Parents of Hartlepool toddler battling for his life “overwhelmed” by support for their son

Jacob Jenkins
Jacob Jenkins

The parents of a Hartlepool toddler left fighting for his life after choking on a grape say they have been “overwhlemed” by messages of support.

Jacob is in an induced coma at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary after being brought back to life by paramedics called to a toddler choking in Pizza Hut, in Marina Way, Hartlepool, on Friday evening.

As his family pray for his recovery, they thanked those who have sent messages of support for their son and those who came to his resuce.

And they are calling on wellwishers to keep Jacob in their thoughts as he continues to battle for his life.

Miss Wilson contacted the Mail from the RVI to express her gratitude to the people of Hartlepool, who have rallied around the family.

She said: “We are all just trying to stay strong for Jacob. But it’s hard as there is nothing we can do but wait.

“Doctors have told us if he does wake up he won’t be the same little boy we knew.

“It’s really hard but we are just trying our best to stay strong for him.”

Jacob Jenkins had been in Pizza Hut with his parents when a grape he had been eating became lodged in his throat.

As the restuarant’s first aider tried in vain to remove the grape, his dad ran for help to the nearby Vue cinema.

Two first aiders from the complex also tried to help as paramedics and a Great North Air Ambulance crew rushed to Pizza Hut.

By the time medics arrived Jacob’s heart had stopped, however, as they rushed the youngster to hospital they managed to restart his heart.

Miss Wilson added: “Jacob was ‘gone’ for around 30 minutes, the air support and paramedics helped him get a heart beat on the way to James Cook.

“We have been overwhelmed by everyone’s support and their wellwishes.

“And I just want to say thank you to the staff in Pizza Hut in particular the young girl who was the first aider and the two men from Vue cinema, staff at the Great North Air Ambulance, the James Cook Univeristy Hospital and the RVI.

“Everyone was great and helped us the best they could, but the grape was stuck and the only way of getting it out was through the paramedics using surgical scissors.

“Jacob is a lot more stable then he was but he is still critically ill. He is in an induced coma, but when they decide to take him off, it is really down to Jacob.

“They don’t know what damage has been caused yet so we need lots of prayers still.”

The restaurant remained closed over the weekend.

A Pizza Hut spokesperson said: “A spokesperson for Pizza Hut said: “We can confirm that there was a very serious incident involving a child at our Hartlepool Hut.

“Our thoughts and concern are with the child and his family at this very difficult time.”