WellChild Awards 2022: Eastbourne teen recognised at star-studded ceremony

An 18-year-old boy was given a national WellChild Award earlier this month at a ceremony in London.
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Jack Metcalfe spent years caring for his seriously ill little sister Sophie, who was born in 2018 but died last year. Sophie was diagnosed with acute necrotising encephalitis when she was 11 months old. She almost lost her life following complications when she contracted influenza. Several months later Sophie left hospital with severe disabilities and needing 24/7 care.

A spokesperson for WellChild said: “Jack coped amazingly well with the disruption to his family’s life. He continued to excel in his school work, achieving excellent GSCE grades. He also stepped up to help his parents with Sophie’s medical needs, asking to be trained in all aspects of her care from tube feeding to administering oxygen and knowing what to do if she became unwell. During the Covid-19 pandemic Jack’s help became even more vital when the family were left to cope with limited outside care. Tragically in November 2021, having contracted Covid-19, Sophie lost her life.”

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Nicola Hubbard, Jack and Sophie’s mum, said: “When Sophie died it hit Jack very hard but he has kept the promise he made to her that he would do her proud and keep going with his studies so he could get a place at university. I don’t know how I would have coped without him."

Nicola was the one to nominate Jack for the award and he was picked from hundreds of other nominees from across the UK to win the Caring Young Person category. She said: “I’m so pleased that he’s won a WellChild Award and I hope it helps him realise what an amazing big brother he has been to Sophie.”

The awards went ahead at the Hurlingham Club on September 8 and famous guests included TV presenter Gaby Roslin, rugby star Chris Robshaw, and Little Mix member Leigh-Anne Pinnock. WellChild chief executive Matt James said: “It was a chance to recognise and highlight the immense challenges they have faced and to celebrate the remarkable positivity, resilience, and spirit they have demonstrated. It also helped us to shine a light on the dedication of those around them, from siblings, professionals and volunteers who have gone above and beyond to help them through such challenging times.”

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