Skip to comments.Baby Without a Brain : A Miracle Story
Posted on 12/19/2009 6:03:24 AM PST by NYer
Pueblo, Colorado - Nicholas Coke, a baby boy from Pueblo is a living miracle. He was born with no brain. He can’t see, hear, crawl or suck, but still managed to make a history. This week he has completed his one year’s tough fight for survival.
The disease Nicholas was born with is called Anencephaly. It’s a genetic disorder in which a person has no brain, just a brain stem. Anencephaly is a defect in the closure of the neural tube during development in the womb. The neural tube is a narrow channel that folds and closes between the third and fourth weeks of pregnancy, forming the brain and the spinal cord. In rare cases, one end of the neural tube does not close. This results in the absence of a major part of the brain, skull, and scalp.
Anencephaly occurs in about 1 out of 10,000 births, although the exact number is not known because many of these pregnancies result in a miscarriage, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
The cause of anencephaly is unknown, although the mother’s diet, including an insufficient intake of folic acid, may play a role. Most scientists, however, believe many other factors are also involved.
Nicholas, the miracle child has survived without doctors, or tubes. Her mother Sheena told that he even showed sign of emotion. It was his first smile that brings solace to her poor mother.
They are celebrating every moment as they didn’t know when that fateful moment would come and they had to witness their child breathing his last breath.
We wish Nicholas a Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas. May God bless him.
No brain means no personality. Does that mean no soul?
When he grows up he can be president just like Obama.
If he has no brain what is controlling his autonomic functions?
If this child is truly anencephalic (and I do not know if that is actually the case here), he will not now, or ever, feel anything or have any emotions. A "smile," if it in fact occurred, means nothing. He will never think a single thought.
While I oppose late term abortions, anencephaly is one case where exceptions should be made.
The brain stem controls breathing and heart beat. He has a brain stem but not the other parts.
***No brain means no personality. Does that mean no soul?***
My mother is at the other end of the spectrum with Alzhemier’s.
She is approaching being “alive” like this baby.
Because she is no longer recognisable as my mother, I too sometimes find myself wondering if she is no longer “there”.
I believe God puts very needy young and old with us for a reason. He judges US, (not them) by the way we treat them. God will bless this selfless mother. When the time comes, she will live in eternity with her son, who she will see healthy and grateful.
As someone asked above, is there a soul when there is no brain/mind/thought process?
Interesting comparison. I see your point. I’ll have to ponder that thought, though I know that makes no difference to God.
Why get an abortion? In the cold practical sense, the child's going to die anyway, so the woman's heart has to be broken (if she didn't want the baby, she'd have aborted it already). Why take the chance that God will consider it murder, or that she'll come to believe that herself? I don't have a problem letting nature take its course.
It's fine. She is not in pain, and comfortable.
I am loathe to think had this happened about 5 years from now, with the national takeover of healthcare.
Some might see her as a useless eater - but she is someone special to me.
Since we don’t know the answer but the Lord does, I guess the best course would be to treat him like any other baby with intrinsic dignity and worth. And pray for him and his family.
Your right. I'm still pondering this article and child. The questions it raises are more than my tired old mind can answer. The whole thing makes me sad for everyone involved.
Folks can presume that these children have no feelings, aren't "people", or have no soul.
He only lived for 6 months, but he did respond. When the nurses came near him, his heart rate accelerated. When Mom or Grandma came near him, his heart rate normalized and his limbs relaxed. He anticipated the pain of the tests to come; anticipation denotes awareness.
He most definitely had feelings, and when you held him, you could sense the little soul inside of him. He would turn towards you, grab for your shirt or finger, and snuggle in when you kissed him. Imprisoned in a body that would not sustain him, but he was definitely there.
Before he was born, I would have agreed with some other posters that children like this are just vegetables. I saw the absolute best in my sister-in-law during that time, the strength of her love, and my nephew's daily battle to LIVE. It changed my heart completely, and I am now firmly pro-life.
All good points, and I would have no problem with "letting nature take it's course," either. But I would not impose that course on another, who may decide otherwise -- in this particular circumstance.
***Some might see her as a useless eater - but she is someone special to me.***
My mother has her own money for now. It is hers and we are spending it on her, letting her have the very best at the end of her life.
I fear for the elderly under Obamacare. Congress says no “death panels”. But the reality is, the $$$ will be so low that no facility will accept them, and families can’t physically care for them. The system will force them to be put down like animals.
As fragile humans, we can never know for sure.
My grandfather was in the final stages of a series of mini-strokes that were killing him. He was a proud, strong WWII veteran who was ending his life the one way he didn’t want to — mostly catatonic in a nursing home. He spent his days slumped over in a chair, unable to communicate, watch TV, etc.
The one thing he’d always loved were vanilla shakes. His body was shutting down so I brought him one, knowing he could still use a straw. He was about halfway through when, eyes still closed, he called me by name and said “I don’t want to live like this.”
I knew He was there at that moment. The great I AM gave me the words, “I know, Grandpa, but there’s something left that God wants you to do for him.”
The pain of that moment still haunts me, but I’m glad I was there. And those words were given to me.
