EVERY parent wants to make sure that their little one’s birthday is their best day of the year. But at Dexter Kidd’s fourth birthday party his mum and dad, Katie and Jonny, and brother Joey realised that something was not right. The youngster for Altrincham was not himself ­— he looked pale and did not want to open any of his presents.

After a visit to the doctors and an overnight stay in Wythenshawe Hospital, Dexter was admitted to Ward 84 at Manchester Children’s Hospital where his parents were given some heartbreaking news.

Mr Kidd said: “We got taken into a room and Dexter was only four so he didn’t really understand.

“The doctor said “Your son’s got Leukaemia.” In that one moment in time you find yourself waiting to find out if your child is going to live or die.”

Dexter was diagnosed with diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, and aggressive type of cancer which attacks white blood cells, in 2015.

He then underwent three years of treatment, and received three units of life saving platelets ­— only available thanks to the generosity of donors.

Mr Kidd said: “When Dexter was diagnosed, I didn’t know what platelets were.

“I remember the first unit of platelets Dexter received – he began to perk up and had more energy. Platelets were integral to Dexter’s treatment and ultimately have saved his life.”

Platelets are tiny cells found in blood which help it to clot and prevent bleeding. They are used to treat patients with many types of cancer and blood disorders and are collected in a similar way to blood donation.

Finally, in December last year, Dexter came to the end of his treatment and is back to being a happy and healthy little boy.

To mark his recovery, his family held a “Dexter’s Ball” to fundraise for the Bloodwise, Joshua Tree and Milly’s Smiles charities.

His family are also backing an NHS campaign to encourage more people to donate platelets and save lives.

Mr Kidd, who has since donated platelets twice, said: “I think that everyone who donates platelets are wonderful and would like to thank them for their time and effort to donate. We feel very, very lucky to be in this privileged position where Dexter is alive and well.

“Seeing the pain Dexter and other cancer sufferers go through, my two hours giving platelets were nothing in comparison and a great way of giving something back.”

To sign up to donate platelets call 0300 123 23 23, use the NHSGiveBlood app, or visit www.platelets.blood.co.uk.