Caleb's Story

“Having our twins – Caleb and Carter – in August 2021 was the most precious thing ever but also very scary and a huge adjustment. 

“Then, when Caleb turned 8 weeks old, everything fell apart. We noticed Caleb’s left eye was drooping in comparison to his right. We just knew something wasn’t right. 

“Knowing something is wrong with your newborn baby but not knowing what it is or how to help is physically and emotionally draining and something I would never wish on anybody. 

Caleb was diagnosed with a malignant rhabdoid tumour behind his left eye socket, and it was growing rapidly. The news brought our lives to a complete stop. It absolutely broke us. As a parent, you must stay strong for your kids, but this was on a different level. There were arguments, tears and sometimes thoughts of giving up. 

The Play Team went the extra mile for our family.

- Kyle, Caleb's dad

“The initial plan was for Caleb to have intense chemotherapy to try to shrink the tumour and then surgery to remove anything left over. But thhe tumour was too aggressive, and the chemotherapy wasn’t working. 

“Unfortunately, after a couple of weeks of hospital stays, the decision was made to remove Caleb’s left eye and everything surrounding. He had surgery at 10 weeks old, followed by 10 rounds of chemotherapy. We had to attend hospital every week for two to three days at a time, so it completely took over our lives. 

“I wouldn’t even know where to start with describing how incredible the hospital Play Team were. They went above and beyond. They would come in and see Caleb to sing him songs, play with him, give him different things to make him as comfortable as possible. 

“When things were extremely tough, they would come in and sit with Caleb to give us a little break. It didn’t matter what time of the day it was. There were times we would drive half an hour back to our home to grab some more clothes without having to worry about Caleb as we knew he was in good hands. 

“In general, the full RHCYP team did an exceptional job and took a massive weight off our shoulders. They helped us to have lots of happy times, despite what we were going through, and were always there for a shoulder to cry on when needed. 

“The journey we’ve been on has been an incredibly challenging one and it’s far from over, but we still have our boy. He’s the happiest little guy ever and if I can take one positive out of all of this it’s that it brought our family closer together and made us realise how strong we are. 

“We want to say a massive thank you to each and every member of the hospital team for everything they did for Caleb, and our whole family.” 

A day without play is a much longer day for seriously ill children and their families. Help to bring play to children in hospital like Caleb by donating to our Play Appeal today.