Little Jake Holland, aged two from Gateshead, is beating the odds by heading off to nursery this September.
Jake has spent most of his short life in and out of hospital. He has cystic fibrosis and global developmental delay which means he is reliant on a catalogue of medication and is fed through a tube into his stomach. He also needs lots of special care at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary, where he’s regularly admitted for two weeks at a time.
Doctors predicted Jake would never walk or talk and would need lifelong round-the-clock care, but he has defied their predictions by learning familiar words and taking his first steps this summer.
Proud mum Amanda is now helping him get ready to start back at their local Tik-Tok Nursery on the 4th September, which he’ll be attending for two full days a week. His brother David, aged three, is already there and Jake is excited about following in his big brother’s footsteps at last.
Mum Amanda says: “We were told he’d never walk or even speak, but now he’s heading off to nursery like any other little boy. I’m so very proud of him, as he’s done everything the experts said would be out of his reach. I know this is only the start and he’ll continue to need regular hospital care, but it’s incredible as we never thought this would be possible.”
Charity The Sick Children’s Trust supports the family when Jake is in hospital, through their free ‘Home from Home’ accommodation, Crawford House, at the RVI. Amanda is able to stay with David just minutes from Jake’s bedside. In fact, they family has spent the past two Christmases at Crawford House due to Jake’s health conditions.
Amanda is thrilled to be waving Jake off to nursery, but like any mum she has her first day nerves too. She adds: “he’s never been away from me for this amount of time, so I’m feeling nervous, but the nursery has put lots of extra support in place to care for Jake’s special needs. His confidence is growing with each step and now that he’s walking, he’ll be able to go into a class with other children his age, rather than with the babies. It is a big moment for us all, but both boys are very excited to go back to nursery and I’m sure Jake will continue to thrive.”