THE parents of a desperately sick little boy are hoping for the best Christmas present of all - the gift of life.
If three-year-old James Bartlett does not have a liver and small bowel transplant soon he will die.
Now his parents Charles and Jane are praying that a donor can be found in time to give James hope for the future.
James, who lives at Alpraham, Nantwich, has a condition so rare that it has affected only 20 people throughout Europe in the past 10 years.
It began when his intestine twisted, causing it to die. His small bowel and part of his large bowel had to be removed and his liver was so badly damaged that his only hope now is the double transplant.
His father Charles said: 'Since the beginning of November his condition has deteriorated further. He has been into the Countess of Chester Hospital twice for blood transfusions.
'We were told in August that his life expectancy in his present condition was only about six months, so with every passing day we are hoping to hear that a donor has been found.'
James cannot eat or drink properly and for 17 hours a day he is on an intravenous line.
His parents have been hospital trained to do their best to care for him, but the stress of the constant attention they have to give him and the thought of what will inevitably happen if good news does not arrive soon, is devastating to both of them.
Charles said: 'The strain on the family and the trauma Jane is going through is absolutely awful.
'The terrible thing is that before James was suddenly struck with this illness in March, he was just about the healthiest little boy you could imagine.
'He loved his food and a great joy for him was to come to the local pub with us for a meal. Now he cannot eat at all.
'We have chosen to let people know about our situation to raise awareness about the desperate need for organ donors.'
James' specialist at Birmingham Children's Hospital, Dr Girish Gupte said: 'To prevent children dying while on a waiting list it is vital that more awareness about organ donation is raised among the general public.'
Anyone who wishes to become an organ donor is invited to call the UK Organ Donor Register on 0845 6060