Louth wonder dad vows to raise £100K for hospital

Dad Nick Jessel with Jacob a week before his diagnosis last year.
Dad Nick Jessel with Jacob a week before his diagnosis last year.

A devoted dad has vowed to raise £100,000 for the hospital that is caring for his seven-year-old son who is battling a mystery bone marrow disorder.

Nick Jessel, from Louth, wants to raise the amount for ‘The Children’s Hospital’ charity.

His son Jacob is in isolation at Sheffield Children’s Hospital after being diagnosed in October 2016.

Nick has been staying at home with his other son Sam (5) while his partner Emma has been in hospital by Jacob’s side.

Nick said: “As a family we were just in a tailspin. There have been times where I have been a jibbering wreck.

“Going through something like this, you see a side to yourself you never knew.

“You feel it right in the middle of your chest and it is hard to breath.”

Emma took Jacob to his GP in September 2016 after noticing a mosquito bite had formed an unusual bruise.

Jacob saw specialists in Grimsby and Sheffield and underwent a bone marrow biopsy that ruled out leukaemia.

Jacob was diagnosed with myelodysplasia, a pre-leukaemic condition.

He has since had twice-weekly platelet transfusions and fortnightly blood transfusions.

He had a transplant in February but the bone marrow failed to graft and was deemed unsuccessful.

Doctors then ordered a ‘haploidentical rescue transplant’ where stem cells are taken and transfused.

Nick has donated his own stem cells in order for Jacob to have the operation to help save his life.

Nick’s stem cells were harvested in a four-hour process that left him exhausted. At the same time, Jacob began his second round of chemotherapy.

Nick said: “There are early signs of engraftment, which is promising news, but we aren’t taking anything for granted. It’s a huge relief from where we were back at the start of March when we didn’t know if donating my stem cells would even work.

“We have had a good response so we feel great but we now face a two-year process to overcome it.”

With Jacob fighting for his life in hospital, Nick decided he wanted to do something to help staff who have treated him.

He explained: “I can’t just sit by and do nothing. I know it costs around £150,000 for the NHS to carry out a bone marrow transplant, I pay my taxes, but I haven’t paid anywhere near that. So I want to raise £100,000 to give as much as I can.”

He has praised the nurses, consultants and staff at Sheffield Children’s Hospital .

Nick has already raised more than £4,000 to date, If you would like to make a donation, visit: www.justgiving.com/JacobJessel