Little Jack’s family are chosen to re-open pub

Anthony and Janet Wilkinson and baby Jack will officially re-open the Hobson's Choice pub on Saturday
Anthony and Janet Wilkinson and baby Jack will officially re-open the Hobson's Choice pub on Saturday

The family of an 18-week-old baby who needed life-saving surgery and has spent half his life in hospital will officially re-open a pub following a £300,000 refit after being chosen as its family of the year.

The Hobsons Choice in Kettering Business Park will give Jack Wilkinson, of Kettering, and his family VIP treatment at its fun day on Saturday after they raised £1,000 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

Jack was rushed to the hospital at eight weeks after being diagnosed with a one-in-15,000 baby liver disease called Biliary Atresia.

General manager Daryl Chapman said: “Janet and her family are the prefect choice to be our family of the year.

“Even while going through such a difficult time, they are committed to support and raise funds for state-of-the-art equipment that will not only benefit Jack but also other children that use the hospital.

“We’re proud to welcome them on Saturday and hope to show them a really good time with a little VIP treatment at our pub.”

The family will receive free meals and drinks on the day and be put forward for the chain Fayre & Square’s national hunt for a family of the year.

Jack was sent for tests when his jaundice did not clear up after six weeks from birth.

The family, of Olympic Way, Kettering, have thrown themselves into raising awareness for other parents and raising money for the hospital as the protocol recommended by the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation is to consult a paediatrician for tests if a newborn still has jaundice two weeks after birth.

Mrs Wilkinson said: “It was a bit of a shock when we found out.

“It will be lovely. We were really taken by it.

“It was really nice after all we’ve been through. It was a lovely thought.”

Jack may need a liver transplant before the end of the year and may be put on the liver transplant list, but Mrs Wilkinson said he was doing fine.

The family fun day, which will go on from 2pm to 4pm, will include balloon modellers, face painters and jugglers.