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Running for the Magical Moments

In 2004, the unthinkable happened; 3-year-old Jacob Qua fell from a third story window and suffered a traumatic brain injury. In an instant, life for the Qua family was turned upside down. Jacob was brought to Franciscan Children’s to mend and rehabilitate the damage to his brain and body. Jacob’s parents Heidi and David, were by his side every step of the way and after three months of grueling physical and occupational therapy, Jacob walked out of Franciscan Children’s and was able to go home.

Ten years later and completely unrelated to his brain injury, Jacob developed Guillain-Barré Syndrome, a disorder that attacks the nervous system resulting in severe weakness and paralysis of the body. Once again, the Qua family turned to Franciscan Children’s to care for their son. When he arrived at Franciscan Children’s, Jacob couldn’t move his lips or forehead, he couldn’t blink his eyes, and he couldn’t smile. His walking was incredibly unstable and he was unable to walk on his own. Jacob endured months of rehabilitation treatment and with time, courage and a lot of hard work, is now on the road to a full recovery.


“You never expect something like this happen. But if it does, there is no one you want on your team more than Franciscan Children’s” – David Qua, Jacob’s father.  

If you were to look at 15 year old Jacob now, you would see a typical high school freshman, plugging away at his school work. What you don’t see is a young man who struggles every day with the lasting effects of a brain injury and Guillain Barre Syndrome, but you’ll never hear him complain. Despite his learning issues and the daily battle with fatigue that comes along with a traumatic brain injury, Jacob is your average teenager. He loves the Bruins, all things baseball and enjoys playing video games.  He is a good friend to many and is the best brother his siblings could ask for.

“Like many teenagers Jacob often looks to the future, wondering what his will look like. We are certain that it will involve sports in some capacity. One thing we know for sure is that Jacob will be successful in anything he does, due largely in part to Franciscan Children’s and their help on his road to recovery. Even at his young age, Jacob has proven to be a hard worker who never gives up and will do all he can for anyone who asks.” – Heidi Qua, Jacob’s mother

Magical moments like the ones Jacob and his family experienced at Franciscan Children’s happen here every day. With a grateful heart, the Qua family is giving back to the place that gave their son a second and third chance as Jacob’s devoted dad David runs the Boston Marathon on our behalf on April 17, 2017 to celebrate Jacob who is now a healthy, happy high schooler.

Thank you, David for using the Qua family strength and determination to run for those who cannot.  You and your family truly embody our mission to help every child live their best life and reach their fullest potential, so every kid can, and we are grateful for your part in helping our patients, students and families experience their own magical moments. Good luck on April 17th, we’re all cheering for you!

To make a donation to David’s effort to benefit Franciscan Children’s, please click HERE.

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