Christmas wish for festive TV star Theo

Theo Singh Eyley 6, on TV's Text Santa with mum Denise Singh-Eyley
Theo Singh Eyley 6, on TV's Text Santa with mum Denise Singh-Eyley

With his cheeky smile and sunny personality it’s hard to believe six-year-old Theo is seriously ill.

But the youngster has already endured 29 operations in his short life after being born four-months early.

He was diagnosed with quadriplegic cerebral palsy, epilepsy, feeding problems and severe reflux. He has also been registered blind, is fed directly into his bowel hourly via machine and survived viral and bacterial meningitis.

Now the cute youngster has been chosen to front a festive television campaign - and all his family want for Christmas is for Theo to be at home after spending the last two in hospital.

Mum Denise Singh-Eyley, 46, of Ash Grove in New Tupton, said: “We want him home for Christmas this year. All the family will be round and Theo loves noise and commotion.”

Before Theo, the youngest of six brothers, was born his parents had no idea he would be so poorly.

Denise said: “He spent the first six months in hospital and has now spent just under half his life in there.

“But he is a fighter, three times we’ve all been called and told he’s not going to live but he’s always pulled through.”

She added: “Last year was particularly bad and he was on life support.

“We were told he might not make it but in the back of my mind I thought ‘you’re wrong.’ He’s meant to be here.

“As soon as he came off life support and opened his eyes he started shouting ‘hiya’ and smiling. He never falters, he’s never, ever miserable.”

Despite challenges Denise and her husband Michael have fought to get Theo in mainstream school and he now attends Sharley Park Primary.

Doctors said Theo would never speak but he has beaten the odds and is able to talk.

He also loves books, playing ‘rough and tumble’ with his brothers, spending time with his school pals and watching Top Gear on television.

Denise said: “If someone had said to me before I had Theo that he would be so ill I would have said there was no way I could cope.

“But he is an absolute delight. I love him unconditionally and would do anything for him.”

Theo’s story is set to appear on ITV’s Text Santa, on December 21.

The three hour show will be packed with celebrities and spin offs of ITVs shows.

Viewers will be urged to text in and donate to six charities who are supported by Text Santa, one of which is Together For Short Lives which has supported Theo.

Theo was referred to Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice in 2009. The hospice is one of 49 children’s hospices in the UK supported by national charity Together for Short Lives.

Denise said: “I didn’t want him to go to the hospice at first but I don’t want him to go anywhere else. It’s like home from home. Bluebell Wood has taught me many things. I value every single minute we spend at the hospice. It has had a very positive impact on my family, and myself as we know the hospice will always be there for us right through until the end.”

She added: “We don’t know how long we’ve got Theo for. No-one likes to come to terms with the fact that their precious child may not live into adulthood. It is obviously a parent’s worst nightmare.

“But Theo never ceases to amaze me he inspires me and is a really super son. Everyone who knows Theo will agree no matter how poorly he is he never refuses to smile.”

Children’s hospices are all charities that rely on donations to continue to provide their vital services. Funds raised from ITV Text Santa will be used to ensure children and their families get the care and support they need.