Little Mason Hutton turned 5 months old today, and a relatively new hearing aid in his left ear ensures that he hears his mommy and daddy’s praise – even if he only understands their smiles.
The Grand Forks baby was fitted with the hearing aid Sept. 27 after a neurologic test of his auditory brainstem function, using sound stimuli, determined that he has good right-ear function but some hearing loss in his other ear.
Two prior standard hearing tests determined he wasn’t hearing anything in either ear, though parents Kelly and Chris Hutton have witnessed Mason responding to some sounds.
September’s auditory brainstem response (ABR) test “sent sound waves to his ear at different tones and levels and then mapped how it’s moving around the brain,” using electrodes placed on Mason’s head, Kelly said.
It’s still too early to say how permanent or serious Mason’s hearing loss is – something that also can be said about other aspects of the little boy’s development. But Kelly and her husband Chris have put that uncertainty in perspective.
“At one time,” Kelly said about Mason, “they didn’t think he was going to make it.”
Mason Hutton’s birth May 19 via emergency C-section was traumatic. He was born without a heart rate. He was not breathing for eight minutes; his umbilical cord was wrapped multiple times around his neck and body. Medical specialists determined he had a brain bleed, bilateral brain damage and some type of seizures.
The little survivor has displayed multiple signs that encourage his parents.
Recently, he was examined by Altru Health System physical and occupational therapists and seemed to be meeting at least some developmental milestones for babies his age, Kelly said. “So far, he’s making noises at the level that he should be,” she said. “He recently rolled over on his own — a few weeks ahead of schedule.”
Kelly is minding her own recovery as well. She’s back to work at the Grand Forks County Office of the District Court Clerk following surgery in September to remove a massive high-grade sarcoma found near her right rib cage. She also had reconstructive surgery.
The operation at the University of Minnesota hospital followed 25 radiation treatments and a summer of anxiety for both her and her husband, a Grand Forks County sheriff’s deputy and twice-deployed National Guardsman.
Chris Hutton is no stranger to adversity – and rising above it. The recent recipient of the Veterans of Foreign Wars’ Law Enforcement Officer of the Year for North Dakota, Hutton was struck by a hit-and-run driver in July 2006 while Hutton was riding his motorcycle. His right leg was amputated below the knee, but he returned to law enforcement work and other pursuits.
A benefit for Kelly and Mason Hutton at the East Grand Forks (Minn.) Eagles Club on Sat., Nov. 10, is intended to help them with medical and essential day-to-day expenses. The benefit’s silent auction and bake sale runs from 3 to 8 p.m., while a special baked potato bar will highlight the eats from 4 to 7 p.m. A free-will offering is suggested.
The benefit features sponsors Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and NDAD, the latter which also is serving as custodian for all benefit funds. More information is available at (701) 775-5577; www.ndad.org; ndad.areavoices.com; and www.facebook.com/ndad.nd.
You can mail a donation to help the Huttons at: NDAD, c/o
Mason and Kelly Hutton Fundraiser, 2660 S. Columbia Road, Grand Forks, ND 58201. Please make checks payable to: NDAD / Mason and Kelly Hutton.
Or, you can donate online at www.ndad.org/fundraisers.asp, which is NDAD’s Community Fundraisers program page. Click the “Give Online” button next to the Huttons’ story and photo.