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Heartbreak as boy's fight for life ends

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: December 20, 2012

  • Floral tributes to Caleb Hollow by the roadside at Hayle. PZPM20121217G-003_C.JPG

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A MUM who was forced to turn off her son's life support machine after he was hit by a car near his home in Hayle is supporting a campaign to stop others suffering the same fate.

Caleb Michael Hollow, who was said to have lit up a room with his smile, was knocked over while crossing Loggans Road to catch a bus to Bodriggy Academy, where he was a pupil.

The 11-year-old Arsenal fan was airlifted to hospital in Truro and then Bristol suffering from a serious brain injury, but after almost a week, doctors said there was nothing they could do to save him.

"I know every mother says this but he really was the perfect child," said mum Dawn Chapman, 30. "I am very, very proud to have been his mum."

On a normal weekday morning, Dawn would drive past the nearby bus stop and wave to her son as he waited to go to school.

But on Friday, December 7, her world fell apart with a loud bang on her door.

"A lady was at the door, she was crying and saying, 'Caleb'," said Mrs Chapman, whose husband Adam has helped bring up her son since he was 1.

"I ran down the road screaming and crying his name. My legs were like lead but I just had to try and run as fast as I could."

Kneeling beside her son in the road, Mrs Chapman initially thought he was OK because he only seemed to have a cut to his head and knee. But when airlifted to the Royal Cornwall Hospital,Treliske, doctors discovered he had suffered a traumatic brain injury.

Whisked to Frenchay Hospital in Bristol, the youngster underwent surgery to relieve pressure on his brain and was put in an induced coma while he battled for his life.

Despite all efforts, Caleb's devastated family was told he would not recover.

"He had fought so, so hard but he had enough," said Mrs Chapman.

"The doctors were amazing, they have even sent us a card saying they wish the outcome had been different for us."

Breaking the news to her other children Ashton, 4 , and Eva, 1, Mrs Chapman said she wanted them to know how much their older brother loved them.

"Caleb had teddies with him in hospital so I brought them home to the young ones," she said.

"I told Ashton that Caleb had bought it for him to say he loves him very much and he was the best brother ever but he was so poorly that he had gone to heaven."

Caleb recently wrote to Father Christmas, asking for a football kit for his beloved Arsenal, a pair of trainers and computer games. Those gifts will now be placed with him in his coffin.

School friends of the cross-country runner and hockey player have been offered counselling and support following his death. They have also made a remembrance book and are putting together a collection of photographs of the Year 6 pupil for his family.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and we will do everything we can as a school to support them," said Bodriggy head teacher David May.

He said a permanent memorial to Caleb would be unveiled at the school in the new year and a singing cup, awarded to angelic-voiced Caleb recently, will now be renamed.

Paying tribute to Caleb, Adam Chapman said: "He was my best friend and he will be deeply missed. I am proud to have had the privilege of bringing him up."

A campaign and petition has also been launched to stop any more deaths or injuries on the busy road.

The whole community has come together to fight for a crossing and railings.

Maria Ellis, a family friend, said everything must be done to safeguard children.

Her sentiments have been echoed by local councillor John Pollard, who was due to meet members of the Highways Agency at the spot this morning.

Mrs Chapman added: "I have lost my little boy but something good has got to come out of this.

"Even if we have to sit in a line across the road we will do it."

The collision with a silver Audi A2 happened at around 8.40am near the junction with Loggans Way. No one has been arrested following the incident and investigations continue. Call police on 101 if you have any information to help.

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  • howellh  |  December 22 2012, 10:38PM

    To you the family of your dear caleb,the vail of the valley of peace and love has been drawn for him to enter,and to be encomposed by all the compassion and the faith and warmth of his family that was there to welcome him and to hold his hand and to lead him and make him welcome in the valley of hope and along the stream of love hope and peace and when the the time comes he will be there to welcome you .may god bless you all. howell.

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  • First Impressions  |  December 20 2012, 10:51AM

    Our hearts go out to the family at this very difficult time. This is a dreadful story and a reminder of how precious life is. RIP Caleb

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