Without saying a word, three-year-old Jacob has captured the hearts of many in his small town of Thorsby.The three-year-old, born with an extremely rare, inherited neurologic disorder, was greeted by dozens of relatives, friends and members of the Cedar Grove Fire Department Saturday, all celebrating Jacob’s wish come true.
“Each day we just kind of live to its fullest,” Jacob’s mother, Erica Jones, said. “Each day I see a smile and I see him relaxed and comfortable is a good day.”
And Saturday, Jacob was all smiles.
Make-A-Wish® Alabama, All Star Pool and Spa, Supreme Electric, American Concrete Foundations and Wall, Crane Works and Alabama Teen Challenge teamed up to grant Jacob’s wish of getting his own therapy pool. The heated swim spa measures at 12 feet long, seven feet wide and more than four feet tall.
Jones says it will make things much easier for the family, who, until recently, had to travel I-65 North to the Lakeshore Foundation to get Jacob some swim time.“With us not having to get in the car and move him around…he can enjoy it,” Jones said. “No matter what kind of day, we can get him out here and he can just relax.”
Jacob’s condition causes his nervous system to deteriorate and swimming allows Jacob to stay active and helps his body curb his condition.“We’ve run several calls on him out here,” Cedar Grove Fire Chief, Adam Price, said. “We try to help any way we can.” Jacob’s condition is all too familiar with Price who says his department has made several visits to the Jones’ home, responding to medical emergency calls.“They’ve seen Jacob at his worst,” Jones said. “They’ve seen me cry, they’ve seen me scream…they’ve seen the hard days.” Jacob has daily seizures and is wheelchair dependent. He is constantly hooked up to a suction machine and feeding machine, which help him live as normal a life as possible and give him “good days.”
Saturday was a good day.
Festive balloons could be seen all over the Jones’ home, swaying with the late morning breeze. Some were even tied to Jacob’s new spa. A beautifully decorated fish-themed cake almost looked too good to eat. Almost.It was, by definition, the epitome of a celebration.
“They are a great family,” Price said. “They went beyond what most families would do, for Jacob, and it’s just a blessing to be able to be here and celebrate with them.”
“Talking with Erica, she has said that Jacob’s life expectancy is between three and five years,” Make-A-Wish Alabama Director of Communications and Marketing, Bryant Somerville, said. “And he’s three-and-a-half now. Anything Make-A-Wish Alabama can do to help Jacob, help his day-to-day life and help his family…we’re absolutely going to be a part of that.”
No treatments. No hospital beds. No emergency visits from the local fire department. But, rather, about 50 of Jacob’s closest friends and family members who have all been touched by this toddler’s incredible strength, courage and unparalleled determination…to live.
“I’m extremely proud of him,” Jacob’s mother, Erica, said. “It’s made me honored…extremely honored to be his mom. He inspires me to do my best…that’s what he deserves.”