A birthday Jack will never forget

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Jack with his birthday cards

A TEENAGE boy from Shipston, who has Aspergers, celebrated a birthday to remember, this month after a Facebook message his Mum posted generated a huge public response.

On Monday 3rd July, while her family were eating pizza, mum of three, Clare Cooper posted a Facebook message privately to her friends, asking them do something special for her eldest son, Jack.

She asked them to send Jack, who attends Shipston High School, a message on Facebook, or maybe post him a birthday card, as he gets lonely.

Clare’s auntie phoned her to say that the post had made her cry, and convinced Clare to make the post public.

Over the next few days, the post was shared more than 80 times and received more than 400 comments.

The response Jack got was overwhelming with people all over the world sending him cards and presents.

Jack even had a birthday message from Peter Mayhew, who plays Chewbacca, in Star Wars, had a visit from musician Matt Bate, and received more than 150 birthday cards through the post.

Clare said: “Jack has Aspergers so finds it hard to make or keep friends. He has really been struggling at school and getting really down.

“He is the child that doesn’t get invited to parties or days out. He is the child that doesn’t have that mate to walk up to school in the morning.

“He is that child that rings me as soon as he comes out of school because he gets nervous, as he doesn’t have mates to walk down with.”

Clare explained that Jack wouldn’t usually get texts, Facebook messages or have mates at the house: “We can never thank everyone enough. What would have been a great day, we would have made sure, has been a very overwhelming, magical day.

“Jack is an amazing boy and very intelligent but has no self esteem. I hope this shows him how special he is.”

The family live in a two-bedroom house. Clare and her husband Lee sleep downstairs on a sofa bed, their middle son, Bailey, aged ten, is also on the spectrum and lives with anxiety, and their youngest son, six-year-old Beau, was very poorly with sepsis at six-weeks-old, has a severe egg allergy, has been in and out of hospital and has sensory problems, so doesn’t eat.

Clare, who cares for her Nan who has Alzheimer’s, added that her husband Lee had two strokes about two years ago, brought on by stress, and they found a hole in his heart, so had surgery.

Clare added: “Jack normally stays in his room alone. Yet Saturday, he came out and loved meeting these people. We are still taken aback by everyone.”