A MIRACLE toddler and his family have been chosen to star in a Christmas charity appeal that gives accommodation to families with sick children.

The Axford family, from Stanford-le-Hope, beat off the competition to be chosen as one of only 12 families to feature in an online appeal by Ronald McDonald House Charities, which is running this December.

The family, of Dowland Close, have raised over £10,000 for the charity and had to send in a festive photograph and were chosen as one of the winners, with the appeal aimed at equipping the charity’s new 53 bedroom facility in Southampton, which families who have children receiving treatment at Southampton General Hospital and Princess Anne Hospital can use.

Carl, 30, and Faye, 31, will tell their story, in which their three-year-old son Callum was born with Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia, a disorder that affects the development of the diaphragm. Callum received treatment at London’s King’s College Hospital for eight months, which his parents stayed at Ronald McDonald House Camberwell, a house that families who have children staying at the hospital can use.

Faye said Callum is really looking forward to Christmas this year.

She said: “We were really happy to have been selected as one of the chosen families. We wanted to be chosen so went down to Primark to buy some Christmas jumpers and take a picture. This way we have the chance to further understanding of Callum’s condition.

“This is the first time he has really understood the concept of Christmas and it’s wonderful to see. We have been watching lots of Christmas films and he loves them.”

A picture of the Axford family will appear on a special Christmas appeal webpage at www.rmhc.org.uk/christmas-campaign that will launch on Sunday, December 1.

Visitors to the site will be able to sponsor packages for the new Southampton House to make it a ‘home away from home’.

Packages include a £15 ‘playtime bath set’ and a £100 ‘cosy night’s sleep’ package that will provide families with a duvet, duvet cover, and pillow.