SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Beau Henshall’s laugh and goofy personality are the sweetest, but there was a point when his family didn’t see much of either.
“Sometimes I was happy. Sometimes I was sad. Sometimes I was just kind of uncomfortable.”
Beau spent several weeks at Arkansas Children’s in Little Rock in August 2020 with a sickness that seemingly came out of nowhere.
“We just kind of opened our eyes a few days later and realized, yeah, he’s like fighting for his life at this point,” said Alicia Henshall, Beau’s mother.
Originally, Alicia said it was thought that he was battling COVID-19 since it was during the height of the pandemic, but doctors determined he had hemolytic uremic syndrome, or HUS, which he got from E. coli poisoning.
“It’s a very, very intense disease and it has no mercy at all until it’s just over,” Alicia said.
Angel One picked Beau up from Arkansas Children’s Northwest in Springdale and flew him to the hospital’s main campus in the capital region.
She says HUS caused his kidneys to shut down which then led to the loss of blood flow to his colon.
“They had to go in and remove 75% of his colon and that he, at that point, had a stoma in a pouch for six months,” Alicia said.
“It made things very very hard for me,” Beau said.
Beau spent about six weeks recovering in the hospital, narrowly avoiding a kidney transplant.
“I was in my bed most of the time. I was at the hospital or sleeping all the time,” Beau said.
During that time, Beau lost the ability to walk. His mom was emotional when she recalled that day he relearned.
“He was so proud of himself, which made it so much more exciting,” Alicia said. “He was only four, but he could comprehend that ‘I get to walk’ and ‘I’m alive’ and ‘I get to do this again.'”
One and a half years later, Beau’s an HUS survivor.
Beau shared his feelings about Angel One seen flying above. “There’s my angel. There are my friends,” Beau said.
“He gets it that they saved his life,” Alicia said. “And it’s really sweet to see him connect to them like that.”
Beau now serves as an ambassador for Arkansas Children’s.
“I knew that every time I would get better, I get it was closer that I was closer to going home,” Beau said.
“Being able to walk alongside families who are going through what we went through, it’s kind of surreal,” Alicia said.
Beaus shares his story because he knows firsthand exactly what to tell kids who end up hospitalized. “It’s okay to be scared,” Beau said.
You can ensure sick and injured kids in Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley have immediate access to care as part of the Give Kids a Miracle Telethon.
KNWA/FOX24 is helping raise money to support the efforts of Arkansas Children’s Northwest.
More information on how to donate can be found here.