Apparently they can't figure out the kid's gender either.
My condolences to you and your family.
I also wish Nicholas a Happy Birthday and a Merry Christmas.
What about the parents? I'll bet they wouldn't give back one second of time spent with their child.
This child is as precious to Jesus as any other.
Abort in a case like this? You are starting to draw a line that others may draw in a different place and it might be your child then.
Look at little Trig Palin. Over 90% of prediagnosed Down Syndrome babies are aborted. Does Trig look happy? Is his life worth living? Does he bring happiness to his family?
We MUST stop playing God. NO CHILD SHOULD BE ABORTED.
The photo shows a child with microencephaly, that is, minimal brain structures. A child with anencephaly would have not cranial capacity and very doubtful survival. Without large sections of the brain, functionality, emotionality and thought is reduced to almost nothing. Smiling is a reflexive response in this case. Love life, and God bless the mother who will care for this unfortunate child.
This is one of my favorite quotes:
“You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.” C.S. Lewis
I know someone who has a severely brain damaged child. I've seen that the boy will respond to physical discomfort, but I haven't seen anything which indicates an emotion. His mother is sure he has them.
God bless them all. The children wouldn't survive without absolute devotion to their care. I don't know how the parents do it.
What a witness to the awesome power of God.
I've known folks with no personality, but I do believe they still have souls. ;o)
What a wonderful way to put that! I agree completely!
In cases where someone has major brain damage, sometimes other parts make up for the difference. The brain stem is controlling his life functions, so it does make you wonder if some of the other functions we think he may not have may be compensated with the areas he does have? How much is wired into genetics (functional compensation rules?) to redirect functions?
(I don’t know, just wondering).
I’m at a complete loss to understand how someone can even survive without a brain.
I’ll just attribute this to a miracle and leave it at that.
May God bless this little child.
I like that quote!
Nicholas has a brain STEM, which apparently is allowing him to breathe, and his heart to function.
I thought those functions were controlled by the brain, not the stem.
Like I said, I’m at a loss to understand these things.
The brain stem is a pretty complex piece of machinery, it contains the midbrain, medulla oblongata, and the pons and is responsible for a lot of these basic functions. The medulla, for example, controls respiration and heart rate. The pons controls things like facial expressions, digestion. Interestingly enough, the midbrain controls awareness. The child may be able to not only survive but have basic environmental awareness. What will be lacking unless there is a compensation that takes place, will be memory and processing, sight, hearing, etc. In other words, he will have very basic survival functions.
I’m sorry. I love life, I hate abortion, but letting this child live is simply wrong. The child is, and will forever be, a vegetable. No hope for it, unless somehow brain transplants become common place. Flame me if you want, but my heart goes out to this child who can NEVER have a decent life, or even any life as we know it.
LOL! Good one.
Brain is the computer...It is hardware.
Soul doesn’t reside in the brain, it is merely the means of expression.
This child is very precious to God, if not to humans.
This child allows others to act out compassion, nurturing and love.
What ever you do the the least of these, you do to me.
This little blind, deaf baby is Christ.
This child is the “least of them” that Jesus spoke of.
What ever you do to them, you do to me.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
This child would not have survived if his mother didn’t intensely love him.
He requires intense attention without the rewards back to a parent of the coo’s, the grins , the laughter , the milestones that most parents mark.
He is a great gift to his mother. Yes, he will no doubt break her heart but everyone you love will break it at some point.
Are you supposed to love less because you will be hurt at some point. ?
I think God very much knew what he was doing in selecting this Mother for this child.
Good question. I was wondering the same thing. If some compensation might be occurring.
An example in my own family. My grandmother was paralyzed on one side from a stroke. About 8 years later, she started to be able to move her toes on that side, and then her foot and leg. Her fingers also. She regained some feeling on the paralyzed side.
Given enough time, her body compensated and made new connections.
I’m glad you got ‘er figured out.
Doesn’t matter how, it just matters that he has survived for this long, and he’s able to be loved, unconditionally, by his parents. They’ll be sad when he dies, but they’ll know that they did everything they possibly could for him. And who knows, maybe he DOES know what they’re doing, but just doesn’t have the ability to express that.
In rare cases that can be misdiagnosed as well.
I read of an account where a baby was diagnosed with this condition and it turned out to be the force of the fluid on the brain that flattened the brain enough to make it not detectable in an x-ray.
Since the baby had some function, a shunt was installed and the parents had to make sure that the fluid was draining almost continually, with only the hope of saving his life, but not of much more. As the pressure was relieved, the baby improved dramatically and started showing signs of normal development.
When the mother went back to see one of the doctors who had not followed the case after the birth, about a year later, the baby was in his stroller, popped his bottle out of his mouth and said a cheery *Hi!* to the doctor. They about had to pick him up off the floor.
In this case, I can’t help but wonder how the child survived. If the baby didn’t even have a sucking reflex, how did the baby manage to eat?
Personality and soul are different things as far as I can tell.
There’s no way that we’re ever going to be in the position of determining that so it’s better to err on the side of caution and presume that there is.
Let God determine the rest.