Celebrating a strong, creative, resilient Lunenburg County
NOW, MORE THAN EVER...
Story by TINA HENNIGAR
Sarah and Cameron Fleck were having a great year. Cameron was expanding his business, Culligan Water, from its location on North Street in Bridgewater to Logan Road. Sarah was expecting their first child together, and they were planning their wedding in New York City. The excitement leapt from Sarah’s Facebook page. People were anxious to read her next post, each more exciting than the last as the days grew closer to baby Hudson’s arrival.
When it was clear that Sarah was in labour, her close group of friends and everyone who knew her grew excited, then anxious when the updates didn’t come
soon enough. There was something wrong.
After a dramatic delivery, a number of tests and even seizures, Sarah revealed that baby Hudson had been diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis (CF), a disease that she knew very little about.
After dropping to the floor crying when hearing the news from the doctors at the IWK hospital, Sarah picked herself up and headed to Google to get educated on what they were in store for.
Hudson’s life would now involve daily enzyme pills before every feeding. He was only 3-weeks old when they started feeding him applesauce so that he could get the enzymes down. He has to eat within a half-hour after receiving his enzymes or the process must be repeated. Hudson is now up to 5 pills before every feeding. He also has percussion treatments twice a day, where his back is ‘thumped just so’ in order to release the thick mucus from his lungs so he can breathe. Hudson, for as much as he has had to endure, has exhibited a pretty enormous amount of character. “He’s always smiling,” Sarah beamed about her son. “It’s all he knows, but still, it didn’t take him long to catch on to the routine. Now he only cries during his treatments. But it’s getting easier. I like to do it first thing in the morning because he’s so happy to greet the new day.”
Sarah said that it’s her husband, Cameron, who has been her backbone through it all. “He gives his family 100%, even after he’s given his business 100%. I really don’t know how the man does it,” she said, getting emotional. “In those moments when my emotions are taking over, he is fully engaged, asking the doctors all the right questions, taking notes. He’s been incredible through it all,”
Sarah uses social media daily, not just to update everyone on how Hudson’s doing, but to educate people on CF, including herself. She belongs to several CF support groups online and follows other people’s journeys, including one young girl in the US waiting for new lungs.
But despite Hudson’s strength and all the family support that she’s received from her parents and step-parents, all who she said have been such a gift, it’s the community who has surprised her the most. “People baked us baked goods, brought us meals, they offered to clean my house. This community has been incredible to us. We are really lucky to live here.”
Sarah shared a story of being in the grocery store when an employee gave her a fifty dollar bill. “She didn’t ask for a receipt. She didn’t want recognition. She just wanted to contribute to the CF fundraiser which raised over $7,000 in just over a month for CF.
“Family’s with CF children have reached out, even people living in our community with CF, and that has been really encouraging to know he can still have a long happy life,” she said. “Hudson’s going to write his own story,” Sarah said, of her first born and Cameron’s third son. Seeing his bright eyes and electric smile that lights up his entire face, I can’t wait to read it.