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Carter Cookson: Baby who needed new heart dies

by InterSpaceReporter

Baby Carter Cookson

A three-week-old baby who was in desperate need of a heart transplant has died, his parents have said.

Carter Cookson, who was born prematurely on Boxing Day with heart problems, had suffered three cardiac arrests and was on a life-support machine.

His parents Sarah and Chris Cookson had been running a social media appeal to find a donor.

But on Saturday they posted on Facebook that he had “gained his angel wings”.

The post from Mrs Cookson, 44, said that their “brave baby boy” Carter “could not fight anymore” and had died at 17:44 GMT.

The parents also posted on the Find a Heart for Carter Facebook page, saying: “Thank you to everyone who has helped to try and find Carter’s gift, we will be eternally grateful.”

In 2013, Mr and Mrs Cookson lost their first son, Charlie, aged two.

He died of an undiagnosed condition – unrelated to Carter’s – which caused problems with his muscles and bones and compromised his immune system.

Image caption

Chris and Sarah Cookson have been with Carter at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital

The Cooksons, from South Shields, South Tyneside, launched an appeal to find a new heart for Carter after being told a transplant was his only hope.

Their plea for an organ donor for Carter was shared widely on social media.

On Friday, they said doctors at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital have advised them that time was running out.

Mr and Mrs Cookson launched a charity supporting families of children with life-limiting illnesses in 2013 following the death of Charlie.

Image caption

Dozens showed their support for the family at a vigil in South Shields on Thursday

A candlelit vigil was held outside South Shields Town Hall on Thursday evening.

Last week, South Shields Labour MP Emma Lewell-Buck raised the donor appeal at Prime Minister’s Questions.

Theresa May described it as a “tragic case” and highlighted the “opt-out” organ donation system due to be introduced next year.

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