For the Love of Jacob
Tell us your story.
Our story begins on July 31, 2001. Our son Jacob was
fighting yet another ear infection. His fever had spiked the
previous night and I was waiting for the doctor's office to
call so I could let them know. Jacob woke up that morning,
and he instantly started vomiting. After conversations with
his nurse, it was believed that Jacob had the tummy flu in
addition to his ear infection. After about 1 hour the
throwing up had subsided and Jacob began to doze through out
the day. I left Jacob napping on the couch. His sister Abby
and I laid down for a rest, Jacob climbed in with us a few
minutes later. After a short nap, we all woke up, Abby went
to her room to play, I started to get ready to pick dad up
from the airport, and Jacob stayed in my bed and went back to
sleep. The second time I checked on Jacob within an hour, he
had died. Within minutes our house was full of paramedics,
firemen and policemen. They had a helicopter waiting to land
nearby to fly him to Children's Hospital. Jacob would not
make it on the helicopter as they could not keep a heartbeat
going. Later that night after my husband returned home, we
had to take our daughter to Children's Hospital to be treated
for meningitis, just in case this was the cause of Jacob's
death. (It would take two months and the Center for Disease
Control to find out that Jacob had died from viral
encephalitis caused by a stomach flu). When we arrived at the
hospital they lead us back, and as we sat in shock while they
examined Abby, they sent down a social worker. She talked to
us about the counselors they had staffed, and provided us
with information on grief. From there we were introduced to
Jackie who introduced us to a support group,the Journey
Program. In our darkest hours friendships were made through
devastating tears and emotional downs I never knew possible.
We cried together, got angry together, questioned faith
together, and eventually we started to learn to live without
our children together.
What does Children's mean to you, your child and your family?
Children's Hospital means so many different things to so
many people. For me it means simply HOPE.
Hope that through research we can find cures for childhood
illnesses, and that the children who come to the hospital,
will return home with their families. Hope that parents will
not have to endure the pain caused by the death of a child.
Hope that when all else fails and nothing more can be done,
that a parent will find a group that they can share their
child with. Hope that in sharing their stories they will
learn to live without their most precious child.
Hope that one day I will get to hold Jacob in my arms
To give back to Children's Hospital and the Hope they
brought back to me, in April of 2003 I founded "For the Love
of Jacob Guild". The guild allows me to continue to share my
Jacob with other's, and though he might not be here on earth
with us, he remains part of my families life on a daily
basis. Nothing gives me more pride than to hear Jacob's name.
I also find great pride that my daughter, although only six,
enjoys raising money for Children's Hospital. Knowing that
she will grow up knowing and understanding the need to help
support such an important cause. She continues to help "For
the Love of Jacob Guild" in many creative ways only a six
year old can think of.
Through Jacob's love for everyone he met and for our love
for him it is our mission as a guild to raise funds for
Children's uncompensated and under compensated care,
Children's research on infectious disease, and Children's