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Ooops, not again... Jacob (3) is a Temple St regular

A LITTLE boy who became an overnight TV star when he jammed a 5c coin in his teeth is no stranger to Temple Street Children's Hospital.

Since the coin episode Jacob Ryan (3) has been back in hospital twice, once for splitting his lip while dancing and more recently for plastic surgery on his finger which he caught in a door while "trying to fix the lock".

"He's a divil," says his mother Natasha O'Brien. "The nurses in the hospital actually know him at this stage he's been there so often. I can't remember how many times, there's that many."

Natasha, who has two other children, seven-year-old Kai and two-year-old Lexie, says Jacob was always different.

"When he was a year old he never spoke, never said Mam or Dad or anything and I was worried there might be something so I brought him to the family doctor. The doctor said leave him alone and he was right.

"At about a year and a half he just took off. He's always trying to fix things. All the times he's been in hospital are for boy things".

Asked about the most frightening episode, Natasha tells how at the age of two Jacob put a fork in an electric fire and "it blew him across the room. I froze then I roared at him and he just said 'it's OK you just press the switch over there'. I burst out laughing. I asked what he was doing and he said 'I wanted to know did it work'."

Jacob recently blew all the electric sockets in the house when he took the top off his brother's X-box to see how it worked inside.

"He's scared of nothing," adds Natasha. "His dad is an electrician and I think that's where he gets it from."


At play school Jacob is a completely different child, never getting into trouble and "he helps to clean up and tidy everything".

Apart from his tinkering with electrics and locks, Natasha says her three-year-old is "very hardy. He never complains even when he trips and falls he wouldn't cry".

Jacob, from Glin Road in Coolock, put the money taken from between his teeth to good use and got his mum to buy a furry banana toy for him.