‘What happens when you’re told your told your son has two years to live and there’s no magic pill to make him better? You go away and you find that pill. That’s what we did.’
April Whitehouse’s world changed forever on 6 October 2009, the day she was told her nine-year-old son Jacob had a rare and incurable brain disease that would kill him within two years. It was the day she embarked on a mission to save son’s life. April and husband Martyn immediately began a range of holistic and spiritual treatments. However, within weeks, ALD had robbed Jacob of his ability to walk, talk and eat, leaving him half-paralysed in a wheelchair.
Now saving Jacob became a race against time.
April and her family reached out to the local community, who pulled together to raise the funds to fly the family to Germany for pioneering stem cell treatment. Never previously tried on a child with ALD,they were given a 50% chance it would work. Incredibly, the treatment started to take effect within hours. With specialist physiotherapy and the support and love of his school friends, Jacob gradually returned to the happy boy he had always been. Though he now faced difficulties with his speech and movement, scans showed the disease had been halted in its tracks. But just as Jacob was adjusting to his new life, April’s marriage fell apart. The stress and uncertainty of Jacob’s illness caught up with them and April, who had always been the backbone of the family, had a complete breakdown.
Now it was Jacob’s turn to save April’s life….
Saving Jacob is a study of hope. It is about how the positivity of one family can inspire a community and save a boy’s life. In short, Saving Jacob is a blueprint for living life with joy.
Katy Weitz believes that most people have an extraordinary story to tell and she specialises in bringing them to the public's attention. She started her career as a Feature Writer on the national newspapers 18 years ago and within a few short years, rose to become Features Editor. In 2005 she left to set up her own real-life story agency First Features Ltd and since then has sold stories to all parts of the national and international press as well as television. With a remarkable empathy for her clients, she quickly saw that some had stories which couldn’t be told completely in 1500 w...
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April Whitehouse, from Bournemouth in Dorset, is mum to Jacob, 16, and Samuel, 13. Her life was transformed on 6 October 2009 when eldest son Jacob, then aged nine, was diagnosed with a rare brain disease which doctors claimed would kill him within two years. From that day April, who runs an electronics company, and husband Martyn, a self-employed plumber, set about finding a cure for the genetic condition ALD or Adrenoleukodystrophy.
For while April admits that Jacob’s diagnosis was devastating, she refused to give in to negativity.
‘Something deep inside told he wasn’t...
More about April Whitehouse