Surrounded by tubes in his hospital bed, little Reuben Humphreys struggles for breath, after being struck down by a severe case of croup.
Just 24 hours before these pictures were taken, the lively three-year-old was enjoying a holiday with his family in the Lake District.
But he is today still under sedation at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle after what at first appeared to be a cough deteriorated rapidly into dangerous breathing difficulties.
Medics told Reuben’s terrified parents, Owen Humphreys and Stephanie Koch that he was suffering from a severe case of croup, a childhood condition that affects the windpipe, airways and lungs.
And today Owen, from Whitley Bay, is urging other parents to get clued-up on croup and to follow their instincts if they think their child has the symptoms.
Speaking from his son’s bedside, the 44-year-old said: “Within 24 hours he went from a happy little boy running around on holiday to being in intensive care….