Little Girl’s Final Moment Of Joy As Santa Visits Early Two Days Before She ᴅ.ɪ.ᴇ.s Aged 5 Make You Burt In Tears
At five-years-old, Bella McCallum ʜᴀᴅ ᴇɴᴅᴜʀᴇᴅ months of sᴜffᴇʀɪɴɢ.
Snuggled up in her mum’s arms, Bella McCallum smiled when she realised Father Christmas had come to visit her. The five-year-old ʜᴀᴅ ᴇɴᴅᴜʀᴇᴅ months of sᴜFFᴇʀɪɴɢ ʙᴜᴛ ᴇᴠᴇɴ ᴀs ʜᴇʀ ᴇʏᴇsɪɢʜᴛ ᴡᴀs Fᴀɪʟɪɴɢ, her spirits were lifted by a very special moment sᴜʀʀᴏᴜɴᴅᴇᴅ by those she loved most.
Santa Claus arrived to give Bella a little key with bells on it, recalls mum Beccy, 33. “We knew she could hear him but her sight was going. After he left she carried on shaking the bells. It was really ᴍᴀɢɪᴄᴀʟ and we’ll always be ɢʀᴀᴛᴇꜰᴜʟ for that.”
Just two days later, on September 16, 2019, Bella ᴘᴀssᴇᴅ ᴀᴡᴀʏ. Her mum, dad Craig and sister Madison, now 10, were by her side.
Beccy says: “At first it was very hard to look back on the pictures of that special Christmas. It was bittersweet because they were a reminder that within two days she ᴡᴀs ɢᴏɴᴇ.But now they’re a comfort. They give us more fond memories with our little girl than we would have had otherwise. As ᴀᴡFᴜʟ ᴀs ᴀʟʟ ᴏF ɪᴛ ᴡᴀs, ᴛʜᴀᴛ ᴇxᴘᴇʀɪᴇɴᴄᴇ ᴇᴀsᴇᴅ the last days of Bella’s life. It allowed all the family to be together and for all of that love to surround her.”
Bella’s ᴛʀᴏᴜʙʟᴇs began in late 2016 when she sᴛʀᴜɢɢʟᴇᴅ to sleep.
Beccy says: “She seemed fine during the day. But when she went to bed it was as though she was sᴛʀᴜɢɢʟɪɴɢ ᴛᴏ ʙʀᴇᴀᴛʜᴇ. We went back and forth to the doctor and even A&E a few times but it wasn’t until January 2017 we had a ᴅɪᴀɢɴᴏsɪs. Doctors found a ᴛᴜᴍᴏᴜʀ on Bella’s lung. The ᴛᴜᴍᴏᴜʀ was taking up almost her whole ʟᴇFᴛ ʟᴜɴɢ and was going into her right one. I couldn’t get the words out. Mum had to do it.”
Once an ɪɴɪᴛɪᴀʟ ᴄᴏᴜʀsᴇ ᴏF ᴄʜᴇᴍᴏᴛʜᴇʀᴀᴘʏ ᴀɴᴅ ʀᴀᴅɪᴏᴛʜᴇʀᴀᴘʏ came to an end by the summer, the family were hopeful that things were looking up. Aged four and with her health much improved, Bella started school. But in April 2019 things took another ᴅᴇᴠᴀsᴛᴀᴛɪɴɢ ᴛᴜʀɴ ᴡʜᴇɴ sʜᴇ ʜᴀᴅ ᴀ sᴛʀᴏᴋᴇ.
Beccy, who lives in Devon, says: “They found another ᴛᴜᴍᴏᴜʀ, this time on her ʙʀᴀɪɴ. It was ʜᴏʀʀᴇɴᴅᴏᴜs. She had gone from going to bed as usual to suddenly ɴᴏᴛ ʙᴇɪɴɢ ᴀʙʟᴇ ᴛᴏ sᴘᴇᴀᴋ ᴏʀ ᴡᴀʟᴋ. She was ᴘᴀʀᴀʟʏsᴇᴅ ᴅᴏᴡɴ one side. They removed the ᴛᴜᴍᴏᴜʀ but there were still ᴄᴀɴᴄᴇʀ ᴄᴇʟʟs ʟᴇFᴛ. Within a couple of weeks it was really hard to communicate with her and poor Bella would ɢᴇᴛ Fʀᴜsᴛʀᴀᴛᴇᴅ.”
Weeks after the sᴜʀɢᴇʀʏ, Beccy and Craig took their daughter home.
Beccy says: “She was getting ᴅɪsᴛʀᴇssᴇᴅ ɪɴ ʜᴏsᴘɪᴛᴀʟ sᴏ ᴡᴇ ʙʀᴏᴜɢʜᴛ ʜᴇʀ ʙᴀᴄᴋ to Plymouth. She did a lot better and within a couple of weeks she was crawling round. As time went on, she was walking and talking more and more and most things really started to come back.”
Although Bella was doing well, the family ᴀᴄᴄᴇᴘᴛᴇᴅ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ʜᴇʀ ᴄᴏɴᴅɪᴛɪᴏɴ ᴄᴏᴜʟᴅ ɴᴇᴠᴇʀ ʙᴇ ᴄᴜʀᴇᴅ. Bᴜᴛ ᴛʜᴇʏ ʜᴏᴘᴇᴅ ᴄʜᴇᴍᴏᴛʜᴇʀᴀᴘʏ ᴄᴏᴜʟᴅ sʟᴏᴡ ᴛʜᴇ ᴅɪsᴇᴀsᴇ’s ᴘʀᴏɢʀᴇss.
Beccy recalls: “We continued that for a while. But it was no quality of life. We decided to stop in July 2019. It was incredibly difficult but we knew the ᴛᴜᴍᴏᴜʀs would just grow. We filled so much into that summer. Santa turned up and gave Bella her key with bells on and she loved listening to the sound as she shook it.”
Looking back on those final days, Beccy says:“There’s no way we could have organised what they did. They did an incredible job in such a short time and treated us with such kindness. It’s something we’ll never forget.”