Real Housewives of Orange County star, Meghan King, announced her 2-year-old son, Hart, has been diagnosed with Hypotonic Cerebral Palsy.
In an intimate post uploaded to her blog on October 6, Meghan shared details of Hart’s journey and how she’s always known something was going on.
“The moment Hart was born I knew something was atypical,” she shared. “And although he grew at a typical rate, laughed on time and played with toys, but I just knew something was different.”
Meghan advocated for Hart
When the nagging feeling wouldn’t ease, Meghan pushed for further testing, which eventually led to an MRI for young Hart.
“That MRI confirmed a diagnosis of Periventricular Leukomalacia or PVL which is brain death caused by lack of oxygen. This is often a precursor diagnosis to Cerebral Palsy,” she wrote.
This initial diagnosis sent Meghan on the hunt for treatments to help Hart. She says that in addition to speaking with doctors in Chile, Panama, and Egypt.
Meghan also spent extensive time in St. Louis taking Hart to oxygen therapy sessions and attempting (but failing) to get him into a stem cell study at Duke.
After detailing their journey through therapy, Meghan shared his official diagnosis, “yesterday Hart was diagnosed with Hypotonic Cerebral Palsy.”
Hart is one of three children that Meghan shares with her estranged husband, Jim Edmonds, along with his twin brother, Hayes, and older sister, Aspen, 4.
The diagnosis didn’t scare Meghan; it gave her relief
“I was expecting this diagnosis,” she shared. “Even though he’s the same kid I expected it to hit me hard. But it didn’t.”
Instead, Meghan says she felt relieved and compared it to the feeling of putting the lid on a tube of toothpaste.
“That’s how simple and right it felt,” she wrote. “I knew it was CP since Hart was a few months old. I just knew.”
She also said her frame of reference concerning Cerebral Palsy has changed since Hart’s diagnosis.
“My older cousin has CP. I never saw him walk. He’s also deaf and doesn’t really speak,” she explained. “I didn’t realize that there’s a very broad spectrum of CP and it’s neither shameful nor sad to land anywhere on that spectrum.”
Meghan also delved into more of what a Cerebral Palsy diagnosis means.
“Cerebral Palsy literally means ‘brain paralysis’ which I find to be an exceedingly misleading and ridiculous designation,” she says. “Hart’s brain isn’t paralyzed, but there are some areas of damage.”
“CP quite simply manifests as a motor disorder,” she continued. “That’s it. Yep. It has nothing to do with cognitive function, hearing, etc.”
Hart’s future looks bright, and Meghan continues to advocate for him
Although some may find the diagnosis daunting, Meghan insists that little will change for Hart or their family.
“Hart’s new diagnosis really means nothing different and changes nothing. It just allows him to continue receiving the therapy he’s already getting,” says Meghan.
She also explained, “Hart will live a full, independent life. He will face challenges his siblings won’t and alternatively they will face challenges he won’t but we just don’t know what those are yet.”
What Meghan doesn’t want is for Hart and his abilities to be put into a box.
“A diagnosis isn’t limiting, people are,” she writes. “I am choosing to celebrate what makes Hart different and raise my children with the encouragement to live their lives out loud and never let their differences limit or define them.”
She closed her post sharing, “So today we celebrate World Cerebral Palsy today. Hart earned this very special 1 out of 500 diagnosis just in the nick of time to celebrate! And celebrate we will!”
The Real Housewives of Orange County returns Wednesday, October 7, at 9/8c on Bravo.