Dominic Brunt agreed to be an organ donor when his son nearly died.
The "Emmerdale" star and his wife Joanne feared the worst when their boy Danny was diagnosed with a heart condition aged just eight months and had to undergo bypass surgery, and their family were prepared to donate because there was a mortality rate with the youngster's complex op.
He said: "We discussed organ donation. It was brought up by a nurse because there was a mortality rate with the operation.
"We had to discuss it, but even before that we'd all agreed to be donors in the family - my sisters are nurses so it was how we were brought up."
Dominic - whose "Emmerdale" character Paddy Kirk and Chas Dingle (Lucy Pargeter) will lose their baby daughter Grace just 20 minutes after her birth in upcoming scenes - admitted it was "horrific" seeing Danny being wheeled off to theatre, because he thought he had seen his son for the last time.
He said: "At the time it was horrific. You're in the eye of the storm, it was horrible. You think you are going to lose your son.
"We had only just got to know him - he was eight months old, and we thought that was it.
"That was the worst bit - when they gave him the pre-meds and the gas and air and they took him out of the room and you just thought that was goodbye."
Danny has now recovered and is nine years old, but his parents had to tell him he went under the knife for a heart op after initially joking he had a brawl with a shark.
Dominic added to the Daily Mirror newspaper: "He has got a massive scar - we used to tell him he had a fight with a shark so he got a shock when we told him he'd had a heart operation."
The 48-year-old actor recently admitted it was "quite strange" when his character had to speak to consultants for his latest "Emmerdale" scenes because it brought back memories of Danny's op.
He said: "There have been some scenes with the consultants and you go, "Oh I remember that," because at the time it's all just a blur. It's been quite strange."