A 3-year-old Tatum boy is finally able to go outside and play with his friends... for the first time in his life. Diagnosed with a form of lupus, Jacob Hawkins's skin will burn if in direct sunlight for mere moments.
"You know there's a smile somewhere up in that suit, you hear him laugh, can't see the smile, but you can see it in your mind." For Jacob's mother, Amanda Hawkins, Jacob's smile isn't hard to see at all.
He bounces out of school hand in hand with his mother and older brother Derek. Jacob's ready to hit the playground. And for the first time in his life, the sun's no big deal. He's got a suit of armor.
Amanda: "The first day he's ever out in the sun was yesterday."
Designed by NASA, Jacob's suit keeps out the sun's rays, which with his lupus would make him break out in just a few moments. So when he left home, he had to be wrapped in towels or blankets. So he rarely left home.
"He'd just go into a corner all by himself and play. Now, he plays with all the other kids. It's different," Amanda says.
But, being different makes some children mean. Jacob is sometimes teased. But not much. Because of his two older brothers.
Father Jerod Hawkins: "He's the youngest one, and we've got two older brothers that are going to take care of him. Derek has been telling kids don't laugh at my brother you don't understand."
The suits cost thousands of dollars... his family couldn't afford them. So this one is donated from a foundation that helps people like Jacob.
The cool delivery was Wednesday... letting Jacob enjoy the long hot days of summer like everyone else. A knock at the door wednesday opened Jacob's door... the suit had arrived.
"He knocked at the door and said that he had a package for Jacob Hawkins and I cried," says Amanda.
Jacob got out of the suit for just a minnute so we could see his smiling face. Then, it's back out the door. Nothing but smiles.