This incredibly moving photograph shows a tearful dad meeting his son for the first time after donating part of his liver to him in a ten-hour, life-saving op.
Matt Price, 39, wept tears of joy as he was reunited with son Callan, now 17 months, on a hospital ward after they had both undergone surgery.
Matt is seen tenderly reaching out to touch his little son, who was still drowsy as he recovered from the surgery which would save his life.
The dad donated part of his own liver after Callan was diagnosed with a rare genetic condition which meant that his body was slowly poisoning itself.
The youngster had been rushed away by doctors when he was first born and fell into a coma when he was four-days-old.
His distraught parents Matt Price, 39 and his wife Jen Price, 36, were told the devastating news that their baby boy may not make it through the night.
Matt, a project director at an events company from Norfolk, said: “We went into the hospital thinking we were going to come home with a new-born baby but he was in a coma four days later.”
When Callan was first born, hospital staff noticed the little baby had breathing difficulties and was “grunting.”
Doctors initially thought Callan had fluid on his lungs but they soon discovered that there was a much more serious underlying condition.
Matt explained: “He was just making a grunting noise whenever he breathed.
“We thought there was nothing to worry about, the hospital actually took him off us when he was 40 minutes old but they brought him back to us and said he was fine.
“They said his breathing difficulties would calm down in a few hours but it didn’t and he kept deteriorating.
“Then when he was four days old he was in a coma.
“We were told he probably wouldn’t make it through the night, we were told to expect the worse and hope for the best.”
Callan was immediately transferred to a specialist unit in St Thomas Hospital, London.
Doctors soon discovered Callan was born with a rare genetic disorder known as Ornithine transcarbamylase (OTC).
The potentially fatal condition means his body is not producing an enzyme to control cannot control levels of ammonia in his blood.
The tiny baby was hooked up to a blood dialysis machine to try and clear the worrying levels of ammonia out of his system and he was in a coma for five days.
Matt said; “We had to try and get our heads around everything while Callan was in a coma at four days old.
“Callan was poisoning his own brain- his brain was closing down as his ammonia level was so high.
“He was struggling to manage his protein intake, he was breaking his own body down.”
At five months old, Callan’s parents were told he would need a new liver and was placed on the organ transplant waiting list.
Matt wanted to donate part of his liver rather than wait for one to become available, however, he was told he had to lose weight and cut down his cholesterol.
By November he had lost almost two stone and had completely cut out alcohol from his lifestyle but Callan was still too small to undergo the operation.
The family were initially given a date for the operation the following year but was brought forward to February 1 because Callan was still deteriorating.
Matt and Callan went under a double operation at King’s College Hospital, London, on February 1 to put 20 per cent of Matt’s into baby Callan.
“It was just unbelievable how they could put part of my liver into a little baby.
“When I came out, I was just so happy to see him again. It had been such a stressful time but just seeing his face made everything better.”
There is a chance that Callan could reject the organ and may have to get a new liver in the future.
Matt added: “He’s exactly like any other young boy. He plays with his big brothers Ronnie, 5, and Tom, 2, and is so funny in himself. You wouldn’t be able to tell that there is anything wrong with him except for a big scar on his stomach.”
Callan will need to take medication for the rest of his life and regularly goes to hospital for check ups.
“We wanted Callan to have a quality of life so when we were having the discussion about whether or not we should turn off his machine, we wanted to make sure that he would have a quality of life.
“The future is quite bright, we have a normal as possible life. He’s expected to grow into a fully-grown adult.
“He’s been so brave and I’m so proud of him.
“We wanted to tell our story to raise awareness about how important organ donation is.”