“We have received so much from the NHS over the past 27 years!”

Jake Houghton was diagnosed with quadriplegic spastic cerebral palsy after being born three months premature in March 1996, weighing 2lbs 5oz. His twin brother was stillborn and after a tense, heart-breaking time, his mum Rachel recalls how the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the former Queen’s Park Hospital in Blackburn became the start of their family’s NHS journey.

She said:

Jake’s development was delayed. He missed milestones such as sitting and rolling over and it was then that the Paediatrics Team diagnosed him with quadriplegic spastic cerebral palsy.

What followed was a snowball of diagnosis and we were allocated specialists and therapists from dieticians to speech and language and physio.

Jake HoughtonJake can’t stand or walk and because of fine motor issues he is unable to attend to his own personal care such as bathing and feeding so I am his main caregiver.

However, we receive constant support from a whole gamete of NHS services which we rely on daily and would be lost without.

The Occupational Therapy Team at Clitheroe provides all Jake’s equipment such as bath chairs, bed and mattress and we see them every six to 12 months. But most importantly, they are always at the end of a phone if we need them.

The same applies with the District Nurses. Due to good home management, myself and his dad Martin carry out all Jake’s physical and personal care but we know the nurses will be available the minute we need them.  

Jake is a fun-loving bloke with a wicked sense of humour.

A strong reader from a young age, he lives for books, and reading and writing are his passion. Some of his articles have featured in local magazines and he is currently writing a book about the Lancashire Witch Trails.

He’s very smart and retains all manner of facts and knowledge that we call him the Human Alexa!

Our long and involved relationship with the NHS has enabled us to meet some fabulous people who have helped and supported Jake and our family for years. From bereavement counselling, therapists, doctors, nurses, neonatal nurses, consultants and surgeons… the list is endless!

We have always been ever so grateful for all their interactions no matter how big or small it’s been.