Belfast Telegraph

Dad pays tribute to 'great wee fighter' as Callum (5) loses fight against illness

By Colin O'Carroll

A stunned community is coming to terms with the sudden death of a seriously ill little boy they had taken to their hearts.

Callum Logue from Limavady, who turned five in September, died just before the New Year.

He suffered from a number of grave health problems.

His father Gerard last night paid tribute to his son, saying: "He was a wonderful child and a great wee fighter."

Callum was born an apparently healthy baby but was later discovered to have septo-optic dysplasia, the same syndrome that Katie Price's son Harvey was born with.

He was diagnosed soon after birth and registered legally blind.

Callum also had diabetes and was on a cocktail of medication to keep his hydration and sodium levels in check. He also had to have growth hormone treatment and the slightest hint of a fever meant even more medication.

The community rallied around his parents Emma Magee and Gerard Logue, helping to raise £40,000 to take Callum to China in 2012 for potentially life-changing pioneering medical treatment. Each treatment cost around £22,000 and is only available in China as the condition is so rare here.

The family had found out about a little girl in Belfast who had the same condition as Callum and met the family to hear about stem cell treatment she had in China, which they say gave her sight.

Dakota Clarke was born with the same condition in April 2006.

Problems include growth deficiencies, weak muscles, seizures and severe bouts of dehydration. The lack of a pituitary gland meant that Dakota was tiny for her age.

Her parents also managed to raise the money to take her to China where they said they saw a marked improvement in her condition and eyesight. It's not clear what the exact cause of Callum's death was.

Last night hundreds of tributes and messages of condolence were being posted on social media.

One man wrote on his father Gerard's Facebook page: "Cannot begin to imagine what you and Emma are going through, thoughts and prayers are with you."

Another message from a family friend read: "Gerdy, cannot imagine what you and Emma are going through right now. You are in my thoughts and prayers. God bless the wee dote. Heaven has gained a little angel."

A woman posted: "Devasting news. Couldn't even imagine what you are going through. In my thoughts and prayers. Rest in peace wee man xxx."

Another man wrote: "So so sad. Too beautiful an angel to stay. God wanted the wee man for bigger things. Prayers for all the family. God bless wee man."

Factfile

Septo-optic dysplasia (SOD) also known as de Morsier syndrome, is a rare congenital malformation featuring underdevelopment of the optic nerve, pituitary gland dysfunction, and absence of the septum pellucidum which is a midline part of the brain. Two of these features need to be present for a clinical diagnosis. SOD affects just one person in 100,000.

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