“HE was a very special amazing boy who touched the hearts of everyone.”
Tributes were today pouring in for courageous Callum Smith who has lost his fight for life.
The battling three-year-old, who touched the hearts of so many Hartlepool Mail readers, passed away on Sunday.
Today, as a flood of messages poured in for Callum, his family paid tribute and told how he had been so special, especially to his proud mum Zoe Neesam, 21, and dad Luke Smith, 24.
Zoe said: “Callum was a very special amazing boy who touched the hearts of everyone but most of all his mammy and daddy.
“He fought for so long and we were told we wouldn’t have seen him reach three years if it wasn’t for us and his determination and fight.”
His family are planning a funeral which will include bright colours as they were Callum’s favourites.
Callum was such a popular little boy that messages of sympathy came in from as far as Los Angeles.
Callum was taken to the hearts of the people of Hartlepool when we launched the Callum’s Dream appeal, in conjunction with town charity Epilepsy Outlook, in the summer of 2013.
We asked our readers to help raise £5,000 so Callum could have a sensory room at his home.
The campaign succeeded in its mission and then went on to raise almost three times the initial target, totalling around £14,000.
Epilepsy Outlook operations manager Jacqui Gettings said everyone at the charity was devastated at the news. She added: “It had been a privilege to help such a courageous family. Everyone here is so sad.”
Hartlepool Mail editor Joy Yates said: “Few people touch as many hearts as Callum did. The people of Hartlepool really took him to their hearts. We were inspired by him and he will never be forgotten. We will never forget his courage.”
The Hartlepool branch of Round Table raised the £900 which took the Callum’s Dream total beyond its target of £5,000. Mark Rycraft, from Round Table, said: “Callum was such an inspirational little boy and inspired many people around him.”
Callum fought a string of conditions including epilepsy, dystonia and hypertonia.
Zoe explained how Callum had made his family so proud.
“We couldn’t be any prouder of Callum and how strong he has been and how strong he has made us. Our little angel will never be gone because he will be with us in everything we do and he will certainly never be forgotten.
“He has had prayers sent, candles lit and well wishes off people near and far! America, Los Angeles, Texas.
“He touched the hearts of many and we are proud to say that he is our son.
“The feelings we have is unexplainable at this time. Our hearts are not just broken it feels like they are not there.
“It’s like one crazy dream, or that we are looking at someone else going through us, but then it hits us again like a ton of bricks.”
Callum’s family are now in the process of arranging funeral details.
Zoe added: “What we do know is that we want bright colours because Callum wouldn’t give anyone the time of day in black clothes, he likes colourful and bright things.”
Your messages for Callum
A WAVE of messages of sympathy have flooded in for Callum.
Almost 6,000 Hartlepool Mail Facebook followers read of the brave little hero’s passing, within three hours of the story appearing online yesterday.
It led to dozens of people posting messages on our Facebook site.
Michael Malone wrote: “Rip little man shine bright up there.”
Lynn Murphy added: “The worlds loss is heavens gain, so sad that Callum has his angel wings, thoughts with the family and friends x”
Linda Simpson said: “Rest in peace brave little man x”
Donna Aisbitt posted: “So sad.. Rip x”
Samantha Glew wrote: “Bless him.”
Gem Fox posted: “Such sad sad news xx.”
Kelly Measor said: “r.i.p brave little boy my heart goes out to his family at this sad time xx”
Clair Leighton Bloor posted: “Goodnite god bless little one xx”
Michelle Winspear added: “So sad. Sleep safe with the Angels Callum xxx”.
Ali Jane Stead said: “So sorry for your loss though and prays to you all r.I.p little man heaven has gained a angel xxxx.”
Gemma Rhead wrote: “Didn’t know the family but followed his progress through the mail, RIP little soldier, fly high with your angel wings, thoughts and prayers to your amazing family and friends.”
Angie Bulmer posted: “RIP brave little boy another angel in gods garden.”
Zoe McPherson added: “Rip son a hero to the very end x thoughts r wiv all callums friends and family.”
Barry Stevens said: “RIP Callum, you are a true inspiration to us all, thoughts and prayers to your family and friends on this sad day.”
Kevs Klub wrote: “you have truly earned your wings little boy, so sad to read this, our thoughts and prayers to go out to his parents and family/friends RIP and fly high x hugs.”
Victoria Hart posted: “RIP young chap, you are a true inspiration to all young people who suffer from such diseases. Much love little angel.”
Peter Skirving said: “Rip to a brave little lad x”