An ailing Massachusetts teenager who has been working to cross items off his bucket list in the time he has left missed the Super Bowl after traveling to Atlanta and is in intensive care, according to his mother.
Jake Silver, an 18-year-old from Ashland, is battling a rare form of cancer. He put together a bucket list, and the community has rallied around him to make sure he accomplishes every wish.
Going to the Super Bowl was, perhaps, the biggest item on that list. Silver and his mother, Melissa Duca, arrived in Atlanta Friday. They were on a train from Boston for about 24 hours.
"Unfortunately, it wasn't meant to be," Duca wrote Sunday in the Team Jake Facebook group. "Jake's oxygen was at 43 this morning and we couldn't arouse him. Long story short he is in the ICU in Atlanta and awake. Will keep you posted when I can."
After the game started, Duca shared a photo of the family watching from the hospital. "We might not be at the game but we are all together watching it," she wrote.
Duca said Monday in the Facebook group that the family gave its tickets "to the wonderful ER nurses who took care of him all day with the stipulation that they had to cheer for the Patriots!"
Three years ago, Silver was diagnosed with an aggressive form of bone cancer called osteosarcoma. After 35 rounds of chemotherapy and 15 surgeries, he was getting ready for another one last month when he received devastating news — his battle with the rare illness was almost over.
Rather than seeing it as the end, though, Silver has been determined to cross as many things off his bucket list as possible. He went to multiple sporting events before making the trip to Atlanta, and he helped his little sister, Halle, pick out her prom dress.
Duca wrote Monday on Facebook that Silver's blood count was low, requiring a transfusion, adding that he has pneumonia and his heart is under a lot of stress from his body fighting.
"As you can imagine, Jake is angry, upset, disappointed, frustrated and just wants to go home," she wrote.
Duca said Silver needs oxygen 24 hours a day. They are trying to get him a medical flight home, but she said he needs to be cleared to fly first.
"I just can't imagine 24 hours on a train with him like this and knowing what could go wrong."