A new fundraising campaign has been launched to help H.R., the former leader of iconic D.C. punk band Bad Brains.
According to H.R.’s wife, Lori Carns Hudson, the veteran performer (aka Paul Hudson) was diagnosed in December with a rare and painful condition called SUNCT, which stands for short-lasting, unilateral neuralgiform headache attacks with conjunctival injection and tearing.
“He’s been getting headaches for about 10 years,” says Hudson, who lives with H.R. in Philadelphia. “He used to think they were migraines but it’s been very, very strange. They’ve progressively gotten worse until they culminated in November [to the point] where he’s just constantly in pain.”
The couple’s friend, Brian Marsh, started a GoFundMe campaign Monday to help Hudson cover her husband’s medical treatment and other expenses. The campaign aims to raise $30,000.
Hudson says H.R., who has struggled with physical and mental issues for years, is unable to work.
“He goes out and takes a very brief walk every day,” she says, “but he mostly just relaxes and watches TV.”
Hudson supports him with income from her retail job, and she’s begun selling H.R. artwork (like the above) for extra money. Meanwhile, her insurance covers some of her husband’s medical expenses. But conventional treatment has only helped so much.
“We’ve been through a lot of doctors … [and] the medical community does not understand this specific type of headache,” she says. She would like to try herbal remedies — Hudson herself is an herbalist — but those aren’t covered by health insurance.
Money raised from the GoFundMe campaign would help pay for alternative treatment and other expenses, like traveling to see medical specialists.
Friends have suggested that H.R. try psychoactive drugs like LSD and psilocybin mushrooms, but Hudson rejects the idea.
“He would never do any kind of psychoactive drugs,” Hudson says. “So it’s not something that we will be trying.” But she adds that they are looking into CBD oil, a common medical marijuana treatment.
Hudson says despite H.R.’s chronic pain, he maintains a positive outlook. “He really does live that PMA,” she says, referring to Bad Brains’ philosophy of a positive mental attitude. “He still has a smile on his face every day — even though he’s spending most of the night sobbing and crying out because the pain is just so much.”
So far, the campaign for H.R. has raised nearly $6,000.
There is also an ongoing GoFundMe campaign to raise money for Dr. Know, the Bad Brains guitarist who suffered a heart attack and organ failure last year. That campaign has raised more than $40,000 since it launched last week.