When Keri and Royce Young found out their second child would not live after birth, they made a heart wrenching decision that had the potential to save another baby’s life.
Two months ago, Royce shared a picture of his pregnant wife, while she was asleep, on Facebook with a deeply moving post. The couple had found out their baby girl had anencephaly, which meant their baby did not have a cortex in her brain.
Keri wanted to make her baby girl’s life help another, and so she decided to carry her baby full term so her daughter’s organs could be donated to other babies, so they could live.
Royce shared this moving post on Facebook on Feb 17, which received over 5.9k reactions and was shared over 23k times.
“The other night, before I left for New Orleans, I was watching my beautiful wife sleep peacefully on the couch.
I looked at her laying there, her belly big with our daughter kicking away, a daughter that won’t live more than a few days, and it just overwhelmed me of how incredible this woman is. I’m a writer so when I’m feeling something, I tend to have to write it down. So I pulled out my phone and started writing what I was thinking. And I realized tonight sitting a thousand miles away in a hotel room, especially after meeting this awesome kid named Jarrius that’s been everywhere at All-Star Weekend who needs a liver transplant, that instead of just keeping this one for me like I normally do, I should tell everyone else just how incredible Keri Young is. (I also miss her five seconds after I leave the house for a trip so I’m thinking about her all the time anyway.)
I thought back to the moment where we found out Eva wasn’t perfect, and how literally 30 seconds after our doctor told us our baby doesn’t have a brain, somehow through full body ugly crying, Keri looked up and asked, “If I carry her full term, can we donate her organs?” I remember our doctor putting her hand on Keri’s shoulder and saying, “Oh honey, that’s so brave of you to say.” Like, how nice of you, but come on. Keri meant it. 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. It’s one of the most powerful things I’ve ever experienced. In the eight years we’ve been married (and 15 years together) I’ve had a lot of moments stop me in my tracks where I thought, “holy crap, this woman I’m married to, lucky me.” But this one was different. It hit me that not only am I married to my very best friend, but to a truly remarkable, special human being.”
Two months to the date of when Royce shared his moving post, Baby Eva arrived on April 17 and as expected, the family had to say goodbye after her birth.
Keri shared a family photo on her Facebook page with this post:
“We said hello and goodbye to our sweet Eva yesterday. She was so perfect in her own little way.
I’ll be sharing more about her incredible story later.
And of course, this is NOT a sad post. Don’t hit that button.”
Royce also shared a moving picture of him holding his daughter.
There were no guarantees that Eva’s organs could be donated, yet in this family’s grief, this beautiful mother thought of how Eva’s life could help others in a significant way.
The family haven’t shared whether Eva’s organs were able to be donated, but Keri plans to share Eva’s story at a later date.
Our thoughts are with this young family as they grieve for the daughter they got to hold, but had to say goodbye to.