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Lighting up Callum’s life

Zoe Neesam pictured with Callum Smith and some of the donated sensory equipment.
Also pictured are High Tunstall College of Science headteacher Mark Tilling(left), Jacqui Gettings of Epilepsy Outlook and Luke Smith.

Zoe Neesam pictured with Callum Smith and some of the donated sensory equipment. Also pictured are High Tunstall College of Science headteacher Mark Tilling(left), Jacqui Gettings of Epilepsy Outlook and Luke Smith.

A YOUNG boy’s dream of his very own sensory room has moved an enormous step closer to reality.

In a gesture worth more than £5,000, High Tunstall College of Science in Hartlepool has donated a full set of sensory equipment to Callum Smith.

Multi-coloured fibre optic lights, bubble machines and specialist chairs have been handed to the boy dubbed the “little hero.”

Callum is the youngster whose emotional story has tugged at the heartstrings of Mail readers over the last fortnight.

We’ve told how the 21-month-old has spent 171 days in hospital. That’s 26.5 per cent of his life.

He has a string of conditions including epilepsy, reflux problems, dystonia, hypertonia, and problems with swallowing.

He also has visual impairment, an inability to hold his airways open, secretion problems and global developmental delay which means he can not hold his head up.

All his proud parents Luke Smith, 23, and Zoe Neesam, 21, want for him is “a room where he can smile”.

That’s why we launched Callum’s Dream, in conjunction with town charity Epilepsy Outlook, to raise the £5,000 needed to make the wish become reality.

And now, thanks to High Tunstall, we are almost there.

Head teacher Mark Tilling said: “Our sensory room has sat in storage for a year. We wanted this little boy to have it, and to have his dream.”

Zoe said: “All of this equipment is beautiful. Callum is going to love it. Even in the short space of time he has had with it, he seems to have liked it. This is an incredible gift.”

Epilepsy Outlook’s operations manager Jacqui Gettings said: “With all of this equipment, it means we can concentrate on getting Callum some of the other things he needs.”

Mark explained how the massively generous gift from the school became possible.

“All this was in the school’s sensory room which is no longer used by us. It has been in storage for a year.

“We saw the Callum’s Dream appeal in the Hartlepool Mail and we wanted to support this. We wanted him to have his dream room. We want to be involved in supporting the community.”

Lights, projectors and other equipment is all now heading Callum’s way.

But there’s no let-up in the appeal for a little boy whose needs are many.

IF you want to support Callum;

• You can take donations to the Epilepsy Outlook charity shops at 199 York Road, and 104 Oxford Road, both in Hartlepool.

• You could pay it straight into the Lloyds TSB branch in York Road.

The bank details are:

Account Name – Epilepsy Outlook Project.

Sort Code – 30-99-47.

Account number – 24594260.

l WE want people to raise money for baby Callum – but we also want to give you the publicity you deserve for your fundraising efforts.

So if you decide to donate to this great cause, give us a call and we’ll highlight what lengths you went to to raise cash for Callum’s plight.

Get in touch with Mail head of features Chris Cordner on (01429) 239377, or send him an email to chris.cordner@jpress.co.uk.

 

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