Hudson Bond’s parents were only trying to raise awareness and money for medical costs for their infant son, who desperately needs a heart transplant in order to live, when they turned to Facebook to advertise their cause.
Instead, the advertisement, which featured a photo of the sick child, was rejected for being too “scary, gory, or sensational,” according to Kevin Bond, the baby’s father.
Little Hudson, who was born July 18, was diagnosed with a heart condition called cardiomyopathy a short time after his birth. The baby’s parents received the devastating news that he would need a new heart in order to survive the disease.
He is currently being treated at Duke University’s Pediatric Cardio Intensive Care Unit, where surgeons have equipped the baby boy with an artificial heart that is helping to keep him alive until he can get the needed transplant, CNN reported.
Bond has tried to remain optimistic about his son’s prospects.
“I don’t like to think of it in the negative, I think he is going to make it. It’s just that we need to raise awareness and raise funds,” he told the cable news channel.
Bond started a Facebook page, “Hudson’s Heart,” to raise awareness about the need for infant organ donations.
But when he tried to advertise the page, he was met with rejection. Facebook told him they would not accept the ad with Hudson’s picture because they deemed it too scary or gory, further stating that the ad evoked a negative response.
Bond posted the full response to the Facebook page.
It read in part, “Your ad wasn’t approved because the image or video thumbnail is scary, gory, or sensational and evokes a negative response. Images including accidents, car crashes, dead and dismembered bodies, ghosts, zombies, ghouls, and vampires are not allowed.”
Bond told CNN he was hurt by the social media giant’s reaction.
“I was really hurt, actually. I kinda cried. I mean, that’s my son. I love him. And to have someone reject a picture to me just, it’s my beautiful son lying in a hospital bed needing help. That really cut me,” he said, adding, “We love our son, we just want to share his story, raise awareness for kids like him.”
Initially, the father had no luck contacting Facebook.
However, after the story received some national attention, the social media company eventually contacted Bond and apologized for refusing to run the ad.
“They explained that an automated system accidentally flagged Hudson’s photo,” he stated in a Facebook post. “They have offered $10,000 worth of Facebook ads to make amends.”
He added that, because of generous donations and Facebook’s offer, his family wanted to “pay it forward.”
The medical costs for Hudson’s care have been estimated at $125,000, according to a donation page set up for the baby on Children’s Organ Transplant Association.
A GoFundMe page has also been set up for Hudson.
CNN contributed to this report.