Seven-year-old Heart Patient Turns Hospital Room Into 49ers Fan Zone at Packard Children’s

For Release: January 30, 2013

PALO ALTO, Calif. - The unofficial contest to find the biggest 49ers Super Bowl fan in the Bay Area has a brand-new entry.

Meet 7-year-old patient Jacob Murphy of Rio Linda, Calif., a nuts-about-the-Niners fan who has turned his hospital room into a 49ers Fan Zone. He’s doing it up big not just to cope with his hospital stay, but also in order to get ready for a large family gathering to watch Sunday’s game. “Jacob is absolutely ecstatic,” said mom Rebecca Johnson, who has her own 49ers wardrobe picked out.

The second-grader is an inpatient at the Children’s Heart Center at Packard Children’s, but no tests or treatment will be getting in the way of Sunday’s action. As a matter of fact, he already has his food order in. “I want us all to have a Gameday Bucket from KFC,” he told his mom, “especially with chicken tenders.”

When asked his favorite player, Jacob pointed to the Frank Gore #21 jersey on his bed, but quickly followed with shoutouts to Colin Kaepernick, Alex Smith, Vernon Davis and just about everyone else on the team. He’d like to follow in the footsteps of these heroes, but congenital heart problems are in the way. We heard he wanted to be a coach, but when asked, he seemed to shift careers. “I’d like to be a play-by-play announcer,” said Jacob, who immediately launched into a rundown of plays from the NFC Championship game.

The bling around his neck, the balls around the room, the flags over the bed, the pictures on the wall. It’s all 49ers all the time for the young man with a very simple dream. “He wants to meet one of the 49ers in person,” Rebecca said. Prior to that big day, Sunday’s business needs to be taken care of. Thankfully, Jacob doesn’t seem to be too worried about the outcome, and he wasn’t the least bit afraid to let us in on his prediction.

“Niners 34, Ravens 0,” he said. Sounds like he knows what he’s talking about.


Robert Dicks

Winter Johnson
(650) 384-5826

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Stanford Medicine Children’s Health, with Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford at its center, is the Bay Area’s largest health care system exclusively dedicated to children and expectant mothers. Our network of care includes more than 65 locations across Northern California and more than 85 locations in the U.S. Western region. Along with Stanford Health Care and the Stanford School of Medicine, we are part of Stanford Medicine, an ecosystem harnessing the potential of biomedicine through collaborative research, education, and clinical care to improve health outcomes around the world. We are a nonprofit organization committed to supporting the community through meaningful outreach programs and services and providing necessary medical care to families, regardless of their ability to pay. Discover more at