THE parents of a baby boy who suffered three cardiac arrests shortly after being born have made a desperate appeal to find him a new heart, amid fears he may have just three days to live.

Sarah and Chris Cookson, 40, have been told that a heart transplant is the only hope of saving their son Carter, who was born prematurely at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary on Boxing Day.

The couple, from South Shields, lost their first son, Charlie, at the age of two in 2013 after he had battled a mysterious, progressive condition. Following his death, the pair set up the Charlie Cookson Foundation in a bid to support other families with seriously ill children.

The Northern Echo:

Sarah Cookson with baby Carter

They had described Carter as their “miracle” baby, but are now keeping vigil at his bedside at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital, after he was born with heart problems.

He underwent surgery just a week after his birth, but the operation to drain one side of his heart and install a pacemaker was not as successful as had been hoped, and his family now face a race against time to find him a new heart.

Mrs Cookson, 44, said in a statement: “We have already lost one son and if we can’t find a donor straight away, we now face the prospect of losing our second beautiful baby boy. It’s just the most terrible experience imaginable. I just hope there may be some family out there who can identify with our heartbreak and may be able to help.”

Carter has been hooked up to an Ecmo machine, which is pumping blood around his body in order to keep him alive, but his parents have been told that complications with the machine mean that he may have less than 72 hours left to live.

The Northern Echo: Baby CarterBaby Carter

Baby Carter

Friend Angela Moore has launched a GoFundMe page in a bid to raise money in order to support the couple, and has so far raised about £1,500. She said: “I’m appealing for any families out there to help. If there are any parents out there grieving the loss of their own child, please consider organ donation so you could possibly save another child’s life.”