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Catholic Couple Brings Baby with Terminal Illness to Term, Documents Child's "Bucket List" before Birth

  • Carrie Dedrick
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2014 Oct 10
  • Comments

A Catholic couple in Pennsylvania recently made headlines for their decision to go through with their pregnancy after learning their son had a terminal birth defect. 


Jenna Gassew and Dan Haley knew that their son Shane would not likely survive the neural tube defect that left him without part of the brain and skull; still the parents decided to bring the pregnancy to term and document Shane’s life with a “bucket list.” 


During the pregnancy Gassew and Haley took their son to baseball games, to the zoo and toured New York city. They documented their experiences on a Facebook page called “Prayers for Shane” which garnered over 878,000 likes. 


“Most families wait until their baby is born to start making memories and traveling to places with them,” Haley said. “We understood what it was and knew that our time with our son could be very limited, so we wanted to make the most of the time that we had with him.”


Shane was born on Thursday, Oct. 10 at 2:25 a.m. He died about four hours later at 6:15 a.m. while his mother held him. 


Gassew and Haley posted on Facebook, “Shane spent his entire life in the arms of people that loved him unconditionally and I don't think you could ask for a more beautiful life then that... he is home now with the Lord and will forever be our little miracle!”



Publication date: October 10, 2014