Boy, 4, fed Christmas dinner through tube as he battled leukaemia back home with family a year later

BRAVE Callum Tolley enjoyed a fun-filled Christmas at home after beating leukaemia.

In 2017, the four-year-old had to be fed his dinner through a tube and spent the day in an isolation unit.

This is Callum Tolley hanging a Christmas Bauble which he recited two years ago
This is Callum Tolley hanging a Christmas Bauble which he recited two years ago
Peter Powell Limited

But this year, he ate chocolate for breakfast, watched Christmas films and played for hours with all his new toys.

Callum, was thrilled to be at home in Marston, Cheshire, with dad Daniel, mum Natalie, 28, who works for Asda and his brothers Lucas, seven, and Ethan, one.

Daniel, 28, an IT technician, said: “We had all the family over and we let the kids go crazy with their presents. It was very different to last year when we had to make the difficult decision to spend Christmas away from our other two children so we could be with Callum in hospital due to isolation.

“We only saw Lucas via a Skype call and our youngest son was only four months at the time. This was our first Christmas together as a family of five.

Callum Tolley with mum and dad, Daniel and Natalie and his two brothers, Lucas, seven, and Ethan, one
Callum Tolley with mum and dad, Daniel and Natalie and his two brothers, Lucas, seven, and Ethan, one
Peter Powell Limited
Callum, centre, was diagnosed with leukaemia when he was just a few weeks old
Callum, centre, was diagnosed with leukaemia when he was just a few weeks old
Peter Powell – The Sun

“In December last year, we didn’t think we’d get another Christmas with Callum so it’s amazing to see how far he has come.”

Callum was only 11-weeks-old when he was diagnosed with the blood cancer in December 2014.

He had multiple cycles of chemotherapy, which appeared to work then he went onto maintenance phase which is constant chemo in low doses everyday and the family were told he was in remission.

But in July 2017, Callum started to get irritable, regular infections and he stopped sleeping. Doctors confirmed the family’s worst fears – his cancer had returned.

After his gruelling cancer treatment, his relieved parents were told he was in remission. But his cancer has returned in the last 16 weeks, he was told that his cancer had returned, last year
After his gruelling cancer treatment, his relieved parents were told he was in remission. But his cancer has returned in the last 16 weeks, he was told that his cancer had returned, last year
Peter Powell

He had further chemotherapy and radiotherapy before undergoing a stem cell transplant at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital in December last year.

Daniel added: “We had a ‘fake’ Christmas before Callum went in for the transplant, but then we had to spend the real day apart. It was a very difficult time. Callum was very unwell, he kept getting a high temperatures, lots of infections like pneumonia and he was on a food pump. He slept through most of Christmas Day.

“We finally got him home at the beginning of January. He was on seven different medications a day, which varied from anti-sickness drugs to morphine for the pain.

“It was a strange feeling to have him home, we didn’t get as much as support once we left the hospital. He was still on a food pump, we were given lots of medicine and a leaflet telling us what to expect after the transplant. We felt like we were a bit out in the wilderness.

“But it was great to have the family back together. It was Lucas’ birthday at the beginning of February so it was great to be all back together for that. The house felt complete again.”

Callum went from strength to strength and in June this year, his immune system was strong enough for him to return to nursery.

 His story ran in The Sun to launch the Smiles at Christmas campaign, which raised over 100k
His story ran in The Sun to launch the Smiles at Christmas campaign, which raised over 100k
Peter Powell Limited

“We finally got him home at the beginning of January. He was on seven different medications a day, which varied from anti-sickness drugs to morphine for the pain.

“It was a strange feeling to have him home, we didn’t get as much as support once we left the hospital. He was still on a food pump, we were given lots of medicine and a leaflet telling us what to expect after the transplant. We felt like we were a bit out in the wilderness.

“But it was great to have the family back together. It was Lucas’ birthday at the beginning of February so it was great to be all back together for that. The house felt complete again.”

Callum went from strength to strength and in June this year, his immune system was strong enough for him to return to nursery.

Callum’s incredible plight was featured in The Sun last year to launch our Smiles at Christmas campaign, which aimed to raise funds for CLIC Sargent. After his story appeared, over £100,000 was raised.

Daniel said: “CLIC have been an incredible support. They still have a welfare team and psychologists who are always on hand to help us integrate back into ‘normal’ life.”

The family are also grateful to Callum’s donor.


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