Tuesday, February 21, 2017


An Oklahoma mom has decided to give birth to her terminally ill daughter so that she can donate the newborn’s organs.

Keri Young, from Oklahoma City, was devastated to discover that her baby, who she named Eva, would be born without a portion of her brain and skull due to a condition known as anencephaly.

Keri – who learned of the child’s fate during her 20-week ultrasound – is scheduled to give birth to her child on May 7 and will likely only spend a few days with the newborn before she dies.

Her husband, Royce, was in awe of his wife’s heartbreaking choice to carry their baby — all to potentially save another child’s life, though he says he’s not surprised.

“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,” Royce wrote in a Facebook post last week that has since been shared thousands of times.

Royce, a writer, said that his wife has proven her strength numerous times during their eight-year marriage, but that this time he was most impressed.

“It hit me that not only am I married to my very best friend, but to a truly remarkable, special human being,” he said.

His wife was also very public about the difficult decision to go through with the birth, something she’s grappled with even though she is pro-life.

She wrote of dreading the thought of attending a funeral for her own child, but after making an appointment with a doctor and her pastor to talk about organ donation, she decided it would be the best decision for her and her family.

“We learned her whole heart would not be eligible for transplant and that was disappointing. But then we learned her heart valves would be eligible along with her kidneys and liver and maybe pancreas. We could also donate her lungs to research. We’d get the opportunity to meet her recipients if they wanted to meet us,” Keri wrote in a Facebook post two months ago.

The couple, who already have a son named Harrison, learned that donating Eva’s organs can save up to 50 lives in as little as 24 hours.

“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,” Royce wrote.

“We’re getting closer to the finish 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,” he continued.

Scores of people have expressed their gratitude for the couple’s bravery — something that they said still causes them grief.

“Finally, this is not over for us. We’ll almost assuredly have doubts on if we’re actually doing the right thing. Or if we can even handle this. May 7th is far away. Please continue to think and pray for us,” Keri wrote.


  1. Eva Young was born without a brain earlier this month, but not before her parents made her a national hero when they decided to carry her to term to donate her organs and save other babies’ lives.

    Keri and Royce Young, of Oklahoma City, said goodbye to their daughter on April 17 after Royce’s heartbreaking tribute to Keri went viral in February, Fox News previously reported.

    In a new Facebook post [visible at link] featuring a photo of Royce, Keri, Eva, and the couple’s young son, Harrison, Keri offered an intimate glimpse into the family’s fleeting moments with their newborn daughter.

    “We said hello and goodbye to our sweet Eva yesterday,” Young posted on April 18. “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 [reaction] button.”…

    News about the family’s journey with Eva first went viral in February, after Royce posted a photo of Keri during a nap and reflected on their unborn daughter. He recalled Keri’s reaction to hearing that their daughter was developing without a brain and called it “one of the most powerful things I’ve ever experienced.”…

    In the post, Royce said they arrived at the decision to carry Eva to full term and donate her organs because it was a “practical endgame that in our minds, before we came to the realization Eva is alive and our daughter deserves to meet her mama and daddy, gave us a purpose to continue one.”

    “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) inside that little body of hers is what really matters.”


  2. “There were plans and contingency plans, and contingency plans for the contingency plans,” he wrote. “I wanted a tangible outcome. I wanted to be able to meet and hug and shake the hand of the person my daughter saved … I couldn’t dream about what my daughter would grow up to be, so I fantasized about the difference she could make.”

    It was obvious the road would be long and hard, but not even Royce was ready for the reality of it.

    “Keri likes to say, “You think you know, but you have no idea.” Until you put the shoes on and start walking the road, you don’t have any clue. But wherever you fall, we just know that we were empowered by our decision, our responsibility, to be Eva’s mom and dad for as long as we could.”

    The selflessness of their decision is beyond measure. And so was the pain and agony, when their daughter’s heart failed before she could be born.

    “And on top of it all, the ultimate kick in the gut: We wouldn’t even see her alive.”

    Not only would they not have her, her ability to help others by donating her organs was seemingly gone.

    “We knew we’d hurt from her loss, but there was a hope in the difference she was making. We heard from recipients of organ donation that were so encouraging and up-lifting. But the deal got altered. The rug was pulled out from underneath us. This was a curveball we couldn’t accept. It felt like we were letting everyone down (I know how ridiculous that sounds). I felt embarrassed because all that positivity about saving lives wasn’t happening now (I know how ridiculous that sounds). All the meticulous planning and procedures, all out the window. I’m telling you, just… disappointment.”

    Thankfully, not all was lost.

    The day Eva was born, LifeShare Transplant Donor Services of Oklahoma, called to say they’d found a recipient for some of her organs. They spoke to Keri’s doctor and let her know they had found a recipient for the baby’ eyes.

    “It wasn’t what we planned or hoped for, but it was everything we needed in that moment. I buried my head in my arms and sobbed harder than I ever have. Keri put her hands over her face and did the same. Happy tears.”…

    “She’s the first ever — not baby, but person — in the state of Oklahoma to donate a whole eye, and she donated two. Because of her, LifeShare has made connections in other states to set up eye transplants for the future. They have an infant organ donation plan they now are working with that they’d shared with other organ procurement organizations in Colorado and Texas. They call it the Eva Protocol. It’s laminated and everything.”

    In the midst of their unimaginable grief, the family had something to celebrate. And for Royce, something to dream of experiencing one day.

    “I can’t ever hold my daughter again. I can’t ever talk to her or hear her giggle. But I can dream about looking into her eyes for the first time one day, and finding out what color they are.”


    Courtesy of my daughter