2-year-old Husker fan steals spotlight during The Wave
Some extra encouragement for the Huskers hung in a window at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital on Friday.
The “GBR” sign, spotted from Kinnick Stadium during The Wave, was in 2-year-old Jaxson Goudy’s room. It caught fans’ eyes as the Huskers took on the Hawkeyes next door to the hospital.
He and his family were the only folks sporting Husker gear on Iowa’s turf. Jaxson donned a gray shirt with a red “N” emblazoned across the chest. His pants, also gray, were speckled with the same N. For one picture, mom even got him to wear a red Husker hat.
“We were the lone rangers for sure,” dad Nick Goudy said.
When Jaxson’s parents checked him in for hernia surgery, they didn’t realize it would put them at the hospital for the rivalry game. When Goudy checked the calendar, he knew he needed to make a sign on Jaxson’s behalf.
In red lettering, he wrote in three lines: JAXSON GBR GO SKERS.
At the end of the first quarter, players, coaches, fans and everyone else in the stadium wave to children at the hospital. Last week that included head coach Scott Frost and company.
The new tradition started last year.
The family was on the hospital’s 12th floor during the wave.
Jaxson perched on his dad’s shoulders and held a foam hand. He swung it toward the window.
The oversize hands are Iowa black and gold. But Jaxson’s parents strategically flipped his to show the white side.
Born and raised in Nebraska, Nick Goudy has turned his Hartford, Iowa, family into Husker fans.
Goudy spent much of his childhood living in Lincoln. He moved to Iowa as a teen, but still tries to catch Husker games on TV. Sometimes, Jaxson will sit on his lap and watch.
Friday’s experience was a highlight.
“It was a great family experience,” Goudy said. “I loved every minute of it.”
Jaxson’s surgery, on Nov. 19, went well. He was sent home after Friday’s game.
This wasn’t the Iowa boy’s first time at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, said Jaxson’s mom Melissa Killmer.
Shortly after Jaxson was born, he was placed in the neonatal intensive care unit at a different hospital to remove a bump from the top of his head. Five days later, doctors found another problem: Jaxson’s kidneys were underdeveloped. They had the baby flown to Iowa City.
He spent five months in the hospital and was diagnosed with kidney disease. For the last two years, Jaxson has been receiving dialysis treatments at home. He will eventually need a kidney transplant. Around the time he turned 1, doctors found that Jaxson was deaf.
Jaxson still acts like a typical toddler, his mom said.
“It’s been really tough with everything,” Killmer said. “But you would never know anything was wrong with him unless you know us. He’s that happy of a kid.”
Mom and dad hope to take Jaxson to a game in Lincoln when he’s a little older.