A toddler is today fighting for his life after an incident at the Pizza Hut restaurant at Hartlepool Marina.
Ambulance crews were called to the restaurant at The Lanyard on Marina Way just after 5.40pm yesterday.
The Great North Air Ambulance also attended, landing on open ground near the Vue cinema.
A two-year-old boy was taken by road ambulance to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough. It is believed he had choked on some food.
The boy, named on social media only as Jacob, was later transferred to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, and a post by his mum today revealed that he is in a coma and fighting for his life.
It said: “Me and David want to thank everyone for your kind messages and prayers of support for Jacob.
“And also keep everyone updated on Jacob as it’s hard to reply to all your lovely supportive messages.
“Jacob is on life support now in a coma. He has his own heartbeat back and I hope he continues to give this strong fight he is giving and I hope I can give you all the best news possible.
“We are now just getting settled into the RVI Newcastle and hoping for the next critical 48 hours to go as best as they can. Please keep praying for our baby.”
Facebook was full of messages of support for the family.
Faye Denise Hutchinson wrote: “Keep strong little man and keep fighting. The whole of Hartlepool are right behind you, praying and urging you on to keep fighting.”
A spokeswoman for the North East Ambulance Service said: “We were called at 5.41pm to an address in the Hartlepool Marina area.
“We sent a rapid response car and a double-crewed ambulance, and requested that the air ambulance attend.
“The air ambulance was not needed, and the casualty was transported to the James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough.”
The restaurant was closed after the incident, and is closed until further notice.
A spokesperson for Pizza Hut said: “We can confirm that there was a very serious incident involving a child at our Hartlepool Hut.
“Our thoughts and concern are with the child and his family at this very difficult time.”