Mason in that he was non-verbal, and went on to cause a series of serious brain problems in Hudson.
"It was at the 12-week-old mark that Hudson had his first seizure," Ms Chirio said.
"His head and eyes deviated to the left, and his right side became floppy."
Doctors then performed a procedure where they disconnected the left side of his brain.
"That means that part of the brain is sitting inactive, seizing 300 times a day," she said.
"It stopped epilepsy but then he needed a shunt to be inserted."
Hudson and Mason are the best of friends and over their medical journey, the family has spent a lot of time at the Hervey Bay Hospital.
"We first came in here on April 1 in 2014, and have been back many times.
"The hospital has been really great to us.
"As of now, Hudson will need a surgery only if his shunt blocks and we are focusing on rehabilitation."
The family was one of many who came to Hervey Bay Hospital's children's ward Christmas party this week.
Children's ward acting nurse manager Sally-Anne Smith said the party was an opportunity for children to develop a different association with the hospital.
"The kids here have either been in for long stays, or frequent stays, and the party is a chance to show them that the hospital's isn't so bad," she said.
"There's been definitely a few friendships formed between parents and children as they're able to share stories."
A surprise visit from Santa left children with smiles and special presents to take home.