This story is an emotional one, I found myself needing several tissues and am in awe of this true hero! What this family has had to endure with not only Jackson’s Meningococcal diagnosis, but also the loss of his mother to cancer is unimaginable.
Jackson was only 6 months old when he was struck down with Meningococcal after becoming unwell on 25th January 2009. Doctors initially thought Jackson had pneumonia after presenting with high fevers & not feeding. After commencing on IV antibiotics, Jackson continued to deteriorate. It was then Jackson’s father noticed a purple spot appear. The dreaded purple rash. Jackson was then airlifted to another hospital, when his parents arrived they barely recognised their baby, swollen and more purple than ever. Doctors told Jackson’s family he wouldn’t survive and if he did he may have brain damage.
Jackson spent 9 days in a coma on life support, his family being told he would likely lose limbs and fingers. Once Jackson opened his eyes, he made eye contact with his mother and smiled. His fight was just beginning.
They removed four fingers and part of Jackson’s thumb. Operations were carried out on his foot, leg and also skin grafting. Jackson was allowed to go home after two months, he experienced excruciating pain having his bandages changed every two days.
As Jackson grew older and began to try and walk, he would fall over and had bowed legs. Another blow for Jackson and his family, his legs were not growing properly. Operations were performed to lengthen one leg and to stop the other leg from growing. Metal rods were inserted into one leg at the age of 3, again no amount of pain someone of that age should have to experience with Jackson screaming for months in pain. He battled on and then at the age of six he was unable to walk again. Having to have an external fixator, in which Jackson and his mother referred to as ‘the cage’ (pictured). Countless operations and hospital visits followed and intense pain. Jackson, after three months off school received great support to get him back to class with his friends. He needed to get a special taxi and had carers meet him at the school and take him to class.
Sadly, Jackson’s mother Bec, was diagnosed with cancer and two weeks later lost her battle, March 2016. She spent the past seven years fighting her son’s battle with him, then to be dealt with such a cruel hand. Bec had written a story about the journey she had been on with Jackson’s Meningococcal Disease which has been used to write this story.
Jackson has just started year 3 at Milton Public School. He loves to surf, fish, swim and in the winter he even has a go at Auskick! Amazing!
We take this time to remind everyone to speak with their GP’s about vaccinations. They ARE available for ALL FIVE strains. They SAVE lives.
A heartfelt thankyou to Jackson and his family for allowing us to share some of their story in the hope of preventing this happening to others.
#anyone #anyage #vaccinate #meningococcal #showyoucaredontshare #fivestrains #BACYW #survivor #strength #courage