PARENTS of tragic Hartlepool toddler Jacob Jenkins have thanked the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) which flew him to hospital.
David Jenkins and Abigail Wilson visited the GNAAS airbase at Durham Tees Valley Airport to meet the team and to hand over £1,100 alongside Miles for Men and Les Watts who hosted a charity music night in memory of the two-year-old.
Jacob passed away days after choking on a grape during a meal out on October 9.
David Jenkins said: “We just wanted to thank everyone for what they have done. If it wasn’t for the air ambulance we wouldn’t have been able to spend the last five days with Jacob.
“Abigail and I are both so grateful and even though our little boy sadly didn’t make it, we would not have been able to say goodbye without them.”
Jacob’s life-support machine was switched off on October 14 as the community gathered at Seaton Carew seafront, Hartlepool, to release yellow balloons in a show of support for the family.
Mr Watts came up with the idea to hold the fundraising event at Hartlepool Working Men’s Club in King Oswy Drive on December 9, and around 130 people attended. The night featured four acts – Kerrianne Covell who appeared on X Factor, Charlie Campbell, The Finetimes and Ashley Tweddle.
Mr Watts, who was compere for the evening, said: “As soon as I heard what had happened, my heart went out to them, and I just wanted to help. I asked Miles for Men to get involved and they didn’t have to think twice.
“We decided to put on a show and it was a brilliant night. We hope to hold the event annually.”
Kevin Hill, of Miles for Men, said: “Jacob was a local lad and he has been taken to the hearts of the people of Hartlepool.
“The air ambulance is vital and without it, people wouldn’t get to where they need to be in such a short space of time. It makes a big difference.”
Ms Wilson said: “It has been hard visiting today but the air ambulance is a fantastic charity and we’ll continue to fundraise for them in the future because they need our help.”
She added that Jacob, who was a fan of aeroplanes, “would have loved the air ambulance”.