Clarendon County Sheriff’s Office participates in Band-Aids for Jack
by Laura Stone | March 8, 2019 10:30 am
Last Updated: March 8, 2019 at 7:23 am
When Jack Mims was nine months old, he was diagnosed with an autoinflammatory disease so rare it has no name, and he is the only person in the U.S. with his exact symptoms. Throughout his six years of life, Jack has struggled with a disease which attacks his organs and which has no known medications. Doctors use medications normally used to treat other diseases to slow the progression of Jack’s disease.
Often, Jack will suffer through flareups, which come with mouth sores which keep him from being able to eat or drink, a migrating body rash, fevers of 105 degrees which can last for up to two weeks and extreme pain over his entire body. During the flares, Jack appears to be in sepsis, and his organs threaten to shut down at any moment. As a result, Jack has been hospitalized 23 times.
The medications he’s taking help the flares come less frequently and be a bit less severe, but they do not fully stop the cycle. Jack receives weekly injections which make him tired and weak, and the shots are often painful. They also lower all of his immune responses, making him far more susceptible to any illness. Even a simple cold could kill him because of the medications he’s taking.
To further complicate things, Jack’s body has now begun to show signs of an overlapping autoimmune disorder which is attacking his organs as if they are pathogens.
In spite of his dire situation, Jack tries to live a normal life. He is homeschooled, letting him do more on good days and take it slower on bad days. It also offers more protection from the typical bugs kids are exposed to at school.
He spends time with his older siblings, ages 18, 16 and eight, and his parents, and he loves to get Chick-fil-A from the drive through.
What he doesn’t love are shots. His mother, a registered pediatric nurse, administers his medications, and after a particularly trying series for Jack, Corrie Coker Mims came up with an idea.
“He asked me earlier that day if we could please stop his shots and he cried. The dread and discouragement have just really increased over the last few months,” said Mims. “People are always telling me they are praying for Jack, but I needed a tangible way to show him at six years old. I thought of having people send a Band-Aid with their name on the wrapper, because almost everyone has Band-Aids in their home, and it would only cost a stamp to send one to him.”
Mims posted on Facebook, asking friends and family to mail in a Band-Aid with their name and possibly a brief message on the wrapper. Then, as the bandages were used on injection sites, Mims could tell let Jack see who was praying for him.
Missy Ward of the Clarendon County Sheriff’s Office heard about Jack on Facebook in late February, and she encouraged the department to participate. She purchased a box of 100 Band-Aids and brought them back to the office. There, the box was opened, and everyone gathered around to sign the bandages.
“I was going to mail them, but I decided I should get our officers to take them to him,” said Ward.
Deputies Ronnie Stewart and Jason Thompson drove to the Mims’ home and hand delivered the box. Stewart and Thompson visited with Jack for a while and spent time praying with him. Jack took the box and opened it, excited to see so many bandages. He was equally excited to go out to the patrol car and see the blue lights.
The frequent shots and flareups still happen in Jack’s life. However, thanks to the compassion and support from friends, family and now the Clarendon County Sheriff’s Office, Jack is beginning to understand just how many people care and are praying his team of doctors find a cure for his disease.
“The medicines have held off the flares and made them much shorter when they happen, but the medicines are still hard for a six-year-old to take and accept the side effects,” said Mims. “We don’t know what the course of all of this will turn out to be. We pray and we hope and we trust and we love.”
In the meantime, Jack looks forward to his outings to the Chick-fil-A drive through, especially when he’s received a gift card, and he enjoys seeing who has signed the next Band-Aid in his growing stash.
To send Chick-fil-A gift cards or Band-Aids to Jack, mail them to P.O. Box 66, Turbeville, SC 29162.