Callum’s Dream: Family photo album shows youngster’s battle

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EVERY picture tells a story.

And that’s certainly true of battling Hartlepool youngster Callum Smith whose proud mum Zoe has captured his life on camera.

These are just some of the 2,000-plus photographs that proud mum Zoe has taken of her son who has spent more than a quarter of his life in hospital.

We’re hoping they will inspire even more people to support our new campaign called Callum’s Dream.

It’s our bid, in conjunction with town charity Epilepsy Outlook, to raise £5,000 for Callum to have a sensory room.

Zoe, 21, said: “Callum has spent 171 days in hospital and that’s not including appointments. This works out as 26.5 per cent of his life in hospital and he is not even two yet.”

This timeline of images covers everything from Callum’s birth to his Christening in hospital when doctors feared he may not live.

They include the handsome little lad in a Pools shirt on dad’s knee, and brave Callum watching his favourite television prorgramme of Cars while he fights for life in his hospital bed at the University Hospital of North Tees.

All the while, he has bravely fought 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 where the Callum’s Dream campaign comes in. We want to help pay for a sensory room filled with lights and sounds to help him develop.

Zoe said: “It would make Callum a lot happier, and if he is happy we are happy.

“He deserves a good life and just because he can’t do the things other children can do, it does not mean he can’t enjoy himself.”

Zoe Neesham and Luke Smith with their son Callum Smith

Zoe Neesham and Luke Smith with their son Callum Smith

The campaign is in its early days and we want to hear from hundreds of people willing to support the cause. You could either just take donations to Epilepsy Outlook or to the Lloyds TSB branch in York Road.

Or you could get in touch with the Hartlepool Mail as well and we will publicise your fundraising event.

Together, we want to make sure Callum gets this special gift from the people of Hartlepool.

Let’s make his dream come true.

l YOU 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.

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