DEPTFORD, N.J. (CBS Philly) – A father’s love for his son is warming hearts across South Jersey.
“You guys, my night was made tonight by a man who is such a great father,” Nicole Prodin writes on Facebook about a video making the rounds on social media.
The video shows Rich Houck entertaining his son, Jacob, while shopping inside the Deptford Mall with his family over the weekend.
Prodin, the assistant manager at Buckle, writes that Houck came into the store and said, “Hey can I ask a favor? My son has special needs and I wanna make him laugh, I’d like to pose in your window, if possible, we just did it over at Hollister.”
The funny stunt quickly garnered a laughing moment from Jacob and shoppers at the mall.
“I was surprised to see the reaction of the people at the mall,” said in Houck in a phone interview with CBS Philly.
Houck is a father of four boys and says his sons usually do funny things to make Jacob laugh. The funny stunt at the mall was no different.
Houck, a former respiratory therapist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, says he never forgets the call many years ago from his wife, Jen, about Jacob’s health.
Jacob, now 21, was diagnosed with Atypical Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumor, a rare brain tumor, two weeks before his fourth birthday.
“It usually takes life before the age of two,” Houck said.
But Jacob is beating the odds, thriving – and smiling.
“Every day is a new day,” says Houck.
Sometimes it’s the simple joys of making your kid smile—evening behind a showcase at the mall—to remember how precious life is.
For Houck and his wife, it’s just a reminder of how lucky they are.
“He’s not supposed to be here. We are enjoying every day we got with him,” Houck said.