There are few better people to have at your side during your first time co-hosting a telethon than retired CTV anchor Max Keeping.
“I wasn’t nervous because Max was helping me through this,” said 16-year-old Jacob Emmanuel Doyle, after spending an hour co-hosting the CHEO Telethon yesterday afternoon.
That Doyle even made it to the telethon set at the Canadian War Museum at all is something that doctors at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario said was nearly impossible almost two years ago.
Yesterday’s telethon raised a record $6,258,971 for CHEO.
On June 30, 2008, Doyle suffered a brain hemorrhage that left him in a coma for two weeks.
When it first happened, he called his mother, Ann, at work, and described in increasingly slurring speech that he was losing sensation in the left side of his body.
By the time paramedics arrived at his house, he couldn’t speak anymore. When they arrived at CHEO, he was unconscious.
Doctors warned his parents he may not survive. Even if he did, he might never walk or talk again, said his father, Louis.
Doyle finally spoke again in October 2008. He took his first step, an ordeal requiring a team of six helpers, in December 2008.
“It’s amazing how kids, or anyone who goes through that, can be so resilient and not give up,” Ann said.
Doyle’s speech is laboured and he needs a walker to keep balance when he walks, but he’s taking four courses a day at Samuel Genest High School and attending as many volleyball games as possible.
“I just hope to do more and prove the doctors wrong,” said Doyle. “You name it, they didn’t think I’d do it, but I’m proving them wrong right now.”