Little Ethan Davies is on home dialysis for 11-and-a-half hours every day after being born prematurely in March 2016 and suffering a string of serious health problems.
The tot spent most of his first year of his life in hospital but is finally strong enough to accept a kidney transplant.
His dad James, 43, and mum Nicola, 36, who both work for Thames Valley Police, have launched an online search to find a matching donor.
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Ethan’s overnight home dialysis puts him at risk of a life threatening infection, so it is a race against time to find him a new kidney.
James, an inspector from Bicester, Oxon, said: “Offering to donate a kidney to a stranger is an amazing thing to do - we know that.
“Even in this situation you think ‘would I do that for a stranger’ but even in a short time we have been inundated with support.”
Mum Nicola, a detective sergeant added: “It is completely against my nature to ask for help but I’m sure you understand it is what I have to do for my baby boy.
“This is a massive step but Ethan’s survival long term depends on getting this right - dialysis is not a lifetime solution for him.”
A pre-natal scan revealed there was a “blockage” in Ethan’s bowel which enlarged his bladder and damaged his kidneys.
A second operation to relieve the trapped urine caused an infection which made Nicola go into premature labour at 23 weeks in March 2016.
He had underdeveloped lungs and was transferred to Great Ormond Street for seven months.
“It was a nightmare time for us all,” said James, who has daughters Georgia, eight and Chloe, four, with Nicola, and sons Tom, 18, and Ben, 14, from a previous relationship.
He has been on dialysis since July 2016, but an infection saw him put into an induced coma and suffer a heart attack in December 2016.
He is now strong enough to accept a transplant, and his family and friends have launched a search for a match.
The best match would be a female donor - offering a smaller kidney - of O-type blood, who is under 60 - but male donors of other types could also match.
In the past few days 30 people have been in touch asking to be tested.
His dad and another family member have been approved as potential donors, but are not good matches - increasing the chance of rejection by Ethan’s body.
If a match is not found before April, dad James will entire a scheme to potentially give his kidney to a patient whose family could offer one in return that matches Ethan.
James added: “Dialysis is not a long term solution.
“It’s not easy. There is a chance of him picking up a really serious life threatening infection just from a simple thing like us not washing our hands for long enough when preparing the dialysis.
“That could destroy his ability to have dialysis.”
To offer to help, visit the ‘Ethan’s Journey (to a kidney transplant)’ page on Facebook.