Emotional ride for sick Jack’s family

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FUNDRAISING for the hospital which saved their five-month-old baby’s life is helping a family cope after he was recalled for treatment.

Jack Wilkinson, who has a liver disease which affects one in 15,000 people, managed to attend a fundraiser at the Midland Band Club in Kettering on Friday for Birmingham Children’s Hospital, where he has been since last Wednesday after his weight plummeted.

Mum Janet, 36, of Olympic Way, Kettering, said: “The fundraising is giving us something to focus on. The hospital is doing an amazing job of caring for Jack.

“They saved his life so it’s the least we can do.”

Just as the family raised £2,700 for the hospital’s liver unit they were trying to deal with news Jack will probably face a liver transplant this year.

Mrs Wilkinson said: “It’s an emotional rollercoaster at the moment.

“We were devastated but we were warned so we had a chance to deal with it. It was a big shock. You never expect it will happen to you.”

Doctors recalled Jack to have a feeding tube put in after a new infection caused him to stop feeding and drop from 14lb at the beginning of March to 13lb last week. He was put straight on antibiotics.

Mr and Mrs Wilkinson are being trained to feed him about a cupful of high-calorie milk every three hours.

Blood tests suggest Jack’s liver is damaged and doctors are assessing him to see how bad it is and how long his liver will cope. Mr and Mrs Wilkinson will hear on Friday if he will go on the transplant list.

Local companies, including American Golf Superstore at Pytchley Gold Lodge, pub Hobson’s Choice, holiday company RCI, Harvester restaurant and one of the professional players from Kettering Gold Club donated prizes for a raffle and charity auction.

A five-person holiday donated by RCI raised £500 in the auction.

Mrs Wilkinson said: “It was excellent. Anthony and I were so grateful.

“The generosity was amazing. It was a real lift for the family.”