A GRATEFUL mum has praised Mail readers for keeping a smile on her poorly son’s face during six weeks in hospital.
Two-year-old Hartlepool boy Callum Smith is pictured on his bed at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.
In a dramatic health twist, he was rushed into the RVI in early March after going into a spasm, and has been there ever since.
But brave Callum keeps smiling. Soon after being admitted to the ward, Callum’s mum Zoe Neesam shifted part of his sensory room - paid for by Mail readers - from his home back in Hartlepool to his hospital bedside.
His constant companions - a sensory globe and a moulded chair - are helping to aid his recovery, said Zoe, 21.
The sensory globe is a whirling ball of bright lights which keep Callum enthralled and in awe. The chair is a beanbag but with a rigid seat inside it. Callum can sit up in it and look at the world around him.
Both have kept him going during a health scare which has included dystonic spasms (involuntary muscle contractions) as well as a collapsed lung. His tiny body has also gone into total shutdown three times, said his mum Zoe Neesam, 21.
The aim of the appeal was to raise £5,000 so that Callum could have a sensory room at his home.
But the appeal topped £12,000 and the money has helped to pay for extra equipment which has helped Callum develop.
Callum’s parents Zoe and Luke Smith, 23 are his registered carers. Zoe said: “The globe makes him happy and makes him smile. All this support hasn’t just helped Callum at home.
“It is helping us while we are here in hospital.”
The sensory globe fills Callum’s room with glowing lights. Zoe said: “As soon as you put it on, he smiles. If you say to him ‘where’s that from Callum? We’ve got your lights from home,” it makes him happy.”
She paid tribute to the Hartlepool Mail readers who have made all the difference.
“All this was part of his sensory room and I want to say thank you for that.”
Medical experts are still assessing Callum who has also suffered from gastro and dehydration problems.
But Zoe said: “The sensory globe shines lights against the walls of his room and Callum turns his head mid-line which he couldn’t do before. Then, he looks at the lights and smiles.”
The fact that Callum has a sensory room is all down to the supporters of the Callum’s Dream appeal - run by the Hartlepool Mail in association with Epilepsy Outlook - last year.
Callum’s new-look room features highlights such as Twinkle Corner - an area with cascading fibre optic lights and an illuminated curtain.