2016 Speak Now For Kids Family Advocacy Day Hero – Jacob
In April 2015, Jacob, then 7-years old, was in a terrible car crash, suffering severe injuries that included a collapsed lung, bowel perforations, a traumatic brain injury, a broken vertebrae and a severed spinal cord. After emergency surgery, Jacob was admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Wolfson Children’s Hospital. There, his pediatric neurosurgeon broke the news to mom Maria and stepdad Bill that their little boy would be paralyzed from the waist down. Although his paralysis was a major concern, they were more worried about Jacob’s traumatic brain injury, which he has overcome amazingly well.
Now a patient with the Bower Lyman Center for Medically Complex Children at Wolfson Children’s, 8-year old Jacob has endured many medical and surgical treatments for his multiple conditions. He is an inspiring example of how children can live with physical challenges.
“He is fearless in his wheelchair and brings smiles to everyone he meets,” says Maria. “He is unafraid to share his story, often telling other children at school to wear their seatbelts properly. He will not be held back by what some see as a tragedy. He challenges them to see him for who he is and what he can accomplish, with or without a wheelchair!”