'Bucket list baby' inspires thousands. Here’s what his parents did
Doctors said Shane Michael Haley, who was born Thursday, did not have long to live. But the lengths his parents went to inspired thousands.
When Jenna and Don Haley were told their baby boy would likely only live hours or days after birth, they decided to give him as many life adventures as possible. But while completing a nine-month bucket list while growing inside his mom, Shane Michael Haley accomplished much more.
Shane was diagnosed with a disorder that kills most infants hours or days after birth. His parents decided to put together a bucket list, taking Shane on various adventures to their favorite places. They posted updates and photos to a Facebook page, Prayers for Shane, which has more than 700,000 followers.
“We are asking for your prayers and support and that God grants us as much time as possible with our beautiful son,” the Philadelphia couple wrote on the page. “Shane has already proven to us that each day must be lived to the fullest and that is exactly what our little family is doing.”
Meticulous scrapbook entries document days with their unborn, spent at Strasburg Railroad, a Zac Brown Band concert, a boardwalk, numerous sporting events, and in true Philly fashion – cheesesteaks. There is also a collage of photos from a “shower of love.” On Mother’s Day, Jenna wrote in the book: “This was the best day ever. Thanks to Shane I am the luckiest mommy in the whole wide world.”
Each photo they posted – at the pumpkin patch, an aquarium, meeting Phillies players, at landmarks in New York City – received thousands of Likes and hundreds of comments of encouragement and hope.
“Bless you guys you are both so brave!!” wrote one commenter. “No matter what happens he knows he is Soooo loved in these Lil 9 months that he has already spent with you guys.”
Messages of admiration and hope abounded.
“You two are the strongest, most brave couple I've ever had the honor to ‘know.’ Not many people would have your strength,” another commenter wrote. “I pray for you and your baby boy, and I am truly hoping for a miracle. God bless.”
Shane was born Thursday morning, three days before his due date. On Oct. 1 the parents announced Jenna would be induced early per doctor recommendation. “We are so grateful for the many amazing messages, personal stories and posts we receive daily and we really appreciate all of your support!” they wrote. “We are relaxing and taking the time to read him his books, talk to him, and celebrate every little moment we can.”
“Happy Birthday Shane!!!” someone posted Thursday morning. “You have accomplished more already in your life than most people do in 50. You have brought thousands together in love and peace.”
Later Thursday morning, his parents posted this on their Facebook page: "Today at 6:15AM, 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 .. the support and prayers we have received from all of you have been amazing and we want to thank each of you with all our hearts .. 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 ..."