A young amputee hasn’t let his disability stop him, learning to tie his shoe laces and play his favourite computer games one handed. Callum Cuthbertson, eight, was born with blood clots in both arms, resulting in his left arm being amputated below the elbow. Then earlier this year he had to wear a cage-like brace, known as an external fixator, on his right arm in a bid to straighten the bone. But Callum, from Sunderland, has taken it all in his stride and nurses at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital have been so impressed by Callum, they’ve said they’d like him to show other young amputees what he’s learnt.
Proud father Andy, 31, said: ‘Now and again it gets Callum down when people stare, but we always tell him it’s because he is so gorgeous.
‘He shocked someone once when they asked him what happened to his arm. He simply replied ‘a crocodile bit it off’.
‘I tell him all the time that when I grow up I want to be as brave as him.’
Medics believe that Callum may have suffered a rare complication at birth, suffering blood clots as a result of mum Jane’s diabetes.
At just 10 weeks old, Callum had life-saving surgery at Sunderland Royal Hospital to remove his arm.
Andy, who is also dad to Georgia, 11, Reece, nine and Grace, six, said: ‘He is our little hero. His brother and sisters are amazed by him, as is everybody.
‘When he had his first operation we thought it was the end of the world, but to look at him now I don’t know what we were worried about.
‘When he had his external fixator fitted this year, he was singing before the operation and all the doctors and nurses commented on his character and strength.
‘He goes through to the Freeman Hospital, in Newcastle, for his prosthetic and the orthopaedic nurse says she’s amazed by what he can do with his left arm and that if a child was struggling, would we mind introducing them to Callum to show what he has achieved?’
In recognition of Callum’s determination his parents have nominated him for a Child of Courage trophy in this year’s Pride of Wearside awards.
Andy said: ‘We don’t usually put him in the limelight, but we felt like he deserved recognition for everything he’s been through.’