For two-year-old Dudley and his family, the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital can often feel like a second home.
Dudley has been a patient at the hospital since birth. His mum, Lauren, was monitored throughout her pregnancy for intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), and when Dudley stopped growing completely at 32 weeks, the decision was made to deliver him early. But on the outside, Dudley’s weight issues continued and he spent much of his early life in hospital while his clinical team tried to work out what was wrong.
Dudley was eventually diagnosed with hypoglycaemia , a condition in which blood sugar (glucose) levels are lower than the standard range. Glucose is your body’s main energy source. If left untreated a hypo attack can cause seizures, fits, and loss of consciousness or in some cases loss of life.
At four months old, Dudley was given a nasogastric (NG) tube to carry food and medicine directly to his stomach. Dudley suffers quite badly from reflux and often vomits the tube up, sometimes as often as four times a day. This always involves a visit to the children’s hospital to have it re-inserted.
Because of this, Dudley has open access to the children’s assessment unit here at the children’s hospital. Mum, Lauren, says: “Dudley’s condition can be quite unpredictable. If he has an illness it has a massive impact on his body which leads to severe hypo’s which can then cause seizures.
“Dudley used to have a lot of anxiety around coming to the hospital if he had vomited up his NG tube as it’s painful and uncomfortable for him to have it re inserted. He would hide or shake if he knew he was going in. But the incredible Noah’s Ark play team have completely changed his mindset. They are amazing with Dudley.”
To give back to the hospital and charity who help fund the play service, Dudley, his mum Lauren and older brother Stanley are taking part in the Superhero Dash this September 25th at Pontcanna Fields, Cardiff. The trio have already exceeded their target, raising £340 to date, but they want to keep going and raise as much as they can for a cause that has had such an impact of Dudley’s life.
It’s not too late to sign up to become a SUPERhero for the children of Noah’s Ark. Sign up for the Superhero Dash now here.