Jack O'Brien

Tags: Fundraisers

A passionate swimmer going the distance for sick kids

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"I would love to help other sick kids and brighten their days in hospital as Starlight really made a difference to my stay in hospital and my recovery."

Jack is an active 10-year-old who doesn't let his vision impairment get in the way of his aspirations to be an Olympic swimmer. An accident 6-months ago put a temporary pause on these dreams, though now Jack is back in the pool and looks positively to the future.

In July 2018 Jack was practising for an upcoming race and on his last lap had a massive motorcycle accident that resulted in a shattered femur. Jack was airlifted to hospital where he stayed for 10 days, undergoing surgery where he had to have a steel rod put in his femur. Following his hospital stay Jack was in a wheelchair for 12 weeks and on crutches for 4 weeks. He has to go back to hospital later this year to have the steel rod removed.

Jack on his motorbike, and with his siblings

Normally Jack would swim four times a week for squad training and missed this the most while he was recovering. Luckily Jack still could have some fun in the Starlight Express Room, both during his stay and when he goes back for post-op check-ups. At times when Jack thought he couldn't even crack a smile, he found himself laughing with the Captain Starlights and playing XBox.

When Jack's mum came across Starlight’s Super Swim and asked if he wanted to participate and fundraise for sick kids, Jack didn't hesitate. Whilst he didn't enjoy being injured, and is not looking forward to his upcoming operation, Jack appreciates that he can get better and go home, while so many other sick kids in hospital are not so lucky.

Jack in the pool, going the distance for sick kids

Jack is motivated by the thought that his efforts can help to brighten the lives of other sick kids in hospital. He has pledged to swim 60km in 30 days, and raise $5,000 for sick kids, and aims to exceed both targets - what a champion!

Jack has his community supporting him all the way, with friends and family sharing his story and donating, and even the local butcher is organising a sausage sizzle with all proceeds going to Jack's fundraising efforts.

It's not too late to sign up for Starlight’s Super Swim and go the distance for sick kids. You can also donate to support Jack's Olympic efforts.

Jack happy at the pool and in his swimming gear

Stories like these are only made possible thanks to our generous supporters. If you'd like to help make a difference for a child, you can donate below.
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