Jul 06

Callum Murray – BWR24 The 2nd – By Robert Shade

cena and callum

Callum Murray is an eleven year old boy who from a very young age has been a fervent wrestling fan.

When he was very young he first started out by watching both WWE Raw and Smackdown shows together with his Mum and Dad and as time progressed he then started to branch out into viewing UK Wrestling and also some Japanese Wrestling as one of his heroes is Zack Sabre Jr the British Wrestler who spends a lot of time wrestling over in Japan.

callum & masters

These days he gets to as many British shows as he can manage with his favourite promotions being  Preston City Wrestling (PCW),Britannia Wrestling Promotions and Futureshock Wrestling, he also managed to get to a Southside Wrestling Entertainment show in May.

From a very young child like the rest of us he developed heroes in the industry, the aforementioned Zack Sabre Jr being one, in addition to Zack, Callum is also a very big fan of  Kris Travis, Noam Dar and Dave Rayne who are all based in the UK and also enjoys the entire PCW roster which includes a mixture of leading UK talent along with some imports from overseas including the likes of Lita and Chris Masters.

This is where the familiar tale of a young boy hooked on wrestling takes an unwanted twist though.

callum & haskins callum & kofi

Callum who was born on 21st November 2001 has suffered from numerous medical issues.

He was born healthy but not too long after birth he was diagnosed with asthma, this was followed in 2005 when he was less than four years old by an emergency hospital admission after he stopped breathing whilst at home with his parents, this was initially diagnosed as a heart murmur.

In the next few weeks the pattern of Callum a very young boy indeed sat at home then suddenly collapsing and failing to breath continued with each time him being rushed to hospital by his loving but suffering parents.

callum & lita

As this continued the symptoms worsened as headaches began to become a more familiar part of the process and constant vomiting even when sleeping got more and more frequent.

After a series of tests an initial prognosis of epilepsy was made but due to loving parents and strong support from the medical staff further tests continued and eventually a diagnosis which was life changing for the whole family was made of ‘Arnold Chiari Malformation’ which is a serious brain condition that would have killed Callum without immediate surgery.



Within two months of this though Callum’s symptoms returned and the family were informed that the bone previously removed had grown back and that decompression surgery would now be required and that this was a high risk operation.

Callum came through this second surgery but was extremely ill and was on the high dependency ward for a period of time, after being allowed home two weeks later he spent only 48 hours at home before being rushed back into hospital with what turned out to be a bleed on the brain.

It took further emergency surgery to sort out the bleed which involved inserting a drain into his brain then it required yet more surgery to remove the drain itself.

Callum came through this but was clearly getting worse, he also lost a lot of weight so was put onto steroids but his headaches worsened so he had to have a further operation to insert a probe inside his brain to enable the doctors to get an idea of the pressure inside his head.

The parents were then informed that Callum had developed a condition called Hydrocephalus.

The pressure in his brain was to high because of the obstruction when he had the bleed on his brain and it caused Callum’s brain to make too much CSF.

Callum had to have yet another operation to have a VP shunt put in place, the shunt runs from the brain and drains the extra fluid down a tube that runs down into the stomach where the fluid is reabsorbed, there is also a valve that is attached to the tubing and sits near the ear, this valve controls the setting for the pressure when the shunt drains the extra fluid.

After 6 weeks Callum finally got home again.

callum - never give up

On Christmas Day in 2006 he was so ill that he was unable to open his presents so again he was taken to hospital and this time it resulted in a further five operations over a period of two weeks or so which included inserting a shunt which ran from his brain down to his stomach, then removing that and instead to do a a procedure called Endoscopic Third Ventriculostomy (ETV) which is an alternative to shunt placement for treatment of hydrocephalus, the technique opens a hole inside the brain to re-establish effective flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).

This appeared to go well and 24 hours after the last of these five operations Callum was playing on the ward, we are talking about a little boy who by this stage was still only five years old, when he suddenly lapsed into a coma.

It turned out that he had meningitis.

The meningitis bug was breeding on the reservoir in his brain which meant that Callum needed further surgery to have it taken out.

While they operated they also put an External Ventrical Drain so that the infected fluid could be drained.

Another operation later to remove the drain and Callum was home but was not well and after various more tests it turned out on a visit to Great Ormond Street Childrens Hospital in London that he required yet another decompression operation which because it was now the third such operation was of the very high risk nature.

