CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – Then, and now. Remarkable difference.
Judd Gray was born in May 2019 with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS). The picture on the left is when he was 6-days old. The picture on the right was this past year’s Christmas card, 2-and-a-half years later. Judd lives in Whispering Pines in Moore County, about two hours east of Charlotte, but was born at CMC Main, transferred immediately to Levine Children’s Hospital, where he spent his first month.
He continues to receive care at LCH and also receives benefits from The HEARTest Yard, Greg and Kara Olsen’s foundation to help children with heart conditions.
“It’s a program we’ll forever be thankful for,” said Brianna Gray, Judd’s mom. “My son has had two open heart surgeries and will have his third, the Fontan, in the next year or so.”
In honor of Judd and heart month in February, his family wanted to give back to their “heart friends.” They weren’t sure how, until Brianna came up with a beautiful and simple idea.
Judd Gray (right) with his sister
Judd Gray (right) with his sister(Family Photo)
“We hosted a book drive,” she said. “We received over 300 new books from friends, family, and co-workers. We’ll have a final count of exactly how many soon, but next Wednesday (March 23rd), we’re going to Levine Children’s for Judd’s quarterly appointment/echo and we’ll give them to the hospital then. For other kids to use and enjoy and read while they are having treatments.”
Brianna said she and their whole family is passionate about raising awareness for CHDs and giving back.
“So many organizations have helped us along the way,” she said. “Wanted to see if Judd could become part of #MollysKids so you could write about him and then highlight the other groups and shine some light on them. You can find our posts with the hashtag #KeepPoundingJudd.”
As for all those books?
Check the photo below in comments. It’s Judd and his little sister Emerson, standing amongst them. (Emerson is 18-months old and heart healthy.)
“He turns three on May 22nd,” Brianna said. “He is our reminder that each day is a gift.”