NEWS

Hamilton baby with mystery illness rallies in hospital

08/14/2012 02:57 EDT | Updated 10/14/2012 05:12 EDT
Brayden Richards, the Hamilton baby whose undiagnosed illness has puzzled doctors, was rushed to the intensive care unit on Sunday. But his mom says he is fighting back.

Brayden, the one-year-old whose ailment has been studied by teams of specialists, seems to have contracted influenza on the weekend. But if all goes well, he should return to his family's Mountain home on East 23rd Street on Wednesday, Katherine Richards said Tuesday morning.

Brayden gained attention last week when online and TV segments profiled the quest to diagnose him. He was born with no ability to gag or swallow, muscle problems and lack of responsiveness. He requires a tracheotomy and a feeding tube.

Teams of doctors at McMaster Children's Hospital have tried for more than a year to diagnose his illness. But so far, X-rays, MRIs and other tests have unveiled no clues.

Richards is heartened by the response to her story. She has heard from doctors and medical students, and several moms who have children with similar symptoms. Dozens have offered messages of support.

The bulk of the activity has been around a 1,000-member Facebook page started by Richards called Brayden's Journey.

“Mothers come on to our Facebook page and connect with each other,” she said. “That makes me ecstatic.”

Brayden was rushed to hospital by ambulance on Sunday. He is still getting fevers off and on.

“He is fighting,” Richards said. “He is really fighting very strongly. With all the support and people rooting for him, and him fighting like this … it's pretty crazy.”

There will be a fundraiser for Brayden's medical care on Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. at the Royal Canadian Legion Prentice Room, 435 Limeridge Rd. E.

Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. For more information, contact skrichards11@gmail.com. Donations can be made out to Brayden Richards Trust.

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