Event raises thousands in memory of baby Jacob

Baby Jacob with his mum
Baby Jacob with his mum

A fundraising night at Banbridge Rugby Club raised £8,000 in memory of baby Jacob Kirk from Blackskull who died earlier this year.

Altogether around £15,000 has been raised by the baby’s family which will go towards PICU at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children and Lurgan charity Downs and Proud.

The night held earlier this month was organised by Jacob’s uncle Ronnie Herdman which included an auction, music and a tug of war.

His mother, Carolyn Herdman described the night as a “fantastic” one.

“Friday night alone raised £8,000 of that and the rest is from kind donations, marathon sponsors and ticket money.”

Jacob, who had Down’s Syndrome and was born eight weeks’ premature on January 30, 2014, died at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in January.

Jacob spent weeks in hospital when he was born and faced further problems and was hospitalised five times during his short life, each time being in intensive care on a life support machine. He was prone to chest infections and despite having what was classed as a good heart, his lungs were weak and he suffered hyper tensity.

Just weeks before his first birthday he remained in hospital for three weeks before he sadly lost his fight for life.

The fundraising included Carolyn’s participation in the Belfast Marathon this year as part of a relay team.

Unable to attend was a French family who Carolyn was so keen to meet. Carolyn was in touch with the family whom she had never met following her son’s death in January. The Cuisniers, who live in Brittany, found a balloon that was released at young Jacob’s graveside, a day after his funeral.

The Cuisniers were unable to attend due to work commitment.

But sisters and nurses from the Royal Hospital for Sick Children were among those there on the night.

Carolyn said, “Friday night was fantastic. Michael Kirk (my boyfriend) and myself are extremely overwhelmed by the turnout and support all in memory of our wee lamb Jacob.”