A boy from Colorado who defied medical science and lived for three years without a brain, has died.
Nickolas Coke was born with just a brain stem, a condition known as anencephaly, according to the Associated Press. Babies born with this condition live for few minutes and in rare cases, few days.
"He was never hooked up to any machines, no tubes, no nothing," Sherri Kohut, Nickolas' grandmother told KOAA. "He taught us everything, he taught the love, how to be family. He taught us everything," she added.
His younger sibling has been named Jace Nickolas James after the medical miracle who stunned the doctors with his life.
"And he was our hero because he showed the strength if I can do this anything can be done. He will always be remembered," said Kohut to KOAA.
Anencephaly occurs in about 1 out of 10,000 births. The actual number of babies with this condition may be higher but since many pregnancies with this condition end in a miscarriage, the numbers may be under-reported.
Anencephaly is a kind of neural tube defect. The defect occurs in the initial stages of pregnancy, usually even before the woman knows she is pregnant. During the fetal development, the neural tube closes, its upper end becomes the brain and skull. In anencephaly, the neural tube doesn't close properly and so the baby's brain lacks parts of brain.
CDC also says that lower intake of folic acid before and during pregnancy increases risk of neural tube defects that include anencephaly. In the U.S., there has been a decrease of more than 27 percent in the number of pregnancies affected by neural tube defects.