Jack’s family say thanks with charity night

Jack Sowerby with mum Gemma
Jack Sowerby with mum Gemma

A BATTLING youngster who was rushed to hospital with a collapsed lung, pneumonia and needing a life-saving procedure is fighting back to fitness.

Little Jack Sowerby underwent a three-hour operation to drain fluid from his lungs after falling ill earlier this year.

The three-year-old needed round the clock care before eventually being allowed home from hospital after a week.

Now his mum, Gemma Sowerby, 29, is helping to raise funds for the children’s ward at the Freeman Hospital, in Newcastle, which nursed him back to health.

Jack is still fighting the pneumonia, but is gradually building up his immune system.

Gemma, also mum to one-year-old Millie Romani, said: “Jack has check-up appointments to ensure he is on track, but he is doing well. The staff on ward 11 at the Freeman Hospital were just amazing. They were lovely and could not do enough. But while we were there we noticed that there wasn’t a great deal in terms of toys for the children to play with or to keep them entertained.”

The mum of two, who lives Belle Vue, Hartlepool, said: “I just wanted to give something back in order to make other children’s stays as comfortable as possible.”

The drama unfolded on March 28 when Jack, who was sent home ill from the Footprints Nursery, in Tees Street, with a high temperature. He was taken to One Life Hartlepool as he was having difficulty breathing. At the time Gemma said medics diagnosed a viral infection and sent him home with painkillers.

But three days later Jack had started “panting” and was still not himself.

She returned to One Life where Jack was placed on a nebuliser – an oxygen breathing aid – to help him but Gemma claimed he was sent home again and told if his condition worsened to call 999.

Hours later Jack was rushed to the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, where a chest X-ray revealed his right lung had actually collapsed and he had fluid on both lungs.

Doctors put the youngster on antibiotics through a drip in the hope he could battle the illness.

But he was so weak he had to be transferred to the Freeman Hospital.

Tests discovered no oxygen was entering his right lung and he had severe pneumonia, for which he had to undergo the operation to have the chest drain fitted.

The fundraising night will take place on Saturday, September 29, at the Belle Vue Social Club, in Kendal Road, from 7pm. It includes a pie and peas supper and tickets cost £5.

Organisers have planned a raffle, tombola, disco, sponsored body wax and auction.

For tickets or to donate auction items call Gemma on 07432 131204 or Tara Stallard on 07982 426853.