A week after Hudson Bond was born this summer, doctors diagnosed him with cardiomyopathy of an unknown origin and informed his parents that the infant would need a new heart, WTVD reports. Upon hearing the news, Hudson's father Kevin Bond sprang into action.
The North Carolina dad created a Facebook page called "Hudson's Heart" to spread the word about his son's need for a transplant and raise money for medical expenses. On the page, Bond shares photos of baby Hudson in the hospital and posts medical updates. Recently, the baby underwent open heart surgery so that doctors could install an artificial Berlin Heart to pump blood for his damaged left ventricle -- a temporary measure to buy him some time while the family awaits a heart transplant.
To reach a wider audience, Bond sometimes pays small amounts to boost posts from the "Hudson's Heart" page, but on September 4, Facebook rejected his $20 boost.
The company cited the following reason for rejection: "Your ad wasn't approved because the image or video thumbnail is scary, gory, or sensational and evokes a negative response. Images including accidents, car crashes, dead and dismembered bodies, ghosts, zombies, ghouls, and vampires are not allowed."
The dad was stunned. “I was really hurt actually. I mean I kind of cried. He’s my son, I love him. And to have someone reject a picture… [of] my beautiful son lying in a hospital bed needing help -- that really cut me,” he told WTVD. Bond tried contacting Facebook to discuss the matter further but received no response. "We love our son, we just want to share his story and raise awareness for kids like him and to see that request denied is hard considering some of the other garbage you see on that page," he added.
Regarding the incident, a Facebook spokesperson has issued the following statement to The Huffington Post: "This was a mistake on our part, and the ad has been re-approved. We apologize for any inconvenience this caused the family."
But Kevin Bond is not satisfied with this statement. "I read Facebook's response on media outlets last night. They apologized for the inconvenience this caused my family. Inconvenience was never an issue. Having my beautiful Son compared to dismembered bodies, vampires, zombies, etcetera hurt me, and my family," he posted on the page on September 10. "The ad in question was time sensitive. Reversing their decision days later fixes nothing. Further, the company still hasn't contacted me directly. Had I not read their half hearted apology on the media I'd have no idea it existed."
As for now, baby Hudson remains in the Pediatric Cardiac ICU at Duke Children's Hospital. If and when he receives a heart transplant, he will finally have the chance to go home. For more information about the baby's medical history, you can read this post on "Hudson's Heart."
UPDATE: Sep. 26, 4:00 p.m.
Earlier this week, Hudson Bond received a new heart. All signs indicate that the transplant surgery was successful, but doctors continue to monitor the baby's progress and check to see that no complications arise. Hudson's page on the Children's Organ Transplant Association website has raised over $140,000 to cover his medical expenses into his adult life. According to KTLA, Facebook eventually did reach out to the family directly and offered $10,000 in free ads. Hudson's parents continue to post updates about their son's condition on his Facebook page.
(hat tip: The Stir)