A THREE week old baby whose parents started a social media campaign in a desperate bid to find him a new heart has died.

Carter Cookson was born prematurely on Boxing Day with heart problems.

He survived three cardiac arrests within hours of being born but doctors became concerned after realising his heart was damaged on one side.

He was operated on to drain the damaged side of his heart and install a pacemaker, but the surgery was unsuccessful and he was put on a life-support machine.

His parents Chris and Sarah Cookson, from South Shields, took to Facebook in the days after Carter’s birth in the hope of finding him an organ donor that could have saved him.

But on Saturday the couple announced that he had died at 5.44pm that day.

The couple had already been through the heartbreak of losing their first son Charlie, who died aged two in 2013, which led them to set up a charity.

Writing on Facebook, Mrs Cookson, said: “RIP Carter John Cookson.

“Today he could not fight anymore.. at 5.44pm our brave baby boy Carter John Cookson gained his angel wings and flew into his big brother’s arms.

“We are heart broken.. our two boys are in heaven without their Mammy and Daddy we feel so empty and our hearts will never recover.

“No more pain baby boy.... No more tubes.

"Be free with your big brother and Granda... until we can all be together again.

"You have taken our hearts with you.. we will never recover."

Last week, South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck raised the donor appeal at Prime Minister's Questions.

Theresa May described it as a "tragic case" and highlighted the "opt-out" organ donation system which is due to be introduced next year.

People touched by the appeal held a candlelit vigil for Carter outside South Shields Town Hall on Thursday night.

And on Friday, the couple said doctors had told them that time was running out so they were trying to focus on spending time with Carter, who they feared only had days to live, at the Freeman Hospital, Newcastle.

After the news of his passing, thousands of people posted their condolences on the social media site beneath a final photograph of Carter.

The couple thanked everyone who had tried to help on their Find a Heart for Carter page, saying: “Thankyou to everyone who has helped to try and find Carter’s gift we will be eternally grateful xxx”

Charlie died of an undiagnosed condition– said to be unrelated to Carter's– which caused problems with his muscles and bones and compromised his immune system.

After his death, the couple set up the Charlie Cookson Foundation in a bid to support other families with seriously ill children.