A poignant video of a father singing to his newborn child hours before the baby's death spread across the Internet Thursday.
In a video posted by a family friend Wednesday, Chris Picco sings the Beatles' song "Blackbird" to his son Lennon James Picco, who was born at 24 weeks — three months early. A day after the video was filmed, Lennon died in Chris’ arms.
The death of Picco's child followed the death of his wife Ashley just a few days before. Ashley Picco, 30, died of as-yet unknown causes on Saturday.
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The couple recently celebrated their seventh wedding anniversary, and were expecting their child in February. A photo overlaid with the words "Coming Soon" on Ashley's Facebook page shows the couple with a pair of tiny boots in between them for their expectant child.
Picco said his wife Ashley often felt Lennon moving to music when she was pregnant. Chris played his guitar and sung to Lennon in the baby's last few hours of life.
Chris Picco posted the following statement on Facebook Wednesday:
"Dear friends, family, and supporters; it is with an unbelievably heavy heart that I write this. My little fighter, Lennon James Picco went to sleep in his daddy's arms late last night. He was surrounded by family, friends, and the best doctors, nurses and hospital staff in the world. He was dressed in an outfit that Ashley bought for him, with little guitars on it, and wrapped in a blanket made by a dear friend. I am so thankful for the four unforgettable days I got to spend with him. His mommy would have been so beyond joy to see him and to hold him, touch him, bathe him, sing to him — as I have had the privilege of doing. I have been so blessed and honored to love him before he was formed, to cherish him while mommy carried him, meet him face to precious face, and hold his perfect little body while we said 'goodbye for now.' There are no words, but I wanted to keep you updated, as your love and support has meant more than anything in the world. All you need is love."
Lennon Picco was born "fighting for his life" after an emergency C-section, according to Picco's Facebook.
Friends of Picco, as well as strangers who saw the video on YouTube, showed their support for the family in posts to Picco’s Facebook page, saying his story has inspired them and offering their prayers.
The page has raised $78,000 for their memorial fund so far, surpassing the initial goal of $50,000.
"I can't begin to express the gratitude that I have for each and every one of you for your thoughts, prayers, and heartfelt condolences," Picco stated in an update to the page on Thursday.
The Piccos attended Loma Linda University Church in San Bernardino County. A memorial service at the church will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, and can be viewed live online here.