80-year-old former Private follows in footsteps of Captain Tom for Sheffield Children's Hospital

Inspired by Captain Sir Tom Moore, an 80-year-old former Private who completed his National Service almost 60 years ago has raised more than £1,000 for Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

Tuesday, 23rd June 2020, 8:40 pm
Updated Wednesday, 24th June 2020, 2:16 pm

Following in the footsteps of the legendary WWII veteran who raised £32m for the NHS by walking in his Bedfordshire garden, Private Terry Jacobs has walked 5km, 200m at a time, in a car park at the end of his street to raise money for the medics who saved his three-year-old great-granddaughter Esmae’s life.

He said: “I was sitting in front of the TV one morning and I thought if Captain Tom could do it at 100, I’ve no excuses at 80!

“Honestly, it was tough. Last year, I started to have lots of trouble walking and I needed to have a blue badge. I certainly wouldn’t have done it every day if I hadn’t committed myself to the cause.”

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Private Terry completing his walk.

Nevertheless, aided by his zimmer frame, Terry completed three laps of a nearby car park every day until he reached his target, crossing a taped finish line surrounded by family and friends.

The Children’s Hospital Charity is a cause close to Terry’s heart after seeing the care his great-granddaughter received.

Esmae Walker was born 12 weeks premature in July 2016 and at just four days old, was transferred to Sheffield Children’s Hospital from the Jessops Wing by ambulance for a life-saving operation.

In total, Esmae would spend the five months on the Neonatal Surgical Unit (NSU) at Sheffield Children’s, where she had a further three surgeries, all of which were successful.

Private Terry Jacobs completing his National Service in Germany.

Mum Rochelle said: “Esmae is almost four-years-old and thriving today as a result of the care, support and attention received at Sheffield Children’s.

“At one time we were under the care of multiple teams including neurology, cardiology, gastroenterology and dieticians but we now only visit once a year for check-ups.”

“I love all my grandchildren and great-grandchildren, but Esmae will always hold a special place in my heart because of what she has been through,” added Terry, who lives in Highfield.

“She’s starting to talk, walk and learn; she’s exceeding all expectations. The team at Sheffield Children’s did a wonderful job.”

Esmae Walker.

You can support Terry’s fundraising by visiting www.justgiving.com/fundraising/privateterryjacobs.

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Esmae Walker shortly after she was born.

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Terry with wife Veronica and Esmae.