The doting parents realized something was wrong after Jackson’s mobility was affected when he was around 11 months. He used to be able to feed himself but shortly before he turned one, Jackson was unable to do so.
The worst news a parent can get is that their child has a terminal illness that cannot be cured. And there is nothing that anyone can say or do that will change how it makes you feel. However, as a father, Darren Garwood couldn’t help but make sure that his little boy will never be forgotten even after he’s gone. So, the 37-year-old turned his son into an adorable superhero character called Jackson Superhero who goes on adventures at night in his dreams. Darren is doing parenting right and has won many hearts.
Little Jackson Garwood was diagnosed with a fatal condition called Krabbe disease after his first birthday. Darren and his wife, Rebecca, 34, were told that Jackson won’t live beyond his second birthday. However, Jackson is now four years old. And though he is now healthy, the little boy may never be able to walk and it is not known how much longer he has.
The doting parents realized that something was wrong after Jackson’s mobility was affected when he was around 11 months. He used to be able to feed himself but shortly before he turned one, Jackson was unable to do so. They got a clear diagnosis after his first birthday. "Our lives came crashing down when Jackson was diagnosed, I tried to blank it all out," Darren was quoted as saying by VT. "We were told he was only supposed to live until he was two. I wanted to stop thinking, I wanted to sleep and never wake up. But my wife, Rebecca made me realize all Jackson has is us, and I needed to be there."
So Darren, a site inspector from Tilbury, Essex, used his creativity and made the character of Jackson Superhero. He has already written and published a series of books, of which there are 10 now.
The father said that he came up with the idea of the character after he and his wife were talking about whether Jackson dreams since the condition affects his brain function as well. The father decided that if he can’t dream, he’d help Jackson dream by creating these stories about him.
The disease Jackson was diagnosed with is so rare that it affects only one person a year in the United Kingdom. There are only two children with Krabbe disease alive in the UK and Jackson is one of them, the father said. "With Krabbe Disease, you lose every skill that you had achieved," Garwood explains. "What I always try to get across to Jackson is that when you are asleep, you can do anything you want to do. You can let your imagination run wild." The parents read to Jackson often since his thoughts maybe affected as Krabbe disease affects the nervous system.
For the determined father, writing the books did not take long. "The books really don't take long to write, a few days at most and I always like to use words that Jackson is familiar with," he added. "I sent them off to publishers last February and was published by October 2018, I was thrilled when I'd sold 4,000 copies by Christmas."
Carl Osborne, the illustrator who worked on the books, didn’t charge any money for the books because this was for the cute young boy and Darren was a friend. He just wanted to help the young family.
The response the father received for the books has been amazing, with more children wishing that they could be turned into superheroes, too. Darren's work for his little boy even got some celebrity attention after actor and comedian Russell Brand shared Jackson’s story on Twitter.
"My mate Darren from Essex wrote this book for his seriously ill son, about heroism, suffering and dreaming. A beautiful story in every sense," Brand tweeted.
While most parents would be in awe as they watch their little one grow up, celebrating their little triumphs as they learn something new every day, Darren and Rebecca can only hope that their son gets better. There's nothing that can take away the pain a parent feels as they watch their baby grow weaker with every passing day. However, many would agree that turning Jackson into a memorable comic book character would be one way to bring him joy. After all, what kid wouldn't want to be turned into a superhero!