Jarrow boy Jack Lewis, 10, launches £2,000 campaign to help other ill children as he faces health battle
A brave Jarrow boy is starting a campaign to send gift bags to poorly children in hospital.
Jack Lewis, 10, has launched his ‘Friendship Bags of Hope’ project despite having serious health problems himself.
Jack, who was born with his bowel, intestines and liver outside of his body, has just had exploratory surgery at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.
Doctors wanted to find out what was causing the pain and swelling in his tummy and mum Sarah said: “His procedure went well but he will be needing further surgery.
‘He now has another serious condition’
"It also showed that he now has another serious condition they didn't know about in his oesophagus. We are waiting for further testing for that.”
She said Jack was ‘quite poorly at the moment’ but he was fighting back, both by volunteering with the Feeding Families charity and by planning his own venture.
A Go Fund Me page aims to raise £2,000.
Sarah added: “Planning and making up these bags to help other poorly children is really keeping him occupied.”
Jack wants to ‘make kids smile’
Jack explained on the page: “I want to make up some little bags of hope and friendship that can be given out on the children's wards to make kids smile.
"I want to raise enough money for each pack to have a book, cuddly toy and other special things.”
More than £200 has already been raised.
Judges heard how Jack had overcome all of his health issues and had been chosen to be part of the England team for the Dance World Cup.
He did brilliantly with his dance school, VA Performing Arts, when he competed at the Montgomery novice dance festival in the Summer of this year. He was in the top four in the ballet, tap and song and dance categories even though he was up against much older competitors.
A setback for Jack
But there has been a setback since then and he now faces further surgery.
Sarah previously told the Gazette: “He was having unexplained episodes where he was being sick and quite poorly. He can go from being perfectly fine to quite poorly really quickly. He is now getting poorly every other week.”
Jack came into the world with the rare condition Exomphalos Major which only affects two in 5,000 children, according to NHS statistics.
Jack’s parents, Sarah and Gary, were informed at the 12-week scan that he would be born with the condition.
His first operation at 5 months old
He had surgery at five months old when two hernias were operated on. Complications with a further operation to place the organs inside Jack’s body led to the youngster fighting for his life.
He had more surgery when the bowel came back through his stomach. More recently, Jack had two more operations and was poorly for a year with further bowel problems in 2018.
He has been in hospital around 50 times and still has stomach problems but he never lets it get him down
To support Jack’s Friendship Bags Of Hope fundraiser, visit here.