“Jack Sparrow” born at 24 weeks
By Dave Andrusko
When doctors learned that Jack Riley Sadgrove would be born at 24 weeks, one of the first questions they asked his parents was whether they “wanted to keep the baby” since his chances for survival were so low.
“The next few hours became a swirl of doctors with scary statistics detailing the chances their little boy would survive and what disabilities he could face if he did,” wrote Anneta Konstantinides for the Daily Mail, Australia. But “For Amy and Brendan, termination was out of the question. They wanted to give Jack a chance to fight.”
Nicknamed Jack Sparrow, for his tiny size (639 grams at birth), the little one passed away last Friday. But the baby did not take his last breath until after his parents “were able to give Jack his first bath, put him in clothes for the first time and swaddle him like they had never been able to before in the NICU,” Konstantinides wrote.
Writing on Facebook, his dad shared, “’We had a whole hour of the most amazing time with just the three of us, which was nothing short of incredible.” Brendan added, “’It was the happiest time in our lives.”
The family has raised more than $40,000 for the Royal Hospital for Women in Sydney since his birth
The GoFundMe has already raised enough money to outfit the NICU with reclining chairs for mum’s to breastfeed and cuddle their newborns.
New parts for vital breathing equipment can now also be purchased, and some of the raised funds will also be used to refurbish the parents’ room.
It has been an incredible achievement that all began thanks to one tiny baby.
Brendan said he was extremely proud of his son. “In such a short time [five weeks], this little bloke already changed the world,” he shared. “I am so bloody proud of the little guy, I think I might explode.”
When Amy and Brendan got a call from the hospital last week, it became clear Jack would not survive the day.
“Jack got to a point where we all thought he wouldn’t come back from, so we decided to put him on Amy’s chest and say our goodbyes,’ Brendan wrote in a Facebook post.
“The contact with his mother’s skin was a huge boost for Jack, whose heart rate and oxygenation levels immediately went back to normal,” Konstantinides wrote. Perhaps that’s what allowed the family to have that precious time together.
She concluded her tender story with this tribute to “Jack Sparrow.”
Although Amy and Brendan had come to terms with the fact that Jack wouldn’t survive the day, they said it hasn’t made their loss much easier.
But Brendan assured friends that, even though they only had a short amount of time with Jack, they still had a ‘squillion stories’ to share about their son.
“I can’t tell you the love that we have for our son [Brendan wrote]. Love is what Jack gave us and we gave every bit of our love to him. I am so thankful for that.”