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.