It may be the NRL off-season but that hasn’t stopped two Penrith players from taking the time out to put a smile on a special teenager’s face.
Panthers stars Jamie Soward and Dallin Watene-Zelezniak made a surprise visit to Nepean Hospital’s Children’s Ward on Wednesday afternoon to meet local rugby league fan Jacob King.
At age five, Jacob was diagnosed with a rare immune deficiency and has required monthly infusion treatment at Nepean’s Children’s Ward to maintain his health.
Jacob turns 16 this month and will soon make the transition from the Children’s Ward to adult care for his ongoing treatment.
To farewell Jacob, the Children’s Ward nursing staff enlisted the assistance of the Penrith Panthers to surprise the youngster at his 16th birthday treatment.
“We’ve watched Jacob grow up on the ward and it really has been a privilege for us to care for him each month,” Nepean Hospital Children’s Ward Nurse Unit Manager, Shannan Waddups said.
“We’re grateful to have the support of the Penrith Panthers in arranging this surprise. The Panthers have often come to see Jacob while he’s been undergoing treatment on the ward and were also here to mark his 100th treatment a few years ago.”
Nathan Taylor is the Weekender’s Deputy Editor and Senior Sports Writer. He also compiles the weekly Chatter on the Box TV column. Nathan is an award-winning journalist, who has worked at the Weekender for nearly a decade.