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Family friend, teacher, classmates throw parade to welcome home Eldersburg 5-year-old after stint in hospital

Members of Judah Canterbury's Pre-K class held a parade for him after his return home from being hospitalized for epilepsy.
Members of Judah Canterbury's Pre-K class held a parade for him after his return home from being hospitalized for epilepsy. (Courtesy Photo)

A 5-year-old Eldersburg boy who spent nearly a week in the hospital was welcomed home with a parade consisting of members of his pre-kindergarten class and a few superheroes.

Judah Canterbury was hospitalized in Baltimore for six days following episodes of seizures, according to his mother Jennifer Canterbury. The hospital visit led to a diagnosis of epilepsy for Judah.

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“Seeing him experience all those things was not pleasant,” she said. “Not knowing what his body’s reaction was going to be and how he was going to react to the medication, how people would react to him, but it hasn’t been like that."

Instead, things have been exciting for the Canterbury family from the time Judah got home after Jennifer’s friend, Sheena Langmead, asked if they could bring signs and cards for Judah. Jennifer agreed to to that. Signs and cards turned into a personal parade, just for Judah, on Sunday.

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“We had motorcyclists come out, we had our tow truck,” said Terry Gunnarsson, Judah’s pre-K teacher at KinderCare in Eldersburg. “With the tow truck, [Judah] was able to ride in the tow truck. There was a dune buggy and the superheroes on there were actually Spider-Man and Captain Marvel from the Heart-Warming project.”

Judah Canterbury and his mom Jennifer during his celebration
Judah Canterbury and his mom Jennifer during his celebration (Courtesy Photo)

Gunnarsson and Langmead worked together to organize the welcome home event, which consisted of about 40 people, including teachers and students from Judah’s pre-K class

Judah was excited to have his own personal parade.

“He loves superheroes and he is always dressed up as something, running round,” said Jennifer. “He was so excited. A lot of people made signs, and we have the signs still up in our house, and a couple people brought gifts; he’s been so excited to play with them. We’re writing thank-cards and all that good stuff.”

Gunnarsson was happy just to see the look on Judah’s face.

“It was so nice to see happiness and enjoyment on this child’s face during this time of COVID,” said Gunnarsson. “This all took place after work hours on our own time.”

According to Jennifer, Judah is now at about one or two seizures a day and just trying to get back in the flow of things since returning home from the the Herman and Walter Samuelson Children’s Hospital at Sinai.

“He’s just so happy to be home,” said Jennifer. “For a while there, he kept telling us that the hospital was in Texas; he just felt like we were so far from home. We were in Maryland the whole time.”

The staff and kids at KinderCare miss Judah and await his return, but he is still recovering and will be taking his time.

“We’re just kind of waiting to monitor and see the doctor in July, talking about that plan and medications,” Jennifer said. “We’re just kind of taking one day at a time.”

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