A week rarely passes without a special visit to the CHEO Foundation from CHEO ambassador Jacob-Emmanuel Doyle.
In 2008, Jacob became a familiar face at CHEO. On June 30 of that year Jacob suffered a brain hemorrhage called an AVM. This meant he was immediately admitted to CHEO’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) where he spent two weeks and was placed in a medically induced coma.
CHEO became Jacob’s home for the following eight months. He left his hospital bed only for rehabilitation and tests and in-between he fought relentlessly to regain his mobility, speech and memory. Doctors cautioned Jacob’s family that his chances of survival were slim and that if he were to survive he would likely never walk again. But Jacob was determined to reclaim his life and he never gave up. In February 2009, nearly one year later, Jacob returned to school and he did indeed teach himself to walk again.
Jacob was determined to reclaim his life and he never gave up.
Jacob’s enthusiasm for life and steadfast determination inspires all who cross paths with him. For that very reason, the CHEO Foundation nominated Jacob to be CHEO’s 2011-12 Children’s Miracle Network Champion Child presented by Walmart Canada. The Champions program is an annual program in which each Children’s Miracle Network member hospital in North America selects a child or youth ambassador who embodies strength, courage and bravery.
Regardless of Jacob’s struggles he is always giving back. Since 2010, Jacob has fundraised over $20,000 for the CHEO Foundation by taking part in the Walmart Walk for Miracles, the St-Albert’s Optimist Club Walk and numerous other high school and college fundraising events. His weekly visits to the CHEO Foundation are in addition to his time spent volunteering at CHEO’s Development and Rehabilitation department where he works alongside and reads with children, many of whom are facing rehabilitation and physical therapy treatments like Jacob.
Jacob possesses an outlook on life that is hard to define. His presence in the countless lives of the children he impacts is a gift and a daily reminder that any dream can become reality regardless of obstacles.
On April 5, 2017 the CHEO Foundation hosted an award ceremony to honour outstanding volunteerism and commitment to kids at CHEO. Jacob was presented with an award for his fundraising efforts, his volunteerism and his daily reminder that we should never give up on ourselves.