prayers for shane facebook page Jenna Gassew and Dan Haley were both raised Catholic and don’t believe that abortion is an option for them. prayers for shane facebook page ‘We’re his parents and we’re going to take care of him as long as we can,’ Jenna Gassew said about her unborn son, Shane.
A Pennsylvania couple is making the most out of the few precious months they have with their unborn baby boy.
Jenna Gassew and Dan Haley are expecting their first child on October 12, but doctors don’t think little Shane will survive for long after his birth—the child was diagnosed anencephaly.
The rare and serious birth defect causes babies to be born without the front parts of their brain. The remaining parts of the brain may not be covered with bone or skin, according to the CDC.
Despite the bleak diagnosis, the devout Catholic couple decided that getting an abortion wasn’t an option for them. Instead, the parents have tried their best to turn Shane’s devastating condition into an opportunity to celebrate his short life, embarking on a bucket list of adventures for the unborn child.
“We know we have this time with him and that’s awesome,” Gassew told NBC Philadelphia.
The parents have taken Shane on trips to parks, concerts, and Phillies games. He was named No. 1 fan at his dad’s baseball games for the Delco League. They’ve taken a stroll down Wildwood’s boardwalk and visited an animal zoo.
Gassew’s grandmother has made a special onesie that will fit over the child’s head. The couple has even purchased a crib set, car seat, and stroller for their little guy.
Every night before going to sleep, the hopeful mom and dad say an “Angel of God” prayer. They recite the rosary at their local church every Monday night. During those times of spiritual connection, they say Shane is especially active.
“With prayers and through the grace of God all things are possible!” the couple told friends and family on their “Prayers for Shane” Facebook page.
The couple found out about Shane’s condition two months into the pregnancy. In April, Gassew and Haley got in a car accident after slipping on a patch of black ice.
“We were both fine. I wasn’t showing yet though and I wanted to make sure the baby was okay,” Gassew said.
An emergency room doctor warned them that there seemed to be internal bleeding and advised them to see a specialist. Only 1 in every 4,859 babies is born in America with anencephaly. Shane turned out to be part of that small number.
The couple received the bleak diagnosis two days before their fourth anniversary.
Gassew was advised not to search online for pictures of babies with anencephaly, since the photos could be gruesome.
Instead, the couple has been receiving an overwhelming amount of support on social media. Their page on Facebook has more than 60,000 likes.
“God does not make mistakes,” said one fan online. “In time, you will see why God gifted you with this precious baby boy.”
Earlier this month, the couple announced that Shane had the hiccups, which suggests that he has the ability to swallow.
“His little milestone is big news,” the parents wrote. “He is one strong boy.”
Before his due date, they hope to take Shane to Ocean City, Maryland, and Lancaster.
“It’s the hardest thing in the world but you can make it through. We’re his parents and we’re going to take care of him as long as we can,” Gassew said.