On 20 July 2010 our beautiful son Jacob died suddenly from an anaphylactic reaction, eight days short of his 14th birthday.
Jacob struggled with asthma and allergies from an early age and was hospitalised several times. Despite this, he lived a full and energetic life. He loved football, swimming, music and, most of all, freerunning. He would jump from great heights, turn summersaults in the air and vault all obstacles in his path. He bore his illnesses cheerfully, refusing to let them interfere with what he wanted to do. His sunny disposition earned him the nickname ‘Smileyface’.
We will perhaps never know what Jacob ate the day he died. The last thing he said when I asked him was, “I’ll tell you later.” Whatever it was caused his tongue and throat to swell, stopping him from breathing. His usual medication and the emergency epipen couldn’t save him, nor could the ambulance crew or the paediatric team at Kingston Hospital despite heroic efforts.
We’ve spent 14 years with the fear that Jacob could die from his allergies and struggled desperately to protect him without denying him the freedom he so fiercely craved. In the end, it wasn’t enough.
Thousands of people suffer from asthma and allergies. For many, the conditions are life threatening. Instead of flowers for Jacob’s funeral, we are asking for donations to two charities working to raise awareness of these conditions and conduct research into helping those affected. Please give generously.
As well as the Anaphylaxis Campaign we are also supporting AAIR. Please see: