Little British infant Charlie Douthwaite is clinging to life as he waits for a new heart.
Just six weeks old, Douthwaite already has made it through several surgeries and a cardiac arrest. Now, his parents are pleading for their little fighter in the hopes of finding a heart transplant that will allow him to live.
The Daily Mail reports Charlie was born on Oct. 2 with only half of a functioning heart. He was diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome as well as a narrow aorta and two holes in his heart while he was still in the womb.
His mother, Tracie Wright, said his condition was so severe that there was talk about aborting him, but she and her partner, Steven Douthwaite, refused.
“We considered termination because of the severity of the problems but we chose not to, we decided we would carry on and fight for him,” she said.
Charlie currently is on life support at a hospital in Newcastle, England. Doctors said he will not live long unless he receives a new heart, according to the report. He underwent open-heart surgery when he was three days old and then suffered cardiac arrest four days later, but he continues to fight for his life.
His parents are urging people to donate organs in the hopes of finding a match for their son.
“He is the smallest baby in the EU waiting for a heart,” his mother said in a desperate plea on Facebook. “The donor has to be a similar age to Charlie. He needs a baby’s heart which breaks my heart because I know what another person’s baby means to them.
“It’s such an amazing gift to be able to offer someone,” Wright continued. “And I’d like to think it would offer someone great comfort knowing their beautiful baby never dies and lives on and helped in a way that can’t ever be described.”
Wright, who spends every day at Charlie’s bedside, said she wonders and worries if they ever will be able to bring him home.
“I can’t describe what Charlie means to us all, he’s so precious, so beautiful and so brave and deserves a chance at life,” she said.
The family thanked people who have donated blood, which Charlie needed during his surgeries.
Follow the family’s journey on Facebook at A New Heart for Charlie.