Jade’s Story: Sandpoint boy cheats death twice in five months
SANDPOINT, Idaho — Back in September, Rebecca Linck told us “not a single one of us are promised tomorrow.” No one knows that quite like her 13-year-old son Jade Harlow.
This summer on June 22nd, Jade was accidentally shot in the head by his 15-year-old brother Dakota in a freak accident that took his sight and part of his frontal lobe. He’s been healing ever since — forgiving Dakota and making countless trips to the hospital.
But what was supposed to be a huge milestone in November had him fighting for his life yet again.
Jade got his prosthetic skull, to cover up the part where his frontal lobe used to be, at the beginning of last month. Everything was going according to plan — something his family hasn’t been quite used to lately. The next day, Jade was set to go home.
“The doctor comes in and he’s saying he’s going to pull the drain out. He said it wouldn’t hurt at all,” Jade said. “Big lie. Big lie. Big lie.”
Jade told KXLY in an exclusive interview his head then started to swell and bleed. His family’s and his worst fear was realized again — for the second time in five months.
“I’m like, telling, like screaming at my dad, saying ‘I’m gonna die,'” Jade said. “And you know, they’re just thinking that I’m overreacting. But then blood is dripping down all over my head again.”
Jade was rushed into emergency surgery with a three-inch blood clot in his brain. The memory of June 22nd came flooding back.
“Like watching the glass of the door, spider web as the shotgun blast was coming towards me and then falling back,” Jade remembered. “It was like I was on a roller coaster, but it felt like it took, I’m not kidding, like 50,000 years.”
He made it through surgery with a realization that’s hard to shake.
“I would’ve died later that night, cause they were going to send me home that day,” Jade said. “I was shot by a three-inch shot gun shell, almost died from a three-inch blood clot.”
Now, Jade is getting used to his new normal.
“Felt weird at first, because I had no skull for like four months, so I got used to that and now it feels weird to have a skull but now I’m used to it,” Jade said.
While he’s getting used to his new skull, he also told us about his family’s plan to help other kids like Jade get used to their new normals.
“And so one day, mom said in the morning… I don’t remember any of this, she just told me afterwards. She’s like ‘Mom, I want to start a blind camp. That way I have friends. Other blind kids as friends.”
No matter what comes next, Jade is taking it all in stride. His mom Rebecca said he’s almost done with his visits to the doctor and he’s set to go back to school next week.
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