At their 20-week ultrasound, Oklahoma parents Keri and Royce Young got devastating news. Their baby had anencephaly — a birth defect in which a baby is born without parts of the brain and skull. They were told their daughter would only survive a few hours after birth.
But instead of terminating the pregnancy, Keri Young decided to carry the baby (named Eva) to full term so they could meet their baby, say goodbye and donate her organs.
Royce recently posted on Facebook his feelings at that moment:
“There I was, crestfallen and heartbroken, but I momentarily got lifted out of the moment and just stood in awe of her. I was a spectator to my own life, watching a superhero find her superpowers. In literally the worst moment of her life, finding out her baby was going to die, it took her less than a minute to think of someone else and how her selflessness could help.”
The couple later learned they will be able to donate their daughter’s heart valves, kidneys, liver and maybe pancreas. Her lungs can be donated for research.
Royce writes, “There’s another family out there hurting and hoping for a miracle for their baby, knowing full well someone else’s baby will need to die first. Eva can be that miracle.”
This will be the couple’s second child and what was supposed to be a time of excitement has turned into an extremely emotional, difficult journey. Mom Keri can feel every kick, hiccup and roll. Royce says she’s reminded every moment of every day that she’s carrying a baby that will die.
But there are still small moments of happiness. In December, Keri wrote on her Facebook page, “Heard little Eva’s heart today. It brought me so much joy to hear it.”
Dad Royce would do anything to change what’s happening to them.
He writes… “I want my daughter to be perfect. I want her to blow out her candles on her first birthday. I want to watch her bang her head on our coffee table trying to learn to walk. I want her to run up a cell phone bill texting boys. I want to walk her down an aisle. I want to change it all so, so badly. But I can’t. This is our reality. And there’s no stopping it.”
Baby Eva is due in May.