In what should have been the happiest time of their life, the besotted parents of three-week-old Anthony James Carr are having to come to terms with the fact that their son might never be able to breathe on his own.
Anthony is currently being cared for at The Great North Children’s Hospital after he was rushed to hospital at just one-week-old when he began struggling to breathe.
He has been tested for coronavirus, sepsis and meningitis, but all came back clear.
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Anthony is now relying on oxygen and feeding tubes to keep his airways open, while doctors wait to carry out brain scans once the coronavirus pandemic has calmed down.
Parents Georgia Barker, 22, and Jason Carr, 23, from Jarrow, have had to stay isolated in one room at the hospital, away from their loved ones to reduce the risk of catching Covid-19.
“The future is a little bit uncertain but his parents are doing fantastically,” said Joy Potts, a close friend of the family who launched the fundraising campaign.
“I know myself how hard it can be to have a little baby in hospital.
“It’s a really tough thing for new parents to go through, with the added stress of what’s going on in the world at the minute.”
Georgia and Jason have been allowed to stay by Anthony’s side while they receive training in how to care for him and how to use the life-saving equipment when he comes home.
But the couple have not been able to have any face to face contact with their family and friends.
“They are feeling quite isolated from people at the moment - Georgia can’t even hug her own mam,” said Joy.
“They haven’t even had the chance to get a family photo together.”
Georgia’s mum, Layla Barker added: “It’s really difficult for the whole family, with us all in different houses, I can’t be there for her.”
Jason, who works for call centre Convergys, is also now unsure when he will be able to return to work, after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK into lockdown on Monday, March 23.
“I just wanted to raise a little bit of extra financial help just to get them through the next month or so,” said Joy.
“These two, amazing young people are really trying their best for their little boy, even with all this horrible stuff going on in the world.
“I’m so proud to see Georgia handling it so well and Jason has been a huge tower of strength to her.”
Since the Go Fund Me page was set up on Tuesday, March 24 it has already raised over £1,500.
“We weren’t expecting to raise the full amount because people have lost their jobs, it’s an awful time,” Joy added.
“We’re so appreciative of everybody who has put every little penny in.
“We just need him home and for this coronavirus to disappear so we can have lots of cuddles.”
To donate visit Anthony Carr’s Go Fund Me page.