Jan 19, 2024

Kentucky baby passes away after being born at 21 weeks

Tragic Update

The family of Walker Dean Sparks announced on Monday that he has passed away.

In a Facebook post, Shana Sparks says, "Walker was loved around this entire world and as a mother I pray his life brought hope to those moms and dads who are 21 weeks that have been told there's a 0% chance of survival that there is a chance and your baby can fight."

The Sparks family says that the online fundraiser that was originally used for Walker's medical expenses is now going to help them pay for his funeral services.

If you would like to donate, click here.

Original Story

A tiny addition to a Kentucky family is making a big impact.

Walker Dean Sparks was born on May 9th at just 21 weeks. Weighing less than a pound, Walker is roughly the size of an iPhone. His foot is smaller than a quarter.

Parents Shana and Aiden Sparks say the pregnancy was a tumultuous one. They spent weeks in and out of the hospital, there was severe bleeding at times, and doctors were unsure if they could save a baby born at just 21 weeks.

"At first it was terrifying because they said 'We can't save the baby at 21 weeks.' That's what we kept hearing at every doctor's appointment, ‘21 weeks is not viable. You have to at least make it to 22 weeks so we could try something.’ So we were expecting the worst," said Shana Sparks.

Rushed to the hospital at 21 weeks gestation anyway, Sparks said she felt God take over when her body went numb. Walker was born as she was receiving her epidural.

Despite the odds, little Walker is showing positive signs.

"Since the moment he's been born he has had very few complications," said Shana Sparks. "His oxygen has gone from 50 to 28. They're turning off medications. Blood pressure's been stabilized, heart rate's been stabilized. They said that he's a miracle, and he's been alive for 48 hours."

Having patience has become their new challenge.

"It's absolutely the hardest thing ever," said Shana. "To see him, how tiny he is, you just want to pick him up and cuddle him and hold him, but we can't. His skin is so thin and fragile. We can just barely touch his hand and that's it."

They've started calling him "Walker the Warrior," rightfully so. Until he's released from the hospital, the family will stay at the Ronald McDonald House.

An online fundraiser has been set up to help the family cover living and personal expenses. Click here if you would like to donate.

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