Pueblo, CO – Three-year-old Nikolas Coke died in his home on Wednesday. While the exact cause of the boy’s death is unknown, the family believes he caught some sort of virus. Days before his death, he was giggling in a pumpkin patch on a family outing. The child’s life, however brief, is considered a miracle by doctors and his family.
Nikolas was born without a brain.
The toddler was born with anencephaly, which is characterized by the absence of a large part of the brain and skull. Nikolas had only a brain stem, and a small part of his brain. The condition affects approximately one in 10,000 newborns. Although doctor’s never expected Nikolas to live more than a few hours, he defied the odds, living without major medical assistance for the short three years of his life.
In an emotional interview with local news, Nikolas’ family celebrated the life of the little boy. “He was never hooked up to any machines, no tubes, no nothing,” the boy’s grandmother, Sherri Kohu, reported. “He taught us everything, he taught us to love, how to be family,” she added. “He taught us everything,”
The family noted that Nikolas’ last days were “happy ones.” The family visited a pumpkin patch, and photos show Nikolas giggling amidst the pumpkins.
Nikolas seemed fine until Wednesday morning when he appeared to have difficulty breathing. When the family tried repeatedly to give the toddler CPR, the boy kept slipping away. “[The boy’s hospice care workers] told us no more, let him go. So he died at 12:40 today. Peacefully,” Kohut told local news.
Last month, Nick’s mother, Sheena Coke, had a second child whom she named Jace Nickolas James in honor of his older brother.
“He will always be remembered,” Kohut said.
To watch more of Nikolas’ story, click here.