Jack Brotton had been in hospital for six months, waiting for a life-saving transplant.
The 12-year-old was beginning to feel like the chance of a normal life was slipping away, when he was told a heart had been found.
“When we got the call, I was terrified ,” his mum Sarah Robson says.
“If it didn’t work I was going home without my child. I knew someone had passed somewhere to save Jack’s life, it was a mixture of emotions.
"I was grieving for a family I didn’t know and I was totally panicking inside and feeling really anxious about what was ahead for my own child.”
The Mirror highlighted Jack’s plea for survival last year as he waited for a new heart.
Just four days after the appeal, brave Jack, now 13, got the heart he had been waiting for.
His journey was documented on CBBC this week, showing the importance of the Mirror’s Change the Law for Life campaign to bring in Max and Keira’s Law.
The law will mean deceased patients are presumed to have given consent for their organs to be used unless they have registered to opt out.
It is due to come into force this spring and experts believe the law will save hundreds of lives each year.
Around three people die each day in the UK waiting for an organ.
“We can’t thank the Mirror and the donor family enough,” says Sarah, 37.
Jack says: “I’ve been given a second chance at life. Now I have my new heart I can do things I never thought I’d be able to.
“I was prepared to give up. But I finally feel like a normal kid.
“I can’t remember the last time I laughed so much. Life is starting to look good again, I feel a lot fitter.
“I’d like to thank my donor’s family for doing this, thank you for the gift.”
Jack’s heart problems were diagnosed during Sarah’s routine 20-week pregnancy scan.
He had a single heart ventricle, ie only one pumping chamber instead of the usual two, and he had six cardiac arrests in the first few months of his life.
Jack, from Darlington, Co Durham, also had transposition of the great arteries, which means his heart’s valves were connected wrongly.
He then developed a secondary lung condition called plastic bronchitis, a rare and potentially fatal complication after heart surgery.
Sarah, who has been supported by charity Little Hearts Matter, says: “He had to have five major surgeries to try and mend some of the problems when he was just four days old.
“When he had one of the heart attacks, he flatlined in the operating theatre, which was really scary. I thought I was going to lose him.”
When he became seriously ill, Jack had to move into Newcastle Freeman Hospital for six months and his sister Eva, six, moved schools so the family could always be close.
After two false alarms with unsuitable hearts, it was third time lucky for the Liverpool fan. “My son was like a new child,” Sarah says. “He didn’t have the condition any more because of the heart transplant. I was coming home to the start of a new life with Jack.
“It used to take him ages to even get up in the mornings.
“Now he wakes up and jumps out of bed, he’s out the door and on his bike to school.”
Sarah adds: “Nobody ever wants to be in a position in life to ever think that they might be asked to donate their children’s, mother’s father’s, their partner’s organs.
“But if we talk about it while we’re living, in the now, at least we get to know each other’s wishes if that tragedy should ever come.”