Christian Sanchez and Skylar Kane-Letcher were anxiously waiting to learn if they were expecting a baby boy or girl.

“We were all excited. They were happy about it,” Sanchez's mother, Michelle Kaiser said.

But two months ago, the young Washington County couple received news no expectant parents want to hear.

Their unborn son, whom they have named Jonah, was diagnosed with a fatal type of skeletal dysplasia.

Their first doctor recommended the couple abort the pregnancy. Instead, they got a second opinion.

Genetic testing, provided by a grant from the hospital, showed the baby didn't have any of the three types of genetic dysplasia doctors tested for.

However, tests showed the baby's lungs weren't developing.

“The chest cavity is very, very small. It's not growing with the body,” Kaiser said. “The heart is really, really strong. It's growing beautifully. Everything is great, but there is no room for the lungs to develop.”

Baby Jonah won't survive. His due date is Dec. 14, but doctors expect he will be delivered early. In a letter, the couple said it's unclear how much time they will have with him once he is born.

“It could be minutes, hours or even days, but anytime we get to spend with baby Jonah will be a lifetime of memories,” they said.

To offer some comfort, friends and family have organized a benefit for the couple to help with medical and funeral expenses.

The benefit will be from 3 to 7 p.m. Oct. 13 at the Fort Bar, 1311 Court St., Fort Calhoun. A taco dinner and raffles are planned.

Kaiser is collecting donations for the benefit until Monday. Anyone interested in donating, can contact her at 402-690-3527.

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