On the same day that her infant daughter came into the world, Keri Young had to say goodbye to her. Young and her husband, Royce, found out 19 weeks into Young's pregnancy that their baby had anencephaly, a condition in which a baby is born without a large part of their brain.
In the midst of heartbreak, Young decided to carry their baby to term in the hopes of donating her organs to those in need of transplants. Last Tuesday, she gave birth to their daughter, who they named Eva.
"We said hello and goodbye to our sweet Eva yesterday," Young shared in a Facebook post, along with a photo of herself, her husband, and their son Harrison with Eva. "She was so perfect in her own little way."
In a now-viral post to his Facebook page in February, her husband described his wife's selfless decision, writing, "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."
Her husband has also shared a photo with Eva on his Instagram page.
Young also wrote in her Facebook page that she would be sharing more about Eva's story later, but has understandably revealed few details since her daughter's birth.
Their decision, of course, wasn't an easy one. In December, Young wrote on her Facebook page about how she came to her decision, and the conversations she and her husband had with their pastor before going through with their plan.
"Those first 24 hours were the hardest of our lives," she wrote. "I couldn't eat and when I finally did I didn't keep it down. We were exhausted but couldn't sleep and when we thought we had no tears left we cried and cried again."
But eventually, she and her husband came to terms with what they wanted to do.
"Eva will have life even though it will be short," she wrote. "She'll donate anything she can and do more in her time on earth than I ever will."
The Youngs then got in touch with LifeShare, a transplant donor service, to discuss the possibility of donating Eva's organs once she was born.
According to the CDC, about 3 in every 10,000 pregnancies in the United States will have anencephaly. While the causes of anencephaly mostly remain unknown, it can be diagnosed during birth or even after the baby is born. There is currently no known treatment for anencephaly, and most babies born with the condition will die shortly after birth.
But as difficult as this situation is, Young stressed in her latest Facebook post that "this is NOT a sad post." Instead, she wants to focus on the amazing things Eva did in her short life to help others.
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