Brave boy in line for award

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BRAVE Jack Wilkinson is in the running for an award thanks to his courage in the face of a health battle.

The five-year-old has a condition called atypical Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome, which causes uncontrolled activation of the body’s immune system – and is a one in a million condition in under-fives.

He has shown courage that would put many adults to shame.

A string of nominations came in for the Boldon Colliery youngster and each had the same message – he’s a little superhero.

Today, Jack becomes the latest contender in the Child of Courage category of our Best of South Tyneside awards. Proud mum Keren Burdett said: “He has gone through so much and he is really amazing.”

One nomination for him said: “He has shown courage that would put many adults to shame.”

Jack was admitted to hospital when he took ill in June last year.

Both his blood pressure and heart rate were through the roof, and he was transferred to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle for observation. Doctors gave Jack an ultrasound scan and found that his kidneys were inflamed.

Another scan on his heart showed it wasn’t functioning properly, and he was transferred to the city’s Freeman Hospital for specialist heart care. The following day, he was diagnosed with AHUS, and has been back at the RVI for three weeks.

Jack has had three operations, physiotherapy, and was put on kidney dialysis 24 hours a day.

Now, he has a routine of hospital visits every other Wednesday and Keren admitted: “For a five-year-old, he knows every different type of blood pressure medication that he has to take.

“He is so switched on, it is amazing.”

She said Jack certainly was the definition of a Child of Courage in the eyes of his parents Martin Wilkinson and herself.

We want many more nominations between now and the deadline of Friday, April 10.

The awards will culminate in a glittering finals night at the Quality Hotel on June 25.

•Enter your nominations here