Parents of Carter Cookson are 'watching and waiting' as their brave baby remains stable after lifesaving heart op

Little Carter Cookson is fighting for his life.
Little Carter Cookson is fighting for his life.

Little fighter Carter Cookson is stable after a major operation to help fix his heart.

Now his parents Chris and Sarah Cookson of South Shields, face an agonising wait to see if Thursday's procedure, in which surgeons at Newcastle's Freeman Hospital attached a pacemaker to Carter's heart to regulate its rhythm, works.

Chris and Sarah Cookson with a picture of their son Charlie.

Chris and Sarah Cookson with a picture of their son Charlie.

One-week-old Carter was born on Boxing Day and suffered three cardiac arrests just hours later due to his heart not beating correctly.

If the operation doesn't work, then the couple, who set up The Charlie Cookson Foundation in memory of their two-year-old son Charlie, know their newborn will need a heart transplant.

The pair now face a waiting game.

Sarah, who runs the Sarah Howe Cookson School of Dance, said: "He is stable after the operation, but it's very much a case of wait and see.

"In black and white terms, if his heart does not respond to Thursday's operation he will need a full heart transplant in less than five weeks."

Sarah is longing to have her first hold of her son, but at the moment he is just too poorly.

She added: "He has so many wires coming out of his heart and neck, there's been no cuddles yet."

This is the second heartbreaking ordeal the Cookson's have faced after losing Charlie, at the age of just two, in October 2013.

Charlie spent his life battling a mystery medical condition which meant he spent most of his time hospital.

He had numerous medical issues, including epilepsy, which left him needing round the clock care.

During his life he also overcame a number of serious illnesses – including meningitis and septicaemia – and underwent several operations, including two hernia repairs and a brain biopsy.

His devastated parents launched The Charlie Cookson Foundation in honour of the youngster - a charity which gives grants to help families who have a child with a life-limiting conditions.