A Grandmother’s Story: Seeking Answers and Help for Jakob


Rachel, the grandmother of a young boy with cerebral palsy, shares the story of her grandson’s difficult birth. After the mistakes made by hospital staff, her grandson Jakob did not get the oxygen his brain needed. This is their story of success and how attorneys uncovered the truth.

I got there (to the hospital) about an hour after my grandson, Jakob, was born and a nurse met me in the hallway and explained he had stopped breathing. I was amazed he was still alive.

The first time I laid eyes on him he was waiting to be flown to the NICU at Grady (Georgia). His little left arm was just quivering in the air. My daughter was so upset.

When I got to the NICU, it was so sad to see my only grandson with wires running everywhere out of his body. He was there 6 weeks and I was there every day. Because my daughter was having a hard time coping with everything, I became Jakob’s guardian.

I knew it would be hard. At the time I just prayed ‘Lord, give me the strength.’ But there was no turning back. He was a part of me. He was precious.

Jakob’s Struggle Was Preventable

Because of what had happened at the hospital, we suspected something was wrong. Jakob had seizures and they told us he had cerebral palsy. My daughter called a lawyer and that’s how we met Ken Suggs and Jerry Jowers of Janet, Janet & Suggs.

Giles Manley, who was an OBGYN for 20 years and is a lawyer with the firm, looked at Jakob’s records. He said the hospital should have known Jakob might need a breathing tube right after he was born because of what fetal monitoring was showing. A resuscitation team should have been right there, but they were busy with another baby and a back-up team wasn’t called. Jakob had to struggle trying to breath for eight minutes before he finally got a tube. Dr. Manley, who is also medical director for CP Family Network, told us about other mistakes, too.

It broke our hearts all over again to learn Jakob could be a well boy today if these mistakes hadn’t been made. But my daughter was relieved to learn it wasn’t her fault.

Seeking Light at the End of the Tunnel

At the trial, I’ve never seen someone so organized as Jerry, and I’ve never seen a group of people come together as a team like they did. My husband and I owned a painting company, and we never were that organized. And the way Jerry handled the trial, the evidence he showed, the witnesses he brought were amazing.

The verdict can’t repair anything, but it will allow Jakob to live with the help and equipment he needs to improve if he can. With the right kind of help and equipment, he might be able to someday walk, run or talk. That’s my prayer, and Jesus is in the healing business.

The journey has been one of into the valley and up on the mountaintop since the day we walked out of the NICU that first day. My husband passed away in 2012. He would have been so happy for Jakob. I know he’s smiling down on us.


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