The family of critically ill toddler Jacob Jenkins say they have been touched by the “phenomenal” support they have received from across the world.
The Hartlepool two-year-old remains in an induced coma in Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary after choking on a grape at the town’s Pizza Hut on Friday.
Jacob’s parents, Abigail Wilson and David Jenkins, remain at his bedside as they pray for his recovery.
Across Hartlepool, and further afield, people have lit candles of hope both in person and online, in support of the family.
Now, a balloon release organised in Jacob’s name is planned for tomorrow in Seaton Carew – something his parents plan to replicate.
Abigail said this morning: “The support we are receiving from Hartlepool and across the world is phenomenal and we love the idea of the balloons being released, we will be doing it as well.
“Jacob has had a comfortable night and he is slowly coming off the medication, and, apart from his breathing, he is doing everything on his own, but this doesnt change his chances, he still needs to show that he can wake up.
“He needs to wake up, and he’s not showing any signs of that yet.”
Meanwhile, the family have also thanked friend Ben Picken, who set up a Go Fund Me page for Jacob, which is currently at £4,835.
Abigail added: “We really would like to say a huge thank you to everyone for their support and the Go Fund Me page is absolutely amazing.
“We can’t thank Ben Picken, who is a family friend, enough for starting it for us.”
Jacob stopped breathing for around 30 minutes on Friday, while first aiders worked to remove the grape.
The restaurant remained closed until yesterday.
A Pizza Hut spokesman said: “Following careful consideration and discussion with the staff involved, we have now re-opened our Hartlepool Hut.
“Our thoughts continue to be very much with Jacob and his family at this very difficult time.”
The balloon release will take place at 7pm on the seafront, with a meeting time of 6.45pm. Those attending are being asked to bring yellow balloons.