Eight years of heartache for Charlie and Carter Cookson's family

Chris and Sarah Cookson with their first son Charlie.
Chris and Sarah Cookson with their first son Charlie.

Sarah and Chris Cookson have suffered eight years of heartache with the tragedies of their two sons.

The couple faced heartache when their first son, Charlie, was born with a mystery condition and spent a huge amount of his short life in hospital, before he died aged just two.

Carter Cookson.

Carter Cookson.

Now, the couple's joy of becoming parents again has turned to heartache as second son, Carter, dies from heart problems.

April 13 2011: Charlie Cookson was born with a number of health conditions and spent the first two months of his life in the special care baby unit at Newcastle’s RVI.

During 2011 and 2012: Charlie was in and out of the intensive care unit due to breathing difficulties, life-threatening infections and seizures.

Early 2012: Scans revealed that Charlie had epilepsy.

Chris and Sarah Cookson at the opening of the latest Charlie Cookson Foundation charity shop in 2017.

Chris and Sarah Cookson at the opening of the latest Charlie Cookson Foundation charity shop in 2017.

Autumn 2013: The seizures worsened and Charlie’s condition rapidly deteriorated, despite the medication and ventilation he was receiving.

April 2013: Charlie is honoured with the South Tyneside Child of Courage Award.

October 29, 2013: Charlie lost his fight for life.

October 2013: Chris and Sarah Cookson launch the Charlie Cookson Foundation to help families with seriously ill children. It has supported more than 50 families across the country by providing help towards the financial burdens which arise from full-time care.

July 2018: The couple tell of their joy at expecting another baby. Sarah said: "It took a long time for us to be brave enough to try and be a family again, but we felt ready. We had been through so much worry and heartache with our angel Charlie and still feel so much heartache every day. But we loved being a mammy and daddy so we decided to try again."

Boxing Day 2018: Little Carter is born, but is found to have a poorly heart and suffers three cardiac arrests.

Thursday, January 3, 2019: Carter undergoes surgery to drain part of his heart and fit a pacemaker.

Sunday, January 6, 2019: Doctors tell Carter's parents there is just five weeks to find the baby a heart to save his life and #findaheartforcarter was launched.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019: Chris and Sarah Cookson are given the devastating news there is just three days left to find a heart to save Carter.

Thursday, January 17, 2019: More than one hundred people gather for a candle-lit vigil for Carter.

Saturday, January 19, Baby Carter loses his battle for life.