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Fund launched to help Callum
A 20-year-old struck down by a rare paralysing infection could be helped back on his feet by a new trust fund called Operation Bambi.
Callum Hall, who has worked at The Station Pub in Guiseley for one and a half years, was fit and healthy until late September last year when he began to suffer back pain. Just two days later he was paralysed.
Doctors diagnosed Callum with a rare infection called an epidural abscess on his spine between the shoulder blades. This burst and he underwent life-saving surgery at Leeds General Infirmary.
He is still undergoing treatment and last month regained some movement in his toes and abdominal muscles.
“I have accepted the process is going to take time but I am determined to prove the doctors wrong who said I have a small chance of being able to walk again,” Callum said.
To help his recovery, Callum will need specialist equipment and top-of-the-range wheelchairs that are not available in hospitals. Among the things he needs are an Easy Stand, which helps him to stand and reconnects his brain to his legs, and a Functional Electrical Stimulation bike to help maintain his leg muscles.
Ultimately, Callum wants to take part in the 2016 Paralympic Games in Brazil, but the immediate aim is to raise £20,000 for the treatment and equipment to get him active again.
Operation Bambi is headed by Tony McCaul, landlord of The Station in Otley Road. He said: “It was just such a shock and so unexpected.
“Just a few days earlier Callum was his usual energetic self – bounding around, changing barrels and carrying up boxes from the cellar.
“For him to be struck down and left unable to walk so suddenly was devastating.
“The predicted recovery time is about 18 months, but Callum is adamant he will be back on his feet before then. There is still time and hope for him to make it to the Games but the financial support he needs is huge so we’re doing all we can to raise as much as possible so he can concentrate on his health.”
Several fundraising activities are planned for Callum. A new charity ale on tap at the pub called Operation Bambi, has been brewed by the Salamander Brewing Company in Bradford, with 10p from every pint sold going to the trust fund.
Four staff members are running the Leeds Half Marathon on May 12 and the Hollins Hall Gym in Baildon is helping them get fit and ready. Mr McCaul is leading the way and, inspired by Callum’s determination, has already quit smoking and booze and lost a stone in his drive to complete the 13.1-mile race.
The Station Music Festival takes place on May Day Bank Holiday with al money raised going to the fund.
Anyone who wishes to support Operation Bambi can make a donation at the pub, sponsor the runners, or enjoy a pint of Operation Bambi ale. or you can donate direct at callumhalltrust.com