After a nightmarish couple of weeks, a Launceston family's best hope for their son Hudson is now resting on a Melbourne healthcare system already laboring under a coronavirus crisis.
The family's struggle began about two weeks ago when Hudson's mother - Launceston local Britney Richards - received a call from her son's childcare.
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"We got a phone call saying that he had a fever, so my partner picked him up from childcare and went home with him and everything seemed fine. Then the following day, he woke up not being able to move his neck," she said.
"At one point, he had a temperature of 42 degrees."
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After rushing him to hospital, doctor's identified an abscess in Hudson's neck dangerously located between his tonsils and carotid artery, sending the family that night to a hospital in Hobart.
However, following an unsuccessful surgery, doctors in the state capital soon advised that Hudson and his mother travel even further to Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital - where specialist surgeons could attempt the life-saving surgery.
Now, in the middle of locked-down Melbourne and following another unsuccessful attempt to remove the abscess last Thursday, Hudson's family is awaiting his third surgery, which is scheduled for early this week.
The two-year-old's dire situation is being further complicated by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis in the state, which is applying increasing pressure to the healthcare system on which Hudson's life relies.
"It's definitely complicated a lot of things," Ms Richards said.
"Scans and surgeries had to be delayed because of COVID testing. It's extremely scary because there's so much COVID in the hospital, and Hudson's just stuck in his room."
"The surgeon was explaining to me that a few hours before his procedure that they had to do a COVID test because they'd operated on someone that tested positive."
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Struggling with taking so much time off work and with much of their savings gone to a now-postponed wedding, the family turned to popular crowdfunding website GoFundMe to ask for donations.
"We thought, look, we'll give it a try.
"We didn't expect much to come of it, but it's been amazing to see how many people have been so generous."
It seems the public have answered the family's call, with their GoFundMe is pushing close to its $5000 target at the latest count.
Following the raise, Hudson's father Sebastian was able to fly over to be with his family, but restrictions are currently preventing both parents from being together with Hudson, adding yet another layer of difficulty to the family's ongoing struggle.
"It's great that Sebastian's here but we can't see each other because one person has always got to be with Hudson. This is definitely a parent's worst nightmare. It's horrible what we've been going through, especially because sometimes we've had to go through it alone," she said.
- Donate: gofundme.com/f/help-hudson-and-his-family-be-together
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