Milo Judd weighed 30 per cent of the average baby at birth.
At 2.2 pounds, he was born via c-section, and entered the world needing help to breathe.
Milo was born a “preemie,” a baby that is born prematurely, much before their due date. In Milo’s case, that was two months.
Charlotte, Milo’s mother, was suffering from a condition called preeclampsia. It meant Milo was not getting enough blood in the womb, and needed to leave.
In December of 2020, Charlotte and Jeff Judd learned their son was coming in days, not months.
“It was like, ‘Drop what you’re doing and get here now,’” Jeff said of a phone call he received from Charlotte at the time.
Charlotte was being airlifted to Vancouver.
On Dec. 7, 2020, their son was born at the Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster.
Leaving the womb roughly 10 weeks before average, Milo had skin that nurses said was too soft to be stroked. If the parents wanted to touch their child, they’d have to settle for a press.
Amazed by the size of Milo, the Judds bought an Iron Man toy that matched his size and kept it for reference.
That was two years ago.
On May 13, on the hottest Saturday of the year, Milo bounced around the family’s backyard, with Iron Man in one hand. He played with the garden hose, soaking himself, and then dug in the sandpit.
If Charlotte and Jeff ever worried that their son wouldn’t look like a trouble-making two-year-old, that’s behind them.
“Change!” the toddler says, appearing in front of Jeff, who lifts Milo into the air.
“You’re soaked, I don’t want to hold you!” Jeff says. He lowers Milo to the grass, gets up from the lawn chair, and heads inside to fetch the toddler a change of clothes.
The Judd family has been named the 2023 ambassador family for the Comox Valley Child Development Association. The association has worked with Charlotte, Jeff and Milo for two years — offering services such as play groups to socialize with other families*. Charlotte said the experience taught her “people have your back.”
Staff chose Milo’s story to showcase success with developmental recovery supports in the Comox Valley.
In previous years, the announcement of the CVCDA ambassador family coincided with the media kick-off campaign for the telethon, which takes place annually on the first Sunday in November. The early announcement this year, and moving forward, is by design.
“This is a new format we are planning to continue so we have a longer run to promote and involve our ambassador family for events and opportunities throughout the year, not just Telethon; more of an organization ambassador rather than a Telethon ambassador,” explained CVCDA marketing and communications director, Brooklyn Galloway.
The 2023 CVCDA Telethon will air on Sunday, Nov. 5.
*The original story wrote that the CVCDA also offered physiotherapy and speech therapy to Milo, which a CVCDA spokesperson said was false.