Parents' heartbreaking message in memory of Carter Cookson on what would have been his second birthday

The parents of Carter Cookson have paid tribute to their little boy on what would have been his second birthday.

On Boxing Day 2018, Carter was welcomed into the world – but within the first hours, the beloved baby suffered three cardiac arrests.

A nationwide appeal was launched to find Carter a heart after his parents, Sarah and Chris Cookson, were told their beautiful boy needed a transplant to survive.

But tragically on January 19, at just three weeks old, Carter was too tired to carry on and passed away.

Carter Cookson would have turned two today

It was the second heartbreak the parents had faced after they lost their first son, Charlie, aged two in 2019.

The South Shields couple run a foundation in memory of their two children who were so cruelly taken from them and have supported 80 families with seriously ill children.

Posting on the Charlie and Carter Foundation and the Find a Heart for Carter social media pages, Sarah said: “I have typed and deleted, typed and deleted, I don't want to take away your Happy Christmas feelings reading my status as I know this is not what both our angels would want.

'Howay Mammy don't be sad its Christmas', but as much as I try, I said to Chris yesterday, I will never love Christmas again as I fear Boxing Day and reliving what would of been - our now little toddler’s 2nd birthday.

Special Recognition award to Chris and Sarah Cookson at the Best of South Tyneside Awards 2019

“You all lived our heartache with us. The whole of South Shields right across to the other side of the world and all of our family and friends were in shock – 'Not again... they don't deserve it, we need to find Carter a Heart'

“Amongst everything you saw from my posts was a crippling pain that has never left us. So many bedside conversations with consultants, family room devastating news, my body recovering from major surgery whilst refusing to be away from him.

"I will never forget the physical, mental, emotional pain nothing seems to hurt these days as I have this to compare too.”

The parents, who have raised thousands of pounds to offer financial support to families through the foundation, say they try to focus on the moments they are ‘forever grateful for’.

Sarah Cookson cuddles her newborn son Carter

Sarah added: “Wow Carter, you were and still are amazing. Everyone fell in love with you.

“Your big brother and Granda will be spoiling you rotten today. Me and your Daddy were talking yesterday and the only conclusion we can try and live with is that your Charlie was a little bit bored up there and wanted a little brother to play with - Granda must have been a little to tired and Charlie wanted to run around and play games.

“Today is about you, our little one, Happy 2nd Birthday. We are unbelievably proud of you, have fun up in the clouds and show us the signs that you are with us. We are lost without you both.

We love you Carter, with all of our heart... it aches for your every heartbeat.”

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