BRAVE youngster Callum Smith has spent his second birthday in hospital while he battles on a life support machine.
The Hartlepool boy who touched the hearts of Mail readers was surrounded by cards and presents on his big day in a hospital intensive care unit at the weekend.
He is struggling to breathe on his own and has now spent nearly two weeks at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.
But the handsome little lad, who was two years old on Saturday, is keeping up his spirits and “keeping the nurses on their toes,” said his mum Zoe Neesam, 21. She added: “He is so strong. I don’t know how he goes through all of this and is smiling still.
“He has a big television on wheels with Toy Story constantly on.”
As well as his family, the little boy has a constant companion by his side. Zoe explained: “He has got his tubie bear which is a bear with a feeding peg and nasal oxygen the same as Callum.”
For his birthday, Callum got presents and cards galore. “He even got a card and presents from the ward as well as cards from some of the children on the ward,” said Zoe.
She said RVI doctors were planning to meet to discuss what to do next for her little boy.
She said the answer may lie in a tracheostomy but Callum’s latest health battle means he won’t be home for quite some time.
Zoe added: “Not only will we be in hospital for his birthday but possibly for Christmas too.”
She said doctors had tried twice to take out Callum’s breathing tube but he has been unable to breathe on his own.
Callum is thought to have first become ill through a virus which he picked up at the end of September. He has since stayed at the RVI.
Callum’s story gripped Hartlepool when we told how he needed a sensory room to help him develop. We launched the Callum’s Dream appeal in association with town charity Epilepsy Outlook.
Mail readers were asked to raise £5,000 to pay for the room to become reality. They did it and then took the total way beyond £11,000 in just another two months.
Now the room is close to completion.
Callum’s life has been filled with hospital visits. In fact, 26 per cent of his time in the world has involved trips to hospital.
Callum suffers from a string of problems including epilepsy, reflux problems, dystonia, hypertonia, problems with swallowing, visual impairment, an inability to hold his airways open, secretion problems and global developmental delay which means he can not hold his head up.
The support for Callum must go on as he has continuing needs.
In the meantime, Zoe and Callum’s dad Zoe and Luke Smith, 23, are keepinh up their own spirits.
Zoe said: “We are great as long as he is smiling.”
l People can give donations to the Epilepsy Outlook charity shops at 199 York Road, and 104 Oxford Road, both in Hartlepool.
Or they can 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.