A HEARTBROKEN mum and dad are keeping vigil at the hospital bedside where their 10-week-old baby is fighting for his life in a coma.
Hartlepool mum Kelly Winter and Richard Donovan also have the double blow that they will not be able to spend Christmas day with their four-year-old and 12-year-old children while their baby battles in intensive care.
Kelly, 29, gave birth to her beautiful baby son Jack Donovan at the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, nine weeks ago on October 12.
After a normal pregnancy and natural birth, 5lb 15oz Jack, completed Kelly’s little family, which includes her partner of four years Richard, 24, and children four-year-old Lewis Lawson, and 12-year-old Chloe Boyd.
They were all looking forward to spending Christmas together with their gorgeous new addition but unbeknown to them, tiny Jack was battling with a heart condition.
It was picked up after he developed a cough at six-weeks-old and Kelly took him to their GP, who became concerned about his fast breathing.
The doctor sent him to the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, and he was then transferred by ambulance to the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle where scans showed the devastating news that he had two holes in his little heart.
Brave Jack went downhill and began suffering with brochilitis, a bacterial infection, and fluid on his lungs, and he is now in intensive care at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, in Newcastle, on a life support machine in an induced coma.
He is being given antibiotics to fight the bugs in the hope that he will become strong enough to have open heart surgery.
Kelly and bricklayer Richard, of Irvine Road, Hartlepool, are now facing the toughest Christmas of their lives as they stay at a hospital complex in Newcastle to be at baby Jack’s bedside as much as possible.
But it means they will miss Christmas Day with Lewis, who is with his nana and grandad, Paula and Barry Lawson, and Chloe, who is staying with her dad.
Today, Kelly, who has health problems of her own and suffers with Chron’s disease and ulcerated colitis, told the Mail: “Chloe understands a bit more because she’s older, but Lewis is only four and we can’t believe that we’re not going to be with him on Christmas Day.
“Lewis knows there’s something wrong because he’s been saying ‘my baby Jack is poorly isn’t he’, and he’s cried but he’s doing really well.
“It’s absolutely heartbreaking being apart from him, and Chloe, but I need to be here for my baby. I feel like I’m being torn in two.
“I’ve got to be strong though, for the kids.
“It’s my worst nightmare, I’ve never been through anything like this in my life. You have to cope and get on with it.”
She added: “Me and Richard just want to tell the kids that we love them and we’re always thinking about them, and just give a little message to Lewis.
“Mammy and Daddy love you son and we hope you have a really good Christmas at nana’s.”
Baby Jack was put into the induced coma on Sunday, December 14, when he was transferred to the RVI by doctors at the University Hospital of North Tees.
Doctors are hopeful that Jack can pull through and have the life-saving surgery at the Freeman hospital where the heart problems were detected.