We’ve always known that women are strong, but it’s safe to say that this particular woman deserves some extra praise. What’s she’s doing is not only brave but incredibly heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time.
Keri and Royce Young were excited to hear about a second child that was on its way when it was known that they were having a baby girl, they decided to name her Eva. Sadly, about 19 weeks into the pregnancy the horrible news came in that the baby wouldn’t save for more than a couple of hours after birth.
Eva was diagnosed with anencephaly, which is a very serious disease. It is a rare birth defect and means that the baby isn’t developing normally and will be missing major or all parts of the brain and skull. Almost all babies diagnosed with anencephaly pass away a couple hours after birth.
This story is quite devastating and heartbreaking, but what follows is incredibly heartwarming. After processing the horrible loss, Kelsi and Royce – who already have a little boy – decided to carry on with the pregnancy. Eva’s organs could be donated perfectly to other sick babies so that she could save lives.
They also felt that their baby had the right to meet her parents. It definitely was a difficult decision for Keri and Royce to have a baby that wouldn’t alive longer than a couple of hours, but in their hearts, they knew that they were making the right decision.
Royce wrote for his wife post:
The other night, before I left for New Orleans, I was looking my beautiful wife sleep 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 swamps 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. I realized tonight sitting a thousand miles away in a hotel room, particularly after meeting this awesome kid named Jarius that’s been everywhere at Weekend who needs a liver transplant, that instead of just keeping this one for me like I usually do, I should tell everyone else just how unbelievable Keri Young is.
I thought back to the moment where we found out Eva wasn’t ideal, and how exactly 30 seconds after our doctor told us our baby doesn’t have a brain, anyhow through full body ugly crying, Keri asked, If I wear 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, come on. There I was, anguished, but I momentarily got lifted out of the moment and just stood in awe of her. I was a watcher to my own life, watching a superhero find her superpowers. In literally the worst point 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 self-sacrifice could help. It’s one of the most powerful things I’ve ever experienced.
This whole process has been rude, but I say that as someone watching from the bleachers like the rest of you. Keri feeling every little kick, every hiccup, and every roll. She’s recalled every moment of every day that she’s carrying a baby that will die. Her back hurts. Her feet are affected. She’s got all the super fun pregnant stuff going on. But the bright at the end of her nine-month underpass will turn into a gloom she’s never felt before a couple hours or days after Eva is born. She’s the one that is going to an agreement with all that comes with having a baby– her milk coming in, the recovery process, etc, but with no snuggly, soft, beautiful newborn to look at to remind you that it was all worth it.
We made our option to carry Eva to full term for a lot of reasons, but the first and foremost was to donate her organs. We don’t say that to try and sound like big people or anything. It was just a practical endgame that in our minds, ahead we came to the awareness Eva is alive and our daughter deserves to meet her mama and daddy, gave us a goal to continue on. Donating was on Keri’s mind from darn near the second we found out and while the experience of holding and kissing our daughter will be something we adore forever, the gift(s) she’s got inside that little body of hers is what in fact matters. Keri saw that almost instantly. That kid Jarrius carry a shirt that says “It Takes Lives To Save Lives.” I couldn’t stop thinking about all. There’s another family out there hurting and expecting for a miracle for their baby, knowing full well someone else’s baby will need to die first. Eva can be that miracle.
We’re getting closer to the complete line, and while it’s going to be amazing to run through that tape and meet Eva, it comes at a cost. We’ll go to the hospital for a birth, and go home without a baby.