A seriously ill 10-year-old is facing up to the fact the next time the phone rings it could lead to him having a new lease of life or it could bring about the end.

William Milne was given a bowel transplant six years ago as the one he was born with failed to absorb any nutrition or fluids.

This was a success and he was living life to the full until around Christmas time when his body began rejecting the transplant.

His options were to keep on going as he is, on a nutrient drip for 20 hours a day, and eventually his body would completely reject the organ, or to have a re-transplant operation.

After consulting with specialists in the USA, his medical team at a hospital in Birmingham are planning to replace not only his bowel but also his liver.

They are doing this as it should help decrease the possibility of his body rejecting the new bowel.

But, this operation is one nobody in the United Kingdom has ever survived.

And so his family, from Addiscombe, know that when they get the call to say a suitable donor has been found, the operation might not be a success.

His mother Sarah said: “You’re waiting for the phone to ring but at the same time you do not know what it will bring.

“It could bring new life and new possibilities but at the same time it could bring the end.

“When I had to tell William it was very upsetting and I felt I had taken his safety away as a child.

“But we both know and we are supporting each other and everyone knows what we are up against.

“It’s very frightening.

“We have made the decision and there is no point in thinking ‘Is it the right thing?’ “We have to believe it is going to work and he is going to be the first person to survive the re-transplant.

“The nurse said some day someone will survive and it is important not just for him but also for the programme of re-transplants in the United Kingdom.

“Because he is being brave enough to go through it then other children will be able to go through it.”

The Chipstead Valley Primary School pupil has a charity called William’s Wishes to help children who spend a lot of time in hospital.

And every November since he had his first bowel operation he has lit a candle to remember his donor, a young girl who died in a road traffic accident.

His mother added: “We are grateful for every day William's first donor gave him and that she will always be with him and part of his life.

“The next donor will make it possible for his life to continue but only because she gave him that first gift of life six years ago.”

William has a charity to help other children who have spent a lot of their lives in hospital. Go to williamswishes.com to find out more.

And his mother runs a blog about the journey they have waiting for a transplant and to commemorate the three people who dies every day in the UK while waiting on the transplant list. Go to threeadaywaiting.blogspot.co.uk to read it.