Nana's generous gift gives Hudson a new liver - and a lot more energy

Hudson with his Nana Sengar Haydon of Felsted

Hudson with his nana Sengar Haydon of Felsted - Credit: supplied

A Newport mum is looking forward to a very special Mother's Day, as she has already received an incredible gift from her own mum – a new liver for her son. 

Hudson Penning, now 21 months old, was born with a rare and life- threatening disease called Alagille Syndrome which affects his liver, heart and kidneys.

Mum Chelsea Penning, 30, said: “We all knew from the moment Hudson was diagnosed that a transplant was a possibility if his liver disease did not improve.

"From that point my mum had always said she would be his donor if she could and ensured she kept herself fit and in good health.”  

In July last year, it became clear that Hudson needed that transplant.

Hudson's before and after the liver operation photograph, showing his improved health

What a difference! Left: Hudson on November 3, 2020 before the operation took place. Right: Hudson on February 10, 2021 after the successful liver operation - Credit: supplied

Newport boy Hudson taking a nap ahead of his surgery at King's College Hospital, London

Hudson taking a nap the morning of his liver transplant surgery, on November 13, 2020 - Credit: supplied

Hudson's nana, Sengar Haydon from Felsted, donated part of her liver to her grandson in an operation at King's College Hospital in London on November 13. 

Chelsea said: “Hudson’s liver transplant has changed his life and ours.

Most Read

"He has grown and is so chatty.  One of the biggest changes is the amount of energy he now has. We thought he had energy before, but he is now supercharged and into everything!”

Sengar returned to work remotely in February and is now back at work in an orthodontic practice in Chelmsford and has also returned to running.

The first cuddle post-surgery for Hudson Penning and his nana, Sengar Haydon

The first cuddle post-surgery for Hudson Penning and his nana, Sengar Haydon - Credit: supplied

Newport residents Chelsea and Tom with son Hudson, three months after the liver transplant

Chelsea and Tom with son Hudson, three months after the liver transplant - Credit: supplied

Chelsea said they still have a long way to go in terms of Hudson’s ongoing care but they're the happiest they've ever been.

She said they can't thank hospital staff enough, or her mum enough for the ultimate gift.

While Hudson was unwell, the family were grateful for the information and support they received from the Children's Liver Disease Foundation. They wanted others to have the same support - so they fundraised and donated, with the final sum being £26,700.

Hudson's dad Tom Penning and Hudson's grandad Ian Haydon took part in the Cambridge Half Marathon in March 2020 for sponsorship money, and they held a cake stall, supported by the community.

Coverage in the Saffron Walden Reporter in March 2020 of Hudson's dad Tom Penning and Hudson's grandad Ian Haydon taking...

Coverage in the Saffron Walden Reporter in March 2020 of Hudson's dad Tom Penning and Hudson's grandad Ian Haydon taking part in the Cambridge Half Marathon in March 2020 as a fundraiser for the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation - Credit: Archant

Alison Taylor, Chief Executive of Children’s Liver Disease Foundation said: “We’re delighted that his transplant has been a success and that his Nana has made such a good recovery.

"We shall continue to be there for Hudson in the coming years and look forward to hearing how he progresses.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter