The Charlie & Carter Foundation

Charlie's Story

Charlie had to endure regular hospital treatment for muscle and bone problems. Furthermore, he suffered from a blood disorder, which weakened his immune system.

During Christmas 2011, he caught respiratory syncytial virus, which turned septic. He was admitted into intensive care, but he pulled through. In early 2012, Charlie was admitted to hospital a further four times due to breathing difficulties, high blood pressure and infection. An EEG scan showed that Charlie also had epilepsy.

By November 2012, Charlie’s seizures were increasing. He endured a brain biopsy, lumber puncture and skin biopsy, all of which failed to find a diagnosis. Charlie then suffered a collapsed lung meaning he would now require oxygen 24/7.

Charlie Cookson
Charlie Cookson

In April 2013, Charlie was given the South Tyneside Child of Courage Award and appeared to be stabilising. However, in July 2013, Charlie caught a c-diff infection of the gut and was once again seriously ill. Charlie got home in September 2013, but only for a short time. He was soon admitted into hospital again due to his seizures, which didn’t stop even when he was sleeping.

As his family worried and continued to do everything they could to help him, Charlie continued to struggle. His eyes looked so tired, and this mystery progressive disease finally took its hold of this courageous little boy. Sarah and Christopher Cookson’s beloved Charlie passed away at 8.15pm on 29th October 2013.

Carter's Story

Carter Cookson

After 5 years, Charlie’s parents decided to face their fears and try again to have a family. When finding out that they were expecting another baby boy, they were full of emotions. They were overjoyed, scared, and nervous, but they did their very best to stay positive and pray for a healthy baby boy.

After a healthy pregnancy, Sarah’s last scan showed that their baby boy was transverse and had not grew since the last scan. The doctor’s decided to deliver their baby early by emergency C Section due to his position and lack of growth.

Carter Cookson was born on boxing day 2018. He was beautiful - the double of his big brother. But, to their absolute devastation, he became seriously ill only 10 hours after birth.

It became clear that Carter had a problem with his heart. He was transferred to the Freeman Hospital and admitted to the Children’s Pediatric Heart Unit. After many investigations, these heartbroken parents were told that the only way Carter would survive was with a heart transplant.

Sarah and Christopher did all they could. Their plea for a heart went viral and the support for their son from all over the world was incredible.

For 25 days Sarah & Christopher Cookson found themselves in that position again. They were caring for their sick child who was suffering a life limiting condition. Their hearts will never recover, but what is left of their broken hearts they put into driving the foundation forward. They continue to strive to support families who are facing the daily fears that they did, not once but twice.

Carter Cookson

Mission Statement

The Charlie & Carter Foundation provides financial support to the parents of seriously ill children with life limiting conditions which require 24 hour nursing care or specialist nursing facilities.
The Foundation also raises awareness of the difficulties faced by parents and carers who care for seriously ill children. It also strives to improve the quality of life of sick and seriously ill children by providing information, advice and support.
They have established strong working relationships with professionals working in local hospitals. This is to ensure that the needs and wishes of parents, carers and children are heard and considered.

Objectives of the Foundation

Providing financial support to families with a child with a life-limiting condition which requires 24 hour nursing care or specialist facilities so that the parents or carers may help care for the child
Giving support, information, guidance and advice to these families
Working with professionals in local hospitals to help establish and meet the needs of these families
Raising public awareness of the difficulties faced by parents and carers in these families
Providing a further financial grant to the parents previously supported upon bereavement of their sick child, addressing their financial burdens at this time

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