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This Mom Is Going To Carry Her Terminally-Ill Unborn Baby To Term So She Can Donate Her Organs
A Mom is being praised for her selflessness after deciding to carry her baby to term, despite a terminal defect. She will be carrying the baby to term so that she may donate the little one’s organs.
Keri and Royce Young were very happy to learn they were expecting their second child, but they were soon heartbroken to learn that the little girl Keri was carrying would not survive.
Although they learned this news at just 20 weeks into her pregnancy, Keri made the decision to carry their daughter to term anyway. She is hoping that it will save other people’s lives.
Soon after their 20 week scan, Keri decided to share the news on Facebook, where she said:
‘She has perfect feet and perfect hands. She has perfect kidneys, perfect lungs and a perfect liver. Sadly, she doesn’t have a perfect brain,’ she wrote. ‘We found out recently she has anencephaly and is terminal.’
Anencephaly is a birth defect in which a baby is born without parts of the brain and skull. It is extremely rare, and only occurs in about 3 in every 10,000 pregnancies.
When they were told that their little girl, whom they have named Eva, would not survive, Keri made the incredibly difficult decision to continue to carry the baby to full term, so that her organs may be donated to save other people.
‘This was not an easy decision,’ she explained in December. ‘For the next 20 weeks I will feel her kick, [I’ll] 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.’
The couple received enormous support after her post and she shared more thoughts on the matter a few days later.
‘Those first 24 hours were the hardest of our lives. 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,’ she wrote.
She noted that at a follow-up meeting with Keri’s doctor, they learned that they’d be able to donate their unborn daughter’s heart valves, kidneys, liver, and pancreas if she was carried to turn. Her lungs could also be donated to research.
She said ‘At this point I knew what we had to do, I just didn’t want to do it,’ ‘The reality of feeling her kick for 20 weeks was very much settling in. Strangers excitedly asking me about my stomach and friends not knowing how to treat us was devastating to think about.
‘I told some of my friends I thought it sounded like my own personal hell and why in the world would I want to bring that upon myself?’
They ultimately decided to continue with the pregnancy and they’ve continued to share updates, and last week Royce took to Facebook to praise his wife for her bravery and selflessness:
He wrote: ‘The other night I was watching my beautiful wife sleep peacefully 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 overwhelmed me of how incredible this woman is.’
He referred to watching Keri’s determination like ‘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,’ he wrote. ‘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 c**p, 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.’
‘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 said.
‘A lot of people say things like, “I wouldn’t change anything” after a trying circumstance, but I’m not about to say that. I would definitely change this if I could.
‘I want my daughter to be perfect. I want her to blow out her candles on her first birthday. I want to watch her bang her head on our coffee table trying to learn to walk. I want her to run up a cell phone bill texting boys. I want to walk her down an aisle. I want to change it all so, so badly. But I can’t. This is our reality. And there’s no stopping it.’