At just four years old, Jacob, from Flintshire in Wales, had been back and forth to the doctors with tonsillitis before he was admitted to Wrexham Maelor Hospital and given the diagnosis.
Mum, Jennifer, said:
“I was just completely shocked. I wasn’t expecting it at all. They had said his glands were swollen so I was expecting them to say glandular fever.”
He was rushed to a specialist cancer unit at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool – a two hour round trip from the family home. There, Jacob started five weeks of intensive induction treatment, which included steroids that made him very grumpy.
“He was aggressive and he didn’t like anyone touching him or fiddling with him” added Jennifer. “He was also very demanding. If he wanted something, he had to have it here and then. He didn’t like to wait. Then he was just very quiet and very scared as he didn’t really know what was happening.”
Jennifer was on maternity leave with Jacob’s baby sister Orla, leaving dad Phil the sole earner with his job at Morrisons in Saltney. The supermarket had chosen CLIC Sargent to be its charity partner in February – just a month before Jacob’s diagnosis and before the charity stepped in to support Jacob’s family.
CLIC Sargent support
“The CLIC Sargent nurses have been amazing” said Phil. “They come to us to clean Jacob’s central line and flush it to make sure he is free from infection and to take his bloods. It makes a massive difference to have them come to us because it means Jennifer can have Orla with her and we don’t have to arrange childcare or pay for petrol to go to hospital. Even if we are in Wrexham Maelor Hospital, it is an hour round trip. Whenever we need to check anything or need any help or advice we just give them a ring.”
“I know that the CLIC Sargent nurses are specialists and they will know more about what we need to know about. It is good to know they are always there if we need anything. We have also got a social worker who has helped us with things like forms to see if you are eligible for various benefits. She was always there to support us if we wanted to speak to anybody.”
End of treatment
Jacob will finish his intensive chemotherapy just before Christmas Day – on December 21st. He will then need maintenance treatment until May 2020. Jacob was one of 12 children who took part in the Morrisons and CLIC Sargent Jingle Bells Christmas message.
“Jacob was certainly a very cheeky little chappy on set” said Rory Traynor, Account Manager at CLIC Sargent. “It was great to have him singing away as part of our Christmas message and we hope the family has a wonderful Christmas.”
Read more stories of children and young people who have been helped by our partnership with Morrisons.