Baby Shane, whose parents carried out a bucket list on his behalf after a fatal fetal diagnosis, passed away soon after his birth today.
Philadelphia natives Jenna and Dan Haley, who organized a heartbreaking bucket list for their terminally ill unborn baby Shane, announced the baby’s birth and death today. Shane was born with a rare brain defect known as anencephaly, in which the baby is born with parts of the brain and skull missing. Knowing the baby’s condition, the parents set up a Facebook page, “Prayers for Shane” to record their bucket list adventures with their unborn baby.
These adventures included visiting a pumpkin patch, the Statue of Liberty, the 9/11 memorial in New York City, attending a Phillies game, museum visits, and outings at beaches and zoos. The event chronicles always included smiling pictures of the Haley family, whose optimism and strength shined through in the face of impending grief (even up until their baby’s death). Descriptions of the events and places visited frequently started with “Today we took Shane to…,” reminding supporters that Shane, although only a fetus, was still the focal point of these experiences. Some of the posts also phrase the events as if Shane actively participated, such as when the Haley family detailed how “Dad got Shane and mom tickets to see ZBB this summer,” and “Mom and Shane got to meet the Phillies with Aunt Kara thanks to MJ Travel.” The Haley family really demonstrated that every moment in life, even for a baby not yet born, can be a fulfilling experience.
Baby Shane greeted his loving parents at 2:25 am today after arriving a few days early, and died shortly afterwards at 6:15 am. The couple announced the baby’s passing on Facebook: “Today at 6:15 a.m., after meeting his entire family and being baptized into the Catholic faith, baby Shane died peacefully in his Mother’s arms. We are so grateful for the time that we were blessed to hold and hug our son.”
Our hearts go out to Jenna and Dan Haley. Their story is an inspiring one and we wish them much peace and consolation during this difficult time.