(Scroll down for video) A boy who was born with his brain missing, died after living 3 years, despite projections that he will not survive a day, according to reports.
A Colorado community is celebrating the improbable life of the child who died Wednesday, after living for three years despite being born without most of his brain.
Nickolas Coke of Pueblo, was born with anencephaly, a condition that affects about one in 10,000 newborns.
Doctors did not expect the boy to live. However, the miracle child defied the odds and was loved and cared for in his brief life, his family said in an emotional statement.
"He was never connected to any machine, or pipes, or anything," the boy's grandmother, Sherri Kohu, said.
"He taught us all, taught us to love, how to be a family. He taught us all."
The family said that the last days of the miracle tot were happy. Photos showed him laughing in a pumpkin patch during a recent trip to a pumpkin collection.
The first signs of trouble appeared on Wednesday morning, when Nick began struggling to breathe. The family tried CPR three times, but the boy just slipped away, they said.
"Hospice workers who cared for the boy told us there is nothing left to do, and to let it go. So he died at 12:40 p.m. today. Peacefully," Kohut said.
A cause of death has not been determined, but the family believed he caught a virus.
Last month, Nick's mother, Sheena Coke, had a second son, whom she named Jace Nickolas James, in honor of his older brother.
"He will always be remembered," Kohut said.
A fund is being established at U.S. Bank to help pay for funeral expenses for the family.