Chelsea Hudson

Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Communication Arts

College/School: College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts

Shortly after joining the FIU women’s volleyball team, Chelsea Hudson noticed something wasn’t right. She was having a difficult time catching her breath. No stranger to intense, rigorous training, Chelsea pushed through each practice, although she was often wheezing and gasping for air. 

Then, one day while walking around campus, Chelsea sneezed – and there was blood.

She visited doctor after doctor. An MRI revealed she had myocarditis – a life-threatening condition that caused her heart to swell and expand. She was told volleyball could cause her heart rate to rise to dangerous levels – and even end her life.

Physical therapy replaced practice. She spent hours walking slowly on a treadmill beside other patients much older than her – a constant reminder of how quickly her life had changed.

Chelsea eventually returned to FIU for her physical therapy, but her future was still uncertain.

During her junior year, Chelsea received medical clearance from her doctor. Early one morning she decided: She was going to practice.

Since then, Chelsea has been unstoppable – becoming both the team captain and starting middle blocker. In 2018, the team went to its first-ever Conference USA Tournament championship match. Chelsea also represented FIU at the U.S. Olympic Team try-outs in Colorado.

After graduation, Chelsea will continue playing volleyball at FIU while pursuing her master’s degree in Global Strategic Communications.

By Angela Nicoletti, Senior Writer,
Office of Media Relations and Communication