Success Story: Jacob D.
FUND IT FORWARD received this letter from Jacob's mom:
Jacob is medically certified as a clinical sleepwalker which is incredibly scary as a parent since he is not aware of his surroundings when he sleepwalks. In addition, Jacob was born with gastroschisis, a condition where his bowel was on the outside of his body. Jacob was rushed to surgery after his birth and spent his first 6 months in the neonatal ICU. After multiple surgeries on his intestinal tract, Jacob now suffers with short bowel syndrome. Both conditions create a complex set of circumstances which lead to potential disastrous outcomes….
On Nov. 19th, 2011 - after being discharged from the hospital - Jacob started sleepwalking and left his home in Ohio. Ohio can be very COLD this time of year and it was on this night. When Jacob left, he was dressed with shoes but had no coat; He unlocked the chain lock and walked nearly a half mile to the house where his brother was spending the night.
A gentleman found Jacob on a main road and asked him what he was doing and where he lived. Jacob replied, "Nowhere because mommy and daddy were dead." Jacob then asked the gentleman for a ride. The gentleman told Jacob he should not ask strangers for rides and called the police. After the police arrived, Jacob was still insisting that his dad and I were dead, that he left his little brother at home and needed to get to nanny's house. Jacob told the police that he would walk a little and sleep a little and walk a little more and sleep etc.
The officers took Jacob to my sister-in-law's house where he continued to tell the same story: "Mommy swallowed a fly and fell over dead and daddy swallowed a bee and fell over dead." As a parent, no words can describe the reaction when the police officer shows up at your house to report your child was found wandering on a main road by himself convinced that his dad and mom were dead. The officers were great though and realized Jacob was sleepwalking. Finally, Jacob "woke" up and was confused and crying when he realized he wasn't in his room.
This wasn't the first time Jacob has gotten out of the house. Baby gates, child proof door knobs, chain locks on all the doors…nothing has worked. Our desperation to find something to help Jacob is apparent when you think about what might have happened on that busy main road in the middle of the night if that angel of a man hadn't stopped and helped Jacob.
In addition to sleepwalking, Jacob suffers from multiple food allergies (wheat, dairy, and peanut). He binge eats and hoards food. Hiding food does not stop him. When Jacob is sleepwalking, he will eat anything (even tea bags!). He eats things he is unable to have and gets sick which landed us in the hospital 13 times in 2010 alone.
Please help Jacob. He is a Christmas baby, during this giving holiday season; please think about giving him the gift of many birthdays to come by having a safe and secure place to sleep each night. We need an enclosed bed, such as this safety sleeper. This is literally the only thing that is going to keep him safe.
Krystin D., November 2011
Jacob's story was covered by WKYC-TV on November 29. [ Full coverage].