Parenting News

Selfless pregnant woman gives birth to terminally ill baby to donate healthy organs to others

“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.”

By Ellie McDonald
Royce Young

There’s nothing quite as gut-wrenchingly heart-breaking as losing a child – a reality that loving parents-to-be Keri and Royce Young have tragically just faced.

On April 17, mum Keri gave birth to Eva Grace Young - but on the same day she and Royce welcomed their little girl into the world, they were also forced to say goodbye to her.

During Keri's pregnancy, the New Orleans couple were dealt the shocking blow that their unborn daughter was terminally ill, suffering from a birth defect called anencephaly, which means that her brain and skull will never fully develop.

It also meant that she would not survive more than a few days after her birth.

However, it is the incredible selflessness and strength of Royce’s wife Keri that truly amazed him. And this is because Keri made the decision to carry Eva to full-term, so that doctors can use her organs to help others in need.

The doting husband took to Facebook to show the admiration he has for his wife, as well as just how stoic she was during the very moment she made the decision to carry baby Eva through to the end.

Keri and Royce before they found out about Eva's terminal illness.
Keri and Royce before they found out about Eva's terminal illness.

“There I was, crestfallen and heartbroken, but I momentarily got lifted out of the moment and just stood in awe of her," he says. "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.”

“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 cherish forever, the gift(s) she's got inside that little body of hers is what really matters.”

“Keri saw that almost instantly.”

Baby Eva's heart is strong and healthy, but her brain and skull are not developing.
Baby Eva's heart is strong and healthy, but her brain and skull are not developing.

In a separate post, Keri told the world her reason for embarking on this arduous journey.

“This was not an easy decision,” she began. “For the next 20 weeks I will feel her kick, have the hiccups and we'll be able to hear her perfect heart beating all while knowing we'll only get a few short hours with her when she's born.”

“As you might expect, we're devastated but have an amazing support system with our family, friends, church and doctors.”

“We're choosing to try and see the positives in this situation and cherish our time with Eva, and be grateful for the impact she will have on the world in the short amount of time she'll spend in it.”

Our thoughts are with the Keri, Royce and their families during this trying time.

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