'We need a heart or we will lose our beautiful baby boy,' Mum makes plea to save her son

Carter Cookson Credit: Family photo

Hooked up to the machine that is keeping him alive little Carter Cookson is facing a terrifying race against time to find a new heart.

Parents Sarah and Chris have been told their precious baby boy needs a heart transplant and has just weeks to live if a new heart cannot be found, after he suffered three cardiac arrests within hours of being born on Boxing Day.

Speaking to ITV News Tyne Tees Chris Cookson said they now need another "miracle" if their son is to survive.

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Chris told ITV News it is heartbreaking to see his son reliant on the 'Ecmo' machine, which is keeping him alive.

Sarah and Carter Cookson Credit: Family photo

Carter's unexpected and devastating heart problems came as the cruelest of blows for the parents, from South Shields, who lost their first son Charlie in 2012 when he was just two-and-a-half.

As the couple keep a round-the-clock vigil at his bedside at Newcastle's Freeman Hospital they have issued an urgent plea in the hope a new heart will be found.

Sarah, 44, wrote on Facebook: "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. We need a heart in five weeks or we will lose our beautiful baby boy. I can't put into words how heart broken we all are... but we will never give up on him."

After losing son Charlie, who spent his short life battling a series of serious conditions, the Cooksons described Carter's arrival at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) as a 'miracle'.

Charlie Cookson Credit: Family photo

But within hours of meeting their much-longed for boy the proud parents were confronted with a new heart-breaking ordeal.

Medics discovered Carter's heart was not beating properly. He was transferred to the Freeman, and after surviving three cardiac arrests the little boy was attached to the 'Ecmo' machine to pump the blood around his body.

Then on Thursday, when he was just over one week old, Carter underwent surgery to drain one side of his heart and attach a pacemaker.

But the operation was not as successful as the family and doctors had hoped.

Carter Cookson Credit: Family photo

Consultants have told Sarah and Chris, 40, that a heart transplant is Carter's only hope.

He now remains attached to the Ecmo machine, but medics say he can only remain this way for six to eight weeks.

Joanne, 40, said: "It’s a double edged sword. It’s horrendous to think that for something that we’ve hoped for, for a long time, is relying on the heartache of another family, which is just horrific in itself."

The Cooksons set-up the The Charlie Cookson Foundation in memory of their first-born son, Charlie, who was born with a mysterious medical condition, spent much of his life in hospital.