‘Inspirational’ Jacob backs hospital appeal

Jacob Lodge with Nichola Higgins from Treetop House
Jacob Lodge with Nichola Higgins from Treetop House

TEENAGER Jacob Lodge wanted to give something back to the charity that ensured his family was always close at hand while he was in Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

He enlisted the support of his school and raised £250 for The Sick Children’s Trust’s £1.2m Branching Out Appeal for a second ‘Home from Home’ where families of patients can stay.

Jacob started to have problems with his left hip at the age of 14 and has been in and out of hospital for four years and had several major operations.

His mum, Angie, said: “Throughout it all Jacob was an inspiration to all who met him and carried on with his studies with the aid of the teachers that visited.

“Jacob spent many months in a wheelchair but continued to attend school and carry out painful physiotherapy on a daily basis. He was always cheerful and tried to see the positive in all he did.”

The family, from Killamarsh, stayed at Treetop House, the trust’s existing ‘Home from Home’ at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

Angie said: “Treetop House was a lifesaver for our family on three separate occasions. It was a piece of normality in a very frightening and confusing time of my life. It’s a place where the rest of the family could be together and I knew I was only minutes away from my son.

“The staff were fantastic and nothing was too much trouble. Because I managed to get some sleep, I was able to cope with Jacob’s surgery better and carry out the nursing that was required of me.

“It was also good to be able to speak to other parents of sick children and support each other at a very vulnerable and distressing time.”

Jacob, now 18 and studying for A-levels at Wales High School, said: “I wanted to give something back to the charity as a thank you for looking after my family when I was in hospital and allowing them to stay close by to me.”

He came up with the idea of a raffle after being told of the Branching Out Appeal.

“The school really got behind the idea and we raised a brilliant £250. I am keen to carry on fundraising and to raise awareness of The Sick Children’s Trust in whatever capacity I can.”