A Massachusetts couple is honoring their 3-year-old son who died unexpectedly last summer, by using his legacy to help other families faced with similar hardships in the hospital.
Robert and Tanya Hackett are creating Jonny bags, named after their late son.
The bags are emergency kits filled with supplies for families who show up to the ICU without any belongings.
“Chapstick. Jonny’s lips were very chapped when he was on the machines, so. Things like that,” explained Bobby Hackett.
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At 3-and-a-half years old, Jonny suffered a brain aneurysm while swimming in Plymouth over the summer.
In July, the Hackett’s went to the ICU with just the clothes on their backs and stayed at Boston Children’s Hospital for several days before Jonny passed on the 24th.
Friends brought over belongings.
“My friend brought up something from his room. They grabbed a Mickey and one of his blankets, so within the bag is a Mickey that stayed with him the whole time we were there,” Bobby said.
On Saturday, friends and family gathered in Halifax to assemble the Jonny bags. They plan to deliver them to Boston Children’s Hospital on Thursday.
“He lived an amazing life in 3.5 years,” said Jacqueline McCarthy, a board member on the Jonny Hackett Memorial Fund. “He was the most energetic little boy. He was able to ride a bike without training wheels before he was 2, so Jonny Hackett always had a name to us locally, but we’re hoping now that it can be even bigger and his name is never forgotten. And it goes to a good cause.”
The group has raised more than $50,000 and plans to donate 15-30 bags per month.
“It’s difficult. Difficult, but everyone coming together make it a little bit easier,” said Bobby. “Things that are in the bags are things that we thought would be helpful to families who don’t have a support system like we do.”
For more information about the Jonny Hackett Memorial Fund or to make a donation, click here.