HE’S not even two yet, but little Charlie Cookson has been though more than most adults.
Charlie was born at Newcastle’s RVI weighing 5lbs 6.5oz, on April 13, 2011.
For two months he was in the special care baby unit as doctors tried to stabilise his weight and fight off an unknown infection.
He was discharged at eight weeks and spent three days at home, but was rushed in with a temperature and over the next few months battled E-coli, septicaemia, meningitis, bacterial diseases and needed operations.
On Friday, November 25, 2011, the Gazette ran its first story on the plucky tot and how £1,000 was needed, to buy him specialist equipment so he could come home for Christmas.
Within days readers contributed £1,600, while Charlie’s loved ones raised more than £5,000, but sadly the tot contracted septicaemia in December and was placed in intensive care.
In January 2012, the youngster caught the attention of Sir Richard Branson, who donated him £2,500, after his company – Virgin Money – bought Northern Rock.
On February 7 last year, Charlie was finally allowed home for the first time in months, but returned to hospital numerous times over the next few weeks due to breathing and choking problems.
On Friday, April 13, Chris and Sarah Cookson were delighted their son had reached his milestone first birthday, and had been discharged from hospital the previous day.
In August, the family headed to Great Ormond Street Hospital in London for answers over Charlie’s condition – however, medics didn’t have any.
On November 29, Charlie was back in intensive care at the RVI, where he remained until last week.