A baby boy has been given days to live unless doctors can find him a new heart, his devastated parents have revealed.
Sarah, 44, and Chris Cookson, 40, from South Shields, Tyneside, are desperate to save Carter’s life with an organ donation.
Cater was was born two weeks early on Boxing Day at Royal Victoria Infirmary, five years after his parent’s lost their first child at two years old.
He underwent major heart surgery due to severe heart problems days after his birth.
But then his family was told his only chance for survival was for him to undergo a heart transplant, leaving them in a race against time.
Carter’s parents, of South Shields, launched the campaign #findaheartforCarter in an urgent plea to help their baby boy.
Posting on the Find a Heart for Carter Facebook Page yesterday evening, the family said: ‘We really do need your love, support and prayers more than anything now!’
Ms Cookson, who runs the Sarah Howe Cookson School of Dance, previously said on Facebook: ‘It has taken us a few days to get our head round the news from the consultants, we still can’t.
‘Our boy has not responded to the surgery and the only way he will survive is if he gets a new heart or by some miracle his heart begins to pump blood around his body.
‘He is on the transplant list but we need as much awareness out there as possible.’
Doctors operated on Carter before attaching him to an ‘Ecmo’ machine to pump the blood around his body.
But the Ecmo machine, which replaced the function of his heart and lungs, has had complications.
The Ecmo machine ‘only lasts a maximum of six to eight weeks that’s if there are no complications,’ according to Ms Cookson.
Every time the wires are changed on the machine Carter is left at risk of infection and clotting.
Doctors took the difficult decision of deciding that they have until Saturday before they take Carter off the machine.
The appeal said: ‘Carter’s Mammy and Daddy have met with doctors today, they have been advised that due to issues with the Ecmo machine they now predict that they only have 3 days to find a heart.
Mrs Cookson wrote on Facebook on Wednesday: ‘We desperately hope that out baby’s courage and strength leads to our prayers being answered.
Everyday is getting harder and harder… we feel sick when we walk into the hospital..it’s the fear..of what will be, is the machine still working?.. is his breathing ok?… are his organs surviving? then…..IS TODAY THE DAY?
But we take a deep breath and get through it for Carter. If he is fighting we are fighting.’
The couple lost their first son, Charlie, in October 2013, when he was just two-years-old.
In his memory, they set up the Charlie Cookson Foundation, which provides financial support to parents of seriously ill children.
Mrs Cookson added: ‘Our local MP Emma Lewell-Buck advised us that the following has been passed in Parliament.
‘NHS Blood and Transplant will support specialist nurses in the difficult conversations they have with bereaved families whose deceased child is eligible for organ donation, by informing them that there are eight children on the waiting list for a heart, and at least one of those families has already lost a child.
‘After reading this… it filled me with warmth..as hearing this at such a devastating time turns my heart from despair to love..and to what a son and daughter can give…a gift of life. If we do not get our miracle we will take comfort knowing our brave boy lives on in others.
‘We need this story to get to the right people… please please share as much as you can on all social media we are all heart broken at this latest news but won’t give up hope.’