MESSAGES of support have been pouring in after a plucky Widnes youngster with a rare condition underwent life-saving liver-swap surgery.

Jordan Roberts, five, was rushed back to St James's Hospital, Leeds, to undergo a pioneering liver transplant operation after doctors telephoned his parents, Wendy Harvey and Andrew Roberts, to say a suitable donor organ had been found.

Jordan, who has suffered since birth from the rare and devastating heart and liver disease, Allagille syndrome, was in surgery for 10 hours and is now recovering at his Baguley Avenue home in Halebank.

He is the first child to undergo the procedure at the hospital, where he has had regular check-ups and one major operation since birth.

And in a bid to reduce the risk of infection, surgeons also removed a stomach bag and fitted a feeding tube through his nose.

Mum Wendy, 33, said: 'It's been tough for the family, a real emotional rollercoaster.

'He went on the list last November and we got a call soon after but it turned out the liver wasn't suitable.

'Then on January 15 we'd just got back from the hospital and got a call from them at 8.30pm. Our bags were already packed and we raced to Leeds.

'It's still early days. The next three months, when he must have the highest doses of anti-rejection drugs, are critical.

'The next milestone is to get to 12 months. He will then be on anti-rejection drugs for the rest of his life.'

She added: 'There's still a lot of risk, but Jordan is doing well. He was up and walking within two days of the operation.

'For a five-year-old he puts a lot of adults to shame.'

Wendy has decided to raise funds for the organisations which helped her son - Ward 11 at St James Hospital, the Children's Liver Disease Foundation and the Sick Children's Trust.

She also thanked family, friends, neighbours and his school, St Michael's Primary, for helping to look after Jordan and providing 'phenomenal' support.