LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - An upcoming blood drive is not only helping the Oklahoma Blood Institute with much-needed donations, but it is also helping a Lawton family.
OBI is holding the All-American Blood Drive tomorrow and Friday in honor of Jacob Coin Hancock.
Although Jacob’s story may be short, it’s an impactful one.
“He was everybody’s hero," said Jennifer Hancock, Jacob’s Mother. "They call him the little Warrior.”
Jacob was a miracle from day one.
“I was told I couldn’t have anymore kids," said Jennifer. "Our daughter was already 14 and a half and they said that was it for me.”
Jacob was born in Lawton on May 23, 2017.
“He was not breathing," said Jennifer. "He did not have a heat beat at first. The doctor’s had to resuscitate him.”
Life had a harrowing start for the little warrior. He was eventually air-lifted to a hospital in Oklahoma City.
“The next morning the cardiologist came in and he said, You need to sit down,” said Jennifer.
Jacob had multiple malformations in his heart and at just two weeks old he would undergo his first open heart surgery.
“The major one that they needed to fix right away was that he had an interrupted aortic arch, which is only one percent of all congenital heart disease,” said Jennifer.
Additionally, Jacob had a genetic condition, where there were multiple deletions in chromosome 2q.
“He was only one of a dozen in the entire world to have these deletions," said Jennifer. "When I say that my son was one in a billion, I literally mean it. He was one in a billion.”
Doctors were frank about Jacob’s prospects.
“The basically told me that made a human being a human he would never be able to do," said Jennifer. "They told me that he would never make eye contact, that he would never laugh, never talk, that he would never walk, that he would never love or know love.”
But Jacob would write his own story.
“He just thrived," said said Jennifer. "He was standing. He was vocal. He would say mama. All these things they said he would never do and he was doing them.”
On March 26th, Jacob would go in for a second open-heart surgery.
“They came out and said everything went great. He’s doing fine," said said Jennifer. "About 15 minutes later the surgeon said he’s crashed we’re going to have to go back in. I just fell to my knees.”
Ultimately, doctors would perform two more procedures.
“He came out of surgery and his heart was doing well, very well, but he wasn’t waking up," said Jennifer. "For three days I told the doctors that neurologically something was wrong.”
Over the course of the three days, Jacob had a series of strokes.
“For a last stitch effort, they put in a brain drain, which broke my heart because they had to shave half of his head and he had this long gorgeous think flowing hair,” said Jennifer.
But, it would be too late.
“We held our little boy one last time," said Jennifer. "I was just holding him when he passed. I can’t tell you what that feels like. He was my heart and my soul. When I lost him I didn’t think I could go on.”
Jennifer has now made it her mission to continue Jacob’s story.
“And now my job as his mom is to make sure that he did not die in vain and to make sure that people know his story,” said Jennifer.
Jennifer has become an ambassador for the OBI.
“We just want people to know that story so that they understand the impact of those transfusions these patients receive," said Anna Marie Bomar, Account Consultant, Oklahoma Blood Institute. "Because of these donors these patients get a chance to live and give their loved ones the opportunity, the chance to be loved that much more.”
“I wouldn’t of had those 22 months with him,” said Jennifer.
The All-American Blood Drive will be both Thursday and Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 6 p.m. The site is next to Party City in Cache Road Square. Teens 16-and-up can donate with parental permission. Blood donations credits from the drive will be offered to the family of Jacob to help offset the cost of blood donated to Jacob during his lifetime.
There is also a Go Fund Me benefiting Jacob’s family. www.gofundme.com/wbbun-jacobs-journey