The hospital knew she wouldn't live until Christmas in 2019, so they made sure to bring Santa to her.
Losing a loved one is one of the most painful emotions one experiences. But what probably could be worst is losing someone very young to cancer. Five-year-old Bella McCallum had been battling the disease for years, but she was getting weaker with each passing day. Even her eyesight was getting weaker. That child probably saw more of the four walls in their hospital room than the outside world and there's nothing more heartbreaking than that.
She didn't have a lot of time left and Charity make-a-wish, supported this year by Mirror Christmas Appeal knew that little Bella was gravely ill and would not make it until Christmas. That is when Santa Claus came to visit her personally and she experienced immense happiness even though she was ailing. Just two days later, on September 16, 2019, Bella passed away. Her mom, dad Craig, and sister Madison, now 10, were by her side.
“Santa Claus arrived to give Bella a little key with bells on it,” recalls her mom Beccy, according to Mirror. “We knew she could hear him but her sight was going." The young girl's health challenges began in 2016. During the day, she was always fine, but at night she struggled to sleep and when it got really hard, she had to be rushed to the hospital.
"Bella always appeared fine during the day, but at night, she struggled to sleep." Breathing had become difficult, and her worried parents had to take her to the hospital. Multiple consultations with the doctor happened in vain as it was all inconclusive, "but it wasn’t until January 2017 we had a diagnosis.”
Doctors found a tumor on Bella’s lung. “The tumor was taking up almost her whole left lung and was going into her right one," the mom recalled. As soon as possible, Bella began chemotherapy and radiotherapy, which made her better. She even started going to school, but soon, things took a turn for the worse. “They found another tumor, this time on her brain. It was horrendous. She had gone from going to bed as usual to suddenly not being able to speak or walk."
“She was paralyzed down one side. They removed the tumor but there were still cancer cells left. Within a couple of weeks, it was really hard to communicate with her and poor Bella would get frustrated.” With each passing day, her health just kept deteriorating.
The little girl underwent another surgery, but though the tumor was removed, some cancer cells were still left in her brain. So she started chemotherapy again, but after three months, she stopped since nothing was improving. “We continued that for a while. But it was no quality of life."
Though the little one didn't make it, it was certainly a joy for the family to spend time together one last day before their world changed completely.
In March 2021, a fundraiser was raised for a charity named "Young Lives vs. Cancer" in honor of Bella. The family of the late child also organized 500,000 steps in the March challenge to honor CLIC Sargent for being of great help to the family. Bella may no longer be around, but she will always be remembered fondly by the people who love her.
Cover Image Source: Just Giving