OSF Children’s Hospital gives patient a heartfelt send off after long cancer battle

Published: Mar. 30, 2022 at 5:12 PM CDT
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PEORIA (WEEK) - The OSF Children’s Hospital of Illinois staff gave a happy goodbye to a beloved patient Wednesday morning. After battling cancer for five-years Hakiem Jones didn’t know he would go home.

19-year-old Jones, known for his warm smile, journey began in 2017 after being diagnosed with b-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

He came to Almost Home Kids in 2021 and because of his condition and the pandemic, for much of that time the only people he would see was the OSF and Almost Home Kids staff.

He quickly captured their hearts and became one of their most beloved patients.

“As a social worker all I want to do is see that people overcome anything that’s in front of them and so today is such an amazing day to see that,” Almost Home Kids social work Cristol Klicker said. “He’s just a joy to be around and so everybody has really helped him get through it together. He’s got the greatest smile and he is so strong and we are so proud of him.”

When Hakiem’s mother, Princess Daniels, found out he was going home she wanted to surprise him with the news. So she asked the hospital staff to help. Dozens of members came together to say goodbye to Hakiem.

“It feels great, because knowing that I know that they’ll be there for him anytime, that’s good and I love it and I know they gone be there when I call,” Daniels said.

Hakiem’s journey got to enjoy time at home with his family and they had a long list of things they plan to do.

“We gone dance,” Daniels laughed. “Show him some love, cry a little bit, smile a little bit, laugh a little bit”

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