SLIDER

SUMMER WHITTAKER


'When you can tell your story and it doesn't make you cry, you know you are healing.'

- unknown.

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STAND BY YOUR MAN.


This is Jacob, my fiancé of three months now. You may notice something different about him, that being that he is an amputee. We have been in a relationship for 1045 days, 620 days of which he has been living in a hospital. You might say that our relationship isn't your standard fairytale, and, you would be correct.


On the 10th of January, 2013, Jacob got meningococcal septicaemia. Since then, he has shown a true fight for his life, and his future for that matter as he had less than a ten percent chance to live whilst connected to a life support machine in the intensive care unit, Blackpool Victoria. We were told that if he survived, there could be many severe issues, such as brain damage or heart problems. Some how, after 7 days of being in the intensive care unit, he was moved to the high dependency ward, the next stage when things are looking better. 

My main fear was losing him. I had lost my Father six months earlier, and I never got to say a real goodbye to jacob before he was put under sedation. My next fear, was if Jacob made it through the night, would he wake up and remember who I was. Would he have brain damage, would his future be non existent? 

Jacob was well, and on the mend slowly as each day went by. He had multiple brain scans and was given the all clear. Somehow, he had survived. Even doctors were surprised. 

Due to the septicaemia, Jacob's toes had taken damage, that is the politest way to explain what had happened. They had turned black, they had died, they would not recover. He had to have surgery to get his toes removed, leaving him with feet that were questionable as to whether he could stand on them again one day. Months went by, pain was endured, as he tried to see if this could work. If this hope could become a reality. 

The feet he had left would tear, as the bones would painfully open his skin. There was no hope, but at least he tried. A doctor spoke once to Jacob about the possibility of getting both legs amputated below the knee. But, nobody spoke of it since. Until 13 months later of walking in to that hospital, Jacob made a decision.

He wanted a future, he wanted his life back, and he made the brave decision to become an amputee. If you sit and think now to yourself, how much bravery and courage that must take, to ask to get your legs removed. It was difficult, and people saw this being a horrific time, yes it was in ways, but this was a start to a brand new chapter for both Jacob and I. 

Since February, he has been given his prosthetics, to learn how to walk once again after 20 months of being either led or sat down, unable to have the freedom we all deserve. Right now, we are both in a good place in our lives. There is hope for Jacob as he progresses each day, learning to balance as he stands, walking once more. 

We have been seen in the public's eye throughout this whole journey, as we hope to reach out to people to show our positivity, to bring attention to meningitis, and to simply show other's our lives, and stand tall as we have gotten through this, and kept our relationship alive. We have even been published in a popular women's magazine in England, Pick Me Up, which you can see and read below. They may have gotten a few things wrong, but it meant the world to me to see how positive people responded to our lives.
Our dates have been difficult in a hospital, seeing each other once every fortnight or so, and having dates in the hospital restaurants. But, I wouldn't have it any other way. This has brought us closer together, and I look at him now, and fall more in love with him. Stand by the people you love, no matter how hard it may be, or how much it hurts, because I promise you, it will work out in your favour.



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