LEXINGTON, Ky. (9/24/13) – Harry Hilton, 4, has already overcome some very serious obstacles in his young life. At nine weeks old Harry was diagnosed with Kawasaki disease, an autoimmune disease where the arteries widen. His disease was especially high-risk, leading to a number of hospital stays.
But thanks to the Kentucky Children's Hospital, Harry is now healthy and is bringing new meaning to the word “champion.”
Harry was selected as the 2013 Children's Miracle Network Kentucky Champion. Now, he's preparing for an upcoming trip to Washington, D.C and Orlando where he will meet Champions selected from each state as they gather during the annual official ambassador trip. He had a send-off party Saturday at Legacy All Sports, where his friends, family, former doctors and nurses gathered to wish him well on his new journey.
“We firmly believe that all people have the responsibility to work to improve themselves and their community,” said Mike Hilton, Harry's father. “For us to be able to do that by supporting the Kentucky Children's Hospital, and with the Kentucky Children's Hospital supporting so many families in our community, it's a very special feeling.”
Hilton added that he is forever grateful to the Kentucky Children's Hospital. As new parents, Hilton and Harry's mother were going through a very emotional struggle, considering Kawasaki disease is one that can become even more severe if not treated immediately.
“If you don't diagnose and treat in a particular number of days, things get very scary,” he said. “You end up doing open heart surgery on a child, which is terrifying for first time parents. When we checked in at Kentucky Children's Hospital, we were at the cut-off. We were at the deadline. We had a diagnosis, confirmation, treatment plan and began treatment within 12 hours. To have such an organization like that takes care of our son medically first, but then managed our emotions as new parents, that's a very special combination.”
With a tear in his eye, Hilton said being able to come from such a low point, to a day of celebration is a surreal feeling.
“Overall, we're just very thankful for the staff and the organization. Some of his doctors and the nursing staff are out here,” said Hilton. “These are people that changed our life, they saved our kid. To be able to celebrate with them, it's very special.”
Learn more about Harry's story in this video:
Video provided by UK HealthCare
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