Six-month-old Hudson Doyle, from Hilsea, is on a life support machine in hospital and being treated for Covid pneumonitis.
Parents, Mariah and Liam Allen, are sitting by his side in the Southampton paediatric intensive care unit, at Southampton Children’s hospital.
A fundraiser has been launched for the parents so they can continue to remain by their beloved little tot’s side.
Heartbreakingly, Claire Allen, Hudson’s grandma, said doctors have given him a 50 per cent chance to live.
Trying to hold back the tears, she told The News: ‘Doctors have told me his lungs are really damaged.
‘We’re just waiting and hoping for any good bit of news really.
‘His life is hanging in the balance.’
Tiny Hudson was taken to hospital by ambulance on New Year’s day, after him, his parents and two-year-old sister Pixie caught Covid the day before.
After being sedated and put on a ventilator, he was transferred to the intensive care unit the day after.
Mrs Allen said Hudson initially turned a corner after four days and was back home in Hilsea on January 6.
By the next day though, he was struggling to breathe and was rushed back to hospital.
Mrs Allen said doctors couldn’t stabilise him, and the baby struggled maintain his oxygen levels despite being sedated and put on a ventilator.
Hudson’s condition is so severe that he’s currently on an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation life support machine (ECMO).
The respiratory bypass machine pumps blood and oxygen round his system and breathes for him.
Hudson can only stay on the machine for three weeks and Claire said the procedure is a last chance saloon to save his life.
The former midwife at Queen Alexandra hospital said: ‘The machine is there to give him time for his lungs to repair and recover.
‘He remains in a critical condition, but is classed as critical and stable because the machines are doing everything for him.
‘There are other risks because his blood has to be thinned to go on the machine, and there are risks that he could have bleeds to his brain or stomach.’
Doctors diagnosed Hudson with Covid pneumonitis, the first time the hospital had a case in a baby.
Mrs Allen said even after Hudson is taken off the ECMO machine, it is a long road to recovery.
She said: ‘Even when he comes off that machine, he’s not going to be okay.
‘His lungs are so diseased and damaged that he may need to be on a ventilator or on oxygen for a long time.
‘We just don’t know yet.’
Mariah and Liam, who live in Hilsea, have moved into Ronald McDonald House – a charity which houses parents of children undergoing long-term treatment.
Claire said the ordeal has been tough on Hudson’s parents.
She added: ‘Mariah broke down when she got there yesterday, because the realisation hit that it may be their home for the foreseeable.
‘They just have to take each day at a time and just hope for a bit of good news.’
The money for the fundraiser will be used to support the family with living costs.
Liam is a welder, who isn’t currently receiving sick pay and is under the threshold for universal credit – Mariah is a stay at home mum.
So far, more than £5,000 has been raised, allowing Hudson’s parents to stay by their baby.
Claire said the money will cover the family for up to ten weeks, but the length of Hudson’s recover may take longer.
She said: ‘Hudson’s recovery is going to take weeks and weeks and weeks.
‘Mariah and Liam are in it for the long-term if he starts to recover, and if not, we’re going to have to fund a funeral.
‘Money should be the least of their worries at the moment, they just need to be by Hudson’s side and be there for as long as possible.’
Hudson’s mum Mariah lost her first baby, Ivy, in 2017, after a 20 week pregnancy scan showed she had a heart defect.
Claire hopes baby Hudson can pull through.
She said: ‘From talking to the doctors and nurses, Mariah and Liam realised the treatment will take weeks, and his road to recovery will be slow, if he recovers at all.
‘God forbid he’s in the 50 per cent that won’t make it.’
To donate to the fundraiser click here.
A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron