For mum Emma Wathey the greatest Christmas gift she could hope for is a new heart for her baby boy.

At just a few weeks old, George is fighting for his life in paediatric intensive care at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital and may not survive more than the next few days or weeks without a heart transplant.

And for 27-year-old Emma, who hasn’t left the hospital site since George was transferred to Newcastle, it now means a desperate wait to see if one a donor heart becomes available.

The Northern Echo: George at the Freeman Hospital.

She said: "I’m just taking each day as it comes – there’s nothing more I can do – I just wish I could fix him." 

In the run-up to – and after George’s birth - there was no indication, he had heart problems. He was born weighing 7llb 12oz and returned home with mum to Teesside.

However, days later Emma woke on the morning to find him ‘grey’ in his Moses basket and realising he was poorly, immediately called an ambulance. He was later transferred to the Freeman where a scan confirmed heart failure.

Emma added: "I didn’t think this could happen and was really surprised babies can have heart transplants."

"It’s just all so hard to take in – there’s been that much going on and his birth seems so long ago – it’s like a distant memory.

The Northern Echo: George and Emma at the Freeman Hospital. George and Emma at the Freeman Hospital. (Image: PR)

"It’s like a nightmare you cannot wake up from – you’re confused, frustrated – and everything is changing all the time and all you want is for him to be better."

Emma is very aware that for George to get a new heart, a family somewhere has to go through their tragedy and then make the decision for their child to become a donor.

She said: "If the day comes, it’s a pure selfless act to save others – one I would be forever grateful for.

"I never imagined I’d be in this position – you feel so helpless – but I just need to do something and anything which helps to raise awareness of organ donation is so important.

"It’s been just me and George right from the beginning, we’ve had a difficult journey right from the start but we got through it together.

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"Even before he came into the world, he got me through those difficult first few months of pregnancy. He is my best friend and I thought we had the rest of our lives together, I can’t imagine my life without my little boy and having to say goodbye after such a short amount of time together.”

George’s plight comes as a new campaign aims to highlight all the children waiting for a transplant. Waiting to Live asks parents to consider organ donation for them and their children and add themselves to the NHS Organ Donor Register. You can find out more here 

Currently, in the North East and Yorkshire, 25 children are waiting for an organ transplant.