Jacob Duffy, from Middleton, was born with multiple health problems including coloboma, which causes gaps in the structure of the eye, in November 2014 but it was his extra digits that brought him to the attention of the world long before he could even crawl.
The youngster’s unusual features received international media exposure after an £18,000 fundraising campaign for a sensory room to help the development of his vision highlighted his plight.
A year and a half later, Jacob’s parents Rachael Kennedy and John Duffy went along with doctors’ advice to have his extra digits removed at Leeds General Infirmary last month. Sad to see the fingers and toes go, the couple commissioned a 3D cast of Jacob’s hands and feet.
Mum Rachael, 25, told the YEP: “I can 100 per cent see the benefit of the operation but part of me is still a bit sad. He was born with 12 fingers and 12 toes - it was part of his introduction. I would have been heartbroken if he hadn’t have got the casts. It was only 20 minutes of effort and we will have this as a reminder for the rest of our lives. We’re going to put the casts on display, they’re in a 3D frame and are ready to go up. They’re actually amazing.”
Since Jacob’s March operation, which also saw bones fused in a finger on his left hand to create a thumb, he spent four weeks in a full arm cast and is now wearing a splint on his left hand. He is now back up and mobile, meaning Rachael has been able to buy her son his first pair of shoes in the hope that he will physically “go from strength to strength” and learn to walk.
The Looking Through Jacob’s Eyes campaign saw months of organising fundraising events, hosting collections and gaining the support of supporters has helped them to reach the target. A six-year-old boy who had never met Jacob donated £1,100 to the youngster.