Prayers for Hope

by | 08.06.2012 | 12:23pm
Hope Hudson (2nd from left) and her family enjoying Derby Day

Hope Hudson, the frail 12-year-old Missouri girl who touched so many hearts during this year's Triple Crown after the Make A Wish Foundation and Three Chimneys Farm arranged for her to come to the Kentucky Derby, is scheduled to undergo major surgery Wednesday in St. Louis. She suffers from the extremely rare connective tissue disorder, Hajdu-Cheney syndrome, a condition that affects bones and growth for which there is no known cure. Hope, who weighs just 60 pounds, has undergone at least nine previous surgeries to treat the symptoms of Hajdu-Cheney. 

(The surgery was originally to be done today but was postponed 48 hours.)

The Paulick Report was made aware of Hope's scheduled surgery by Dennis O'Neill, brother of trainer Doug O'Neill, who bonded with the young girl through the ups and downs of I'll Have Another's run through the Triple Crown. Hope came to Kentucky with hopes that her favorite horse, Hansen, would be victorious, but ultimately became I'll Have Another's biggest fan, visiting the son of Flower Alley at Churchill Downs, Pimlico, and Belmont Park, where his bid for history ended with an injury one day before the Belmont Stakes.

“She is the nicest girl and had the greatest attitude for what she is going through,” Dennis O'Neill said. “I really believe she was what kept Doug going. He was constantly talking to her and visiting her. I think it really put into perspective what is important and how trivial his problems were. The scene in the Derby winner's circle and press conference were priceless; she was so excited about I'll Have Another.

“I just wanted people to not forget her, especially (Wednesday),” he added. “She can use all the prayers and well wishes we can give.”

Doug O'Neill was scheduled to take an overnight flight to St. Louis to be with Hope and her family on Monday, but postponed his visit until after the surgery.

  • Lisa Wintermote

    Best wishes, thoughts, and prayers to you. You are one courageous little girl!

    Mr O’Neill, God bless

  • Mybigred15

    Dear Hope:
    You are in my Prayers. May God Bless You & Heal You. You are an inspiration to us all. 
    With Love, Pattie

  • Swamp Fox


    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. God bless.

  • Rachel

    Thank-you for bringing this to our attention! Please keep us posted.

    Dear little Hope, may God bless your surgeons with a skillful surgery and give you a quick recovery, in Jesus name, Amen. You touched our lives and made the Triple Crown a “real life” event with your precious presence. God Bless you, baby girl.

  • Phoebe:)

    Hope Hudson is a wonderful, bright, and brave young lady. When she visited us in Maryland for the Preakness, we had the pleasure of meeting her and her family. With her dad, Nathan’s, permission, here is the site where you can keep in touch with Hope, send her messages, and keep up with her progress through the latest operation:

  • We wish her the very best & a BIG thank you to Doug for caring about this little girl…

  • ziggypop

    Many blessings to this little angel, and her family.

  • Sharman Woll

    Praying for Hopes comlete recovery NOW!!! Hugs an MUCH LOVE HOPE!!!

  • Larry U.

    Thanks, Phoebe.

  • Lisa Wintermote

    Thank u Phoebe, great info!

  • May Flower

    Hope, we are praying for you. Courage little one. God bless you!

  • Jennifer Hudson, Hope’s mom

    Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers our family appreciates them all.

  • Tarheel25430

    All of our ‘Prayer Warriors’ are lifting you up and without doubt, the
    GREAT PHYSICIAN will be in attendance for your surgery and your recuperation
    time. As we know, He is with all of us every hour of every day and He
    does have a game plan! “The will of God will never take you where the
    Grace of God will not protect you.”

    Linda Crawford


    “He will cover you with His feathers, and
    under His wings you will find refuge.” (Psalm 91:4)

  • wallyhorse

    I didn’t see this earlier, but I’ll add my wishes here.  Obviously, this has to be a VERY uneasy time right now, but in the end, we can wish for the best for a full recovery though it will be a very bumpy road.

  •                                     I’ll definately be thinking about her tomorrow (Wednesday) she

                                       has her surgery. I, myself as an infant and toddler went through

                                       surgeries because I was born with a space in my spine that

                                       caused me to be a c-6 quadriplegic. I also had cists on my spine

                                       that had to be removed.

  • Yovankajojo

    sending prayers and may GOD hold her and heal her

  • EquisponseKelly

    You are the best Phoebe!!! Thanks for sharing!  She was what made the Triple Crown so special for all of us this year. She’s an amazing little girl with one of the most touching, beautiful smiles and so lucky to be blessed with such wonderful parents. She is in my thoughts and prayers always!!!

  • Breezetowin

    To Hope and her family:  May God be with you.  You are a very courageous, resilient, and strong little girl.  I have a granddaughter (your age) who also has an incurable disease…my advice to her when she was diagnosed was..”never..ever..give up”.  Hope, never, ever give up!  The miracles of science and the Grace of God provides us, all, with hope and cures.  You and your wonderful family are, and will be, in my prayers. 

  • Breezetowin

    Thank you, Ray…for updating us on this.  Please keep us posted… Hope will be in everyone’s thoughts and prayers.

  • Robyn Hoffmann

    Hope, may your surgery be a successful one.  Sending good thoughts to you and your family, Robyn, Brent, & Nikita (the horse-loving Husky in CT) 

  • Breezetowin


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