Peter about $49K away from home

Published 8:47 pm Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Suffolk native Peter Judkins is about $49,000 away from home.

“We still have a little ways to go,” said Melissa Dudney, Judkins’ sister.

Judkins, who has lived in Hawaii for about six years, walked into the Queens Medical Center in Honolulu on Dec. 9 complaining of back pain. The hospital admitted him to treat his severe pain, but Judkins, 38, soon had a seizure and his heart quit beating.

When doctors revived him, he was paralyzed from the neck down. A MRSA infection had caused an abscess next to his spine and cut off blood access to his spinal cord. Judkins now is a quadriplegic and is on a ventilator.

“We’ve been told it’s pretty much a permanent condition,” said Beverly Judkins, Peter’s stepmother.

The Judkins family needs to raise $70,000 to bring Peter home. The figure is an estimate of the costs to fly Peter by air ambulance, including intensive round-the-clock care.

So far, the family has been profiled in media reports, held two benefit dinners at La Hacienda in Surry, held a raffle and done car washes. They also are considering yard sales and bake sales to bring the money in.

“I’m working my tail off trying to raise the money to get him here,” Dudney said. “I just want him home.”

Dudney regularly communicates with Peter via the hospital’s email-a-patient service.

“From what the nurses are telling me, he’s fighting depression and sleeping a lot,” Dudney said. “He’s tired of being poked and prodded all the time.”

However, other days Peter seems more cheery, Dudley said. He has been asking for food lately.

“It seems like he might be coming around a little bit,” Dudley said. “It comes and goes.”

To help Peter find a way home, a dance is planned at the Suffolk Moose Lodge from 2 to 6 p.m. April 25. For more information on the dance, call 539-9350.

To make a donation, visit sites.google.com/site/bringpeterhome/.