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Life-changing sickness affects Hudson resident, but doesn’t stop him from staying positive

Todd Paulson has been out of the hospital for a little over five months, but will be dealing with the effects of the sepsis pneumonia for the rest of his life. (Submitted photo)

The Hudson community has come together to help a lifelong resident bounce back from an illness that landed him in the hospital for a month with a chemically induced coma that has changed his life forever.

A little over six months ago Todd Paulson was faced with a severe case of sepsis pneumonia, a sickness that is often caused by deadly microbes and can lead to long hospital stays, severe complications, and even death.

After starting to feel ill and being “stubborn and dragging his feet” as Paulson said, he went to see a doctor to find out what was going on.

“I went to the hospital on Jan. 30,” Paulson said. “They did my vitals and moved me to the emergency room, and that is when they told me about what was wrong.”

That same night Paulson was moved to the emergency room he began having irregular breathing and suffered from respiratory failure. He was transferred to Regions Hospital in St. Paul where he stayed for a month, not being released until Feb. 28.

“My one goal in the hospital was to push hard and get out early for when my fiancées oldest son had his third child,” Paulson said. “I made it.”

Paulson has had a number of life-changing complications due to the case of pneumonia. He described it as having an “eye stroke,” and has completely lost sight in his right eye and has limited vision in his left.

There is a chance it can get worse, but Paulson says he’s pretty much stabilized now.

“It’s a good thing and a bad thing,” Paulson said. “It’s good because I didn’t have a kind of stroke that could have killed me, but the bad thing is I have very bad vision from now on.”

Because of this, Paulson cannot read and will be unable to drive a vehicle for the rest of his life. He also cannot go back to work at RESCO, the local company he has spent over two decades with, and has trouble doing many of the activities he once enjoyed. Even with the changes, he is remaining positive and said “it’s all about adapting to new situations.”

On Saturday, July 19, from 2 to 6 p.m. there will be benefit at Willow River Saloon in Burkhardt to help Paulson with the financial set-backs of the sepsis pneumonia, and to support him as he continues to work toward adjusting to his new lifestyle.

Paulson’s fiancée, friends, and family have been the biggest supporters and are the ones making the benefit happen. There are a number of donations from them, as well as local Hudson businesses and residents. There will be a spaghetti dinner, silent auction, bake sale, and raffles which include a 50” flat screen TV.

“The best thing is how nice it has been to get the appreciation for being a long-term resident of Hudson,” Paulson said. “It’s heartwarming to see and feel the compassion of the smaller community coming together to support me.”

For more information on the benefit visit the “Todd Paulson Benefit” Facebook page. Monetary donations can be made at any Associated Bank towards the Todd Paulson Benefit Account.