If you were to ask nine-year-old Hudson Pedlar what his favourite aspect of hockey is, he'd say, "Winning. I don't like to lose."
It's the same matter-of-fact confidence and optimism he sports when talking about concurrent H1N1 and bilateral pneumonia diagnoses in 2018 that lead to him needing a below-the-knee amputation.
"I got H1N1 and bilateral pneumonia and my body went into septic shock," the Spruce Grove boy explained to CTV News Edmonton.
"I lost function in my hands from them taking muscle. My leg got amputated below the knee."
On a Friday in October 2018, the nine-year-old was picked up from school for a stomach ache. By Sunday, Hudson's breathing had deteriorated so his parents took him to the hospital. At the Stollery Children's Hospital, he was put onto life support but started to go into septic shock.
He would spend 258 days in Edmonton hospitals and undergo 30 surgeries within a year.
"It was very difficult," Hudson's mother, Robin Pedlar, recalled. "It was a very trying time for our family."
Even now, the family has two or three occupational therapy appointments each week, plus visits to Hudson's physiotherapist, Cameron Kuzyk.
"We’re all awestruck by how again somebody can go through that and just over a year later he’s not looking in the rear-view mirror – he’s looking ahead," Kuzyk said.
Despite the work he is putting in to regain muscle and mobility – as Hudson plans to play hockey again – and catch up on the schoolwork he's missed, the nine-year-old is far from deterred.
His prosthetic leg even gives nods to his personal motto: Trying is winning.
"It’s not that hard. They could probably push me a little bit more," Hudson said.
His attitude has become an inspiration to others. Parkland Rehabilitation, a centre in Spruce Grove, is holding a 12-hour hockey game as a fundraiser for the Pedlar family.
It's called Shoot, Score, Raise More. The proceeds will be used by the family for health expenses and home renovations, enabling Hudson's recovering that much more.
"A year ago we didn’t think he was going to be here," Robin said.
"So watching him go through all this and running on a treadmill and just being happy and wanting to do the best he can is just a miracle. He’s a miracle."
With a report from CTV News Edmonton's Amanda Anderson