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Toddler with brain injury faces long rehabilitation after alleged abuse

HUDSON -- Despite a head injury that damaged about 75 percent of his brain, Cedarius, a 3-year-old Hudson boy, is showing signs of improvement.

Authorities say the child is the victim of abuse by his mother’s boyfriend, Jonathon Wierstad, inflicted April 8 at the Hudson home they shared. Cedarius had been in a coma after his injury.

Wierstad, who now lives in St. Paul, is charged with felony physical child abuse -- recklessly causing great bodily harm. He has pleaded not guilty in St. Croix County Court.

According to Cedarius’ mother, the child has been moved from Children’s Hospital in St. Paul to Gillette Children’s Hospital, where he is in a rehabilitation program. He is breathing on his own and is able to eat a restricted diet.

“Cedarius has been progressing so fast. He has been getting fitted for some equipment. The nurses call him a busy body,” his mother wrote in a recent email. “He really knows how to move his left side. And has been moving his right arm more, not so much his right leg. He is now eating pureed foods and some solids and is also drinking from a sippy cup. He is doing something new every day. Yesterday we gave him bubbles and he would blow on command. It was so fun. He also said mom yesterday. I am such a proud mom.”

According to his mother, an MRI shows that the child’s brain is starting to “grow new veins and arteries.” She said she has high hopes for her son but that he will need round-the-clock care. She hopes to bring him home in a little over a month.  

A fund has been established at to help offset the expenses associated with his care. His mother said she has been unable to work since she is involved in his daily rehabilitation at the hospital. She said the money will be used for everything from clothes to medical equipment as well as other expenses. Donations of clothing and diapers can be made directly to Cedarius at the hospital.

“The doctors are pleased with the progress he is making and I can't wait to take my boy home. He is a fighter and has surpassed their expectations. He will continue to progress every day. Thanks to all those who have thought of us. It means a lot to share his story.”

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Meg Heaton

Meg Heaton has been a reporter with the Hudson Star Observer since 1990. She has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and Native American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

(715) 808-8604