Jackson Manning fought for his life for 39 days in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) after undiagnosed Type I diabetes left him unable to walk or talk. He returned to UC Davis Children’s Hospital this week, not as a patient but as the new Children’s Miracle Network child champion for 2019 in the Sacramento region.
Every year, 170 Children's Miracle Network Hospitals identify a “champion” in each of their communities to serve as the face for children treated at their local children's hospital. These ambassadors spend their year advocating for the charitable need of children's hospitals across North America. UC Davis Children’s Hospital is the only Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in the Sacramento region.
“We are honored to have you as our champion representing not only CMN, but UC Davis Children’s Hospital, and we couldn’t ask for a better representative,” said Charlie Albertalli, director of corporate partnerships at CMN at UC Davis.
Albertalli presented Jackson with a plaque for his wall and a champion medal that he can wear.
Jackson was surrounded by his family, CMN representatives and his PICU care team, which included nurses, doctors and the physical therapist who taught him how to walk again.
“This all means a lot. Thanks to you all for never giving up on me because that was important. I wanted to get out of the hospital, see my cat again, eat and drink again and get all those tubes off me,” said Jackson. “It was the worst possible thing that could happen to me. Yet I survived it, and I am very happy and grateful for all of you here.”
For Jackson’s parents, Mike and Tricia Manning, this day brought emotion and gratitude for the team and hospital that saved their son’s life.
“We got our miracle when Jackson's life was saved — because of CMN and UC Davis Children's Hospital. It is such an honor for Jackson to be this year's local child champion,” said Tricia Manning, Jackson’s mother. “It provides him the opportunity to give back by helping to raise money for life-saving treatments and equipment that will help other sick kids get their miracles and second chances, too.”