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'Real Housewives of Orange County' star Meghan King says son has cerebral palsy

"I was expecting this diagnosis."
/ Source: TODAY

Meghan King says her 2-year-old son, Hart, has hypotonic cerebral palsy.

The “Real Housewives of Orange County” alum shared the news on Instagram, as well as on her personal blog.

“I was expecting this diagnosis,” the reality star, 36, wrote in her recent blog post. “Even though he’s the same kid I expected it to hit me hard. But it didn’t. It didn’t hit me hard at all. In fact I felt relieved. Think about it this way: it was as mundane as going through life every day without putting the lid on the toothpaste and then finally, I got to put the lid on. That’s how simple and right it felt.”

King added in an Instagram post that she shared the news on World Cerebral Palsy Day to “hopefully normalize this diagnosis.”

“Something I’ve learned is that a diagnosis isn’t limiting, people are. We are all born beautiful and perfect and then we learn we are too fat, too short, too ugly, too inept, too… everything,” she wrote in the caption. “We place others in boxes dependent on their labels and we unconsciously allow ourselves to live within those boxes: woman, college graduate, high-school dropout, professional athlete, Cerebral Palsy.

"I am choosing to celebrate what makes Hart different and raise my children with the encouragement to live their lives out loud and to never let their differences limit or define them. So today we CELEBRATE World Cerebral Palsy Day.”

King said that even before this recent diagnosis, she sensed something was different about her son.

“The moment Hart was born I knew something was atypical. He cried so much even the nurses didn’t know how to soothe him,” she wrote. “All the doctors and therapists told me I was just being an overly cautious mother. I thought I was losing my mind, but I insisted upon an MRI.

“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 said.

After that initial diagnosis, she threw herself into researching treatments, including an intensive, four-week treatment in New Orleans that involved daily sessions in an oxygen chamber.

Now, Hart has “somewhat plateaued in his physical progress which can be very disheartening for a therapy mama like myself,” King wrote in her blog. “But he does all the typical things for a kid his age like goes up and down stairs, insists on buckling his car seat himself, ‘jumps’ from the coffee table to the couch (I quoted ‘jumps’ because he doesn’t actually lift both feet off the ground at the same time), and hits baseballs off a tee.”

After King shared the news of Hart’s condition online, her estranged husband, Jim Edmonds, said he had been unaware of his son’s diagnosis.

“Jim is unaware of any such diagnosis and, if it is even true, it is completely unconscionable and absolutely disgraceful that Meghan would announce this on social media without discussing it with him first,” Edmonds’ representative, Steve Honig, told TODAY Parents in an email. “Jim is taking the necessary actions to find out if in fact this was a real diagnosis from a medical doctor as well as talking with his legal team about preventing this gross violation of privacy and disregard for his rights as a parent from occurring again.”

King responded to TODAY, saying, “Jim’s statements are untrue and I refuse to address them further.”

King and Edmonds, who filed for divorce last year, share three children together: 2-year-old twins Hart and Hayes and 3-year-old daughter Aspen.

In her blog post about her son, King acknowledged that Hart will face some challenges going forward that his siblings will not face. However, she hopes her son’s story will inspire other people going through something similar, and will help remove the stigma from a cerebral palsy diagnosis.

“My hope is that Hart can inspire others with a ‘diagnosis’ not to hide it for fear of judgement,” she said, “but to wear it as a badge of honor, a source of pride for all the hard work he’s accomplished that most of us will never understand.”

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