THE parents of a three-year-old boy are desperately waiting for news which they hope will save his life.
James Bartlett was fighting fit until a rare illness suddenly placed him at death's door.
Now his parents, Jane and Charles, are praying that a liver and small bowel donor can be found so that surgeons can carry out a double transplant operation.
James' transformation from a bouncy youngster to a desperately sick little boy, was incredibly sudden. One afternoon in March he was his normal self. By 10pm he was in Leighton Hospital in Crewe fighting for his life.
Unknown to his parents, James' intestine suddenly twisted, causing it to die - an occurrence so rare that it has happened to only about 20 people throughout Europe in the past 10 years.
After being transferred to Alder Hey Children's Hospital at Liverpool, where surgeons operated on James, Jane and Charles had to make a heart-wrenching choice.
They could withdraw treatment and let James die peacefully, or hope for a small bowel and liver donor, to give him a chance of life - having been told that even if a double transplant was performed successfully, life expectancy in some case was not much more than a year.
The couple, who live in Alpraham, opted for the chance of a transplant and are waiting for a suitable donor for the operation to be carried out at Birmingham Children's Hospital.
Charles said: 'James cannot eat or drink properly and he has to be fed intravenously. At the moment he is at home, but he has to go back into hospital on occasions.
'It is so ironic, because before he was ill he loved his food.
'The statistics on finding a suitable donor are not brilliant, but we are hoping one donor can be found and that James turns out to be one of the lucky ones.'
Charles, who is pricing manager with Caudwell Communications at Manchester, is able to spend some time at home helping Jane care for James.
He said: 'Jane has been marvellous, as indeed have our friends and neighbours who have helped us to cope as a family through these traumatic times.