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Hope for baby Jack.

The birth of a child should be among the happiest times of parent's lives.

Spare a thought today, though, for Nicola and Steven Whinham and their baby son Jack.

At just six months, the little lad has already undergone six hours of lifesaving open-heart surgery at Newcastle's Freeman Hospital.

Jack is only still with us thanks to a tiny piece of plastic which keeps his heart working. He now faces years of intricate heart operations if he is to survive into adulthood.

It is hard to imagine the trauma his mum and dad are going through, and what the little bairn may be suffering.

But there is always hope, and it is fantastic that surgeons at Newcastle's Freeman Hospital are giving the baby just that. Advances in medical expertise mean there could still be a happy future for Jack and his family.

They are not out of the woods yet, and Jack is still poorly. But thanks to the care and attention at the Freeman, he has a real chance of a fruitful life.

We wish Jack and his family every happiness for the future.

Lock 'em up

EVERYONE should be able to walk down the street without fear of being attacked or verbally abused.

Now it appears street robbers often carry out their crimes to boost street cred or are motivated by a desire to fight.

A report claims previous attempts to explain the rise in violent street crime placed too much emphasis on offenders' desire for cash or property, such as mobile phones. All street crime is abhorrent and these latest claims are a worrying reflection of society.

Giving somebody a good kicking never has and never will do anyone's street cred any good. And those who think it does need to be locked up.
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Nov 29, 2006
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