The Ashland Beacon
It might seem odd to see a bunch of high school kids standing in a classroom performing the ever-popular children’s tune Baby Shark. But that’s just the kind of tender action that baby Callie has inspired since she was struck by tragedy a few months ago.
The entire tri-state area has been following the story of little Callie (Calliope) Anne May, who suffered severe injuries in an apparent case of child abuse last April. The young girl recently observed her third birthday, and a class at Russell High School decided to do something special for her special day.
Sherry Davis, a social studies teacher at RHS, is a family friend. She said that her classes have been concerned about Callie since the incident occurred, frequently asking about her condition. “All my classes here ask about her all the time. Seeing that compassion for her from strangers – teenagers – really gives me hope.”
“My kids have followed her since they were in middle school last year,” she said. “All the classes wanted to do something special for her – they were excited to do it almost before I got the words out of my mouth. I decided on my fifth-period freshman civics class. They wanted to send her a video for her birthday – she loves music. So we asked her family what she likes, and they said Baby Shark.”
The teens practiced the song, and everyone was so interested in being in the video that Davis had to go to another class to recruit someone to film the video. “All the kids wanted to be in the video, even ones who normally wouldn’t do something like that.”
“We posted it on the Callie’s Story Facebook page, and her mom and nana showed it to her. She seemed to really like it.” Davis said the students also made a large poster for Callie’s birthday, and brought in gifts such as stuffed animals and clothing. “I delivered them all to her on her birthday, with the poster.”
But this is not just a story about friendship. “Callie’s nana, Diane Barker, is my best friend,” said Davis. “She was with me the weekend of my son’s funeral. Callie was born the day of the funeral. So we just have a deep connection between us where Callie is concerned. She was a real bright spot when my son passed away.”
Davis said that Callie has made great progress, considering the dire prognosis at the time of her injuries. The family was advised to take her off life support. But through surgeries and long hospital stays at Cabell Huntington and in Columbus where she spent several weeks, the toddler has achieved many milestones.
“She is responding well,” said Davis. “She does something new every day. She even said Mom yesterday. When she gets made about something, she tries to talk.”
Many area churches have held the little girl in their prayers, and fundraisers have helped the family with some of their expenses. Readers can keep track of her progress at Callie’s Story on Facebook.