Dad of tragic Carter Cookson speaks of the precious eight hours they spent with son before health battle as funeral takes place in South Shields

The father of tragic baby Carter Cookson spoke of the precious ‘eight hours’ he and his wife spent with their newborn son before his health struggles began.

In a moving speech at little Carter Cookson’s funeral, Chris Cookson told those gathered that his son’s legacy would live on.

The family of Carter Cookson arriving at his funeral service at St Michael and All Saints Church in South Shields.

The family of Carter Cookson arriving at his funeral service at St Michael and All Saints Church in South Shields.

Chris and Sarah Cookson, from South Shields, tragically lost their son Carter Cookson - who was born on Boxing Day 2018 - on Saturday, January 19, after being unable to find a donor heart for a transplant that could have saved his life.

The couple lost their first son Charlie Cookson, aged just two, on October 29, 2013, after a series of health problems.

His death led them to set up the Charlie Cookson Foundation which helps the families of seriously ill youngsters.

At Carter’s funeral service, held at St Michael and All Angels Church, in Mowbray Road, South Shields, hundreds of people - wearing blue as requested by the couple - turned out to say goodbye.

Carter Cookson.

Carter Cookson.

During the service dad Chris told mourners how Carter has helped to raise awareness of organ donation.

He said: “We had eight hours of being parents before we found out about Carter’s problems.

“During the first eight hours, me and Sarah had our first feeds and cuddles.

“I told Carter about his mammy who would give up her life to protect him and how she would want him to be a dancer one day.

Carter Cookson's dad Chris Cookson.

Carter Cookson's dad Chris Cookson.

“I told him I would teach him how to ride a motorbike and get tattoos when he was 16.”

Chris spoke of the ‘small chance’ they got to be parents for their son, by reading him a book, and massaging him to make him feel better.

They also spoke of the moments when they were able to see his eyes.

Chris thanked their friends and family for their support and said that ‘Carter had been here for a reason.’

Floral tributes to Carter Cookson.

Floral tributes to Carter Cookson.

He continued: “Even though his heart did not work, he had the biggest and strongest heart to us.
“He was loved by so many and Carter made a huge impact on so many people’s lives.”

The congregation listened to Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Eva Cassidy, before joining together to sing hymn This Little Light of Mine.

They also listened to Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton as they remembered little Carter and then closed the service by singing hymn Oil In My Lamp.

Leaving the church, friends and family gathered listened to let Me Go by Gary Barlow.

In a message on the order of service, parents Sarah and Chris Cookson said: “Fly high Carter John you will always be remembered, good night son. xxx.”

Mourners were asked for any donations to be made to The Sick Children’s Trust.

Father John from St Michael and All Saints Church in South Shields.

Father John from St Michael and All Saints Church in South Shields.

Floral tributes at the funeral of baby Carter Cookson.

Floral tributes at the funeral of baby Carter Cookson.

Carter Cookson's mum Sarah Cookson arriving at the church.

Carter Cookson's mum Sarah Cookson arriving at the church.

The order of service for Carter Cookson's funeral.

The order of service for Carter Cookson's funeral.