For two weeks after this Callum was so ill he could not eat or drink or move his neck and was so weak but then when further tests were performed the news broke that this five year old boy had meningitis again!


After further treatments including antibiotics and lumber punctures and a further two operations that particular problem was dealt with but more troubles lay around the corner.

Whilst still in hospital recovering from all of this late one night Callum’s mum Sharon felt his back was wet and it turned out that his CSF was pouring out of his decompression scar which led to a further high risk emergency operation.

When that operation was complete Callum then got hit by c-diff which is a fatal bug that can kill!

He was moved into isolation whilst treated for this bug which led to him losing about half of his body weight in this period oh and he had a further operation as well in this time.

To avoid making this article too long I have opted for some brevity at this point but he had a further seven operations on his brain after recovering from the c-diff bug and he continued to suffer with the fits and vomiting and headaches etc.

In 2009 when still only eight years old remarkably he also needed his tonsils removing as he was having trouble in fighting infection and he is now under the care also of eye consultant as high pressure in the brain can lead onto sight problems.

Callum is also under the care of a psychologist as not surprisingly all of this has left him very agitated and subject to mood swings.

Currently Callum is taking 20 tablets a day.

The problem that Callums parents and family have is that Callums neurosurgeon has said that his shunt is blocking intermittently and he is getting a build up of pressure which is making Callum feel worse than he normally feels because of headaches, nausea and feeling drained.

Callums brain has collapsed around the catheter in his head where the shunt tubing begins and drains the extra CSF (spinal fluid that’s produced in the brain and travels around the brain down the spinal cord and back up to the brain) Callum makes too much of the CSF and has the shunt in to drain the extra CSF down the plastic tube which they put in.

This then runs through the brain over the top of his head then down behind his ear into his neck and all the way down to his stomach where the extra CSF is reabsorbed in his stomach.

The extra CSF in the brain causes increased inter cranial pressure which if left to build up enough can cause blindness, coma and even death. So its really important that Callums shunt is working properly.

Medical professionals in the UK are saying that they do not possess the technology to deal with this but The Chiari Institute in New York, USA might have some answers to all the questions that the UK medics can’t answer for the family.

I am informed by Sharon Murray (Callum’s mother) the following in terms of what going to America could achieve for this long suffering still very young boy.

‘The best outcome we could hope for is for Callum to have a better quality of life, he wants to be able to live each day without pain and feeling exhausted. Even if it just improved things for him a little bit it would make a massive difference to Callum’.

The strength which Callum and his family have shown is absolutely incredible, I found it difficult writing this article relaying to readers just how much this little boy and his family have been through, surely they deserve a break!

As you may have seen by a picture above of a PCW Blu Ray the UK Wrestling community has come together to try and raise the money for Callum and his family to travel to America and have treatment over there which will be so life changing, some funds have been raised but we still need a further £2000 to make this happen.

At the foot of this article will be a link to donate, please please do so, even if you simply donate a pound or a dollar it will make such a difference.

As John Cena says ‘The Time Is Now’.

There is a 24 hour long broadcast on British Wrestling Radio commencing at 11pm UK time Friday 5 July and the owner of the radio station Dean Mitchell is one of the main driving forces behind this, he along with others is staying up for 24 hours to talk wrestling on his station which can be heard around the world, some names from the wrestling world will be joining him.

Also another well known UK Wrestling Talk Show BritWrestChat are doing a two hour slot on this show and host Charman Morris wished to say the following:-



When BritWresChat first started in January, as four wrestling fans, we were all aware of Callum Murray and his cause, as it has been a well-known plight across wrestling.

Getting to know Dean Mitchell from British Wrestling Radio through talking to him at Southside shows, and listening to his 24 hour radio show last year, when he put the word out that it was happening again.

We all jumped at the chance of being part of it this year.

The wrestling community coming together for a fundraiser and being able to give back to people that need it most is probably the most endearing aspect of this business. Everyone is always so helpful and kind, and this is evident particularly when it comes to Calum.


BritWresChat will be on the 24 hour British Wrestling Radio show at midday til 2pm on Saturday 6th July


So let us make this a worldwide effort please to help Callum to get this treatment please do donate to the link below and share this article as much as possible and let’s hope that one day Callum is well enough to go and watch wrestling pain free!

Thank you to Sharon Murray and Britannia Wrestling Promotions for the information for this article and also thank you to Preston City Wrestling for permission to use some of the photo’s used.

Here is the all important link.