A little Australian boy nicknamed Jack Sparrow died on Friday after living just a few weeks outside of the womb. But his story touched countless people’s lives online, prompting them to donate more than $50,000 in his name to help other premature babies survive.
The Daily Mail reports Jack Riley Sadgrove, or little Jack Sparrow, was born on Jan. 21 at the Royal Hospital for Women in Sydney, Australia. He was born after just 24 weeks in his mother’s womb.
“In such a short time, this little bloke already changed the world,” Jack’s father, Brendan Sadgrove, said. “I am so bloody proud of the little guy, I think I might explode.”
Amy Sadgrove said her pregnancy with Jack went well until mid-January when she woke up in the middle of the night bleeding. At the hospital, doctors told her that she was dilated and could give birth that night.
One of the first questions that doctors asked Amy and Brendan was if they wanted to “terminate,” or abort, their unborn son. The couple refused; they said their son deserved a chance to fight for his life.
The Sadgroves also decided to share Jack’s story online and begin a fundraiser for the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit, the report states. His fight touched so many people that the fundraiser quickly exceeded $50,000.
The couple said Jack’s fight to live was like a “roller coaster.” At first, he seemed to be doing OK outside the womb, but his condition worsened. On Friday, his parents said they realized they would not have much time left with him.
Here’s more from the report:
‘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 heartbreaking 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.
Brendan and Amy 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.
‘We had a whole hour of the most amazing time with just the three of us, which was nothing short of incredible,’ Brendan wrote.
‘It was the happiest time in our lives.’
They tucked Jack in on Amy’s chest, where he passed away at 3.30pm on Friday.
The couple said they are grateful to the hospital nurses and other staff who cared for Jack during his short life. They hope their son’s donation to the hospital will help other families like theirs.
“I can’t tell you the love that we have for our son,” Brendan said. “Love is what Jack gave us and we gave every bit of our love to him. I am so thankful for that.”
They said they also are glad that they had a chance to make memories with their son. Their short memories with Jack are ones that they hope to tell their future children someday.