Dad Honors 'Brave & Incredible' Wife Who Carried Dying Baby to Term

family baby organ donation
keriyoung/Instagram
Finding out that the baby you're carrying won't survive long beyond birth would be absolutely devastating for any family. But one woman's courage led her to take that heartbreaking diagnosis and turn it into the gift of life for someone else. Keri Young carried her daughter, Eva, to term to donate her organs, and we are in awe of this mom's generosity and grace (Eva's middle name) in the midst of her own sorrow. 

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This brave woman was celebrated as a hero even before her sweet baby was born. After she and her husband, Royce, found out their daughter had anencephaly, a terminal condition in which babies are born without parts of their brains and skulls, Royce posted a beautiful tribute to her on his Facebook page. He wrote:

I thought back to the moment where we found out Eva wasn't perfect, and how literally 30 seconds after our doctor told us our baby doesn't have a brain, somehow through full body ugly crying, Keri looked up and asked, 'If I carry her full term, can we donate her organs?' I remember our doctor putting her hand on Keri's shoulder and saying, 'Oh honey, that's so brave of you to say.' Like, how nice of you, but come on. Keri meant it. There I was, crestfallen and heartbroken, but I momentarily got lifted out of the moment and just stood in awe of her. 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.

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What an amazing woman! Keri -- who shared the above photo of her with her infant daughter, her husband, and her young son Harrison on Instagram -- captioned it this way: "We said hello and goodbye to our sweet Eva yesterday. She was so perfect in her own little way."

Wow, I can't imagine being as strong and selfless as this mom. Many women might have made the painful and difficult decision to end their pregnancy after hearing of their baby's fate. They'd have grieved their incredibly sad loss and possibly tried again. But Keri chose to take her awful news and turn it into a beautiful outcome for others in need.


Royce Young/Facebook

More from CafeMom: Mom Shares Unbelievable Message of Hope While Holding Dying Newborn

Royce, a writer by trade, put into words perfectly the devastating reality that his wife willingly chose to undertake for the benefit of someone else. He wrote in his Facebook post: 

This whole process has been rough, but I say that as someone watching from the bleachers like the rest of you. Keri has been in the trenches the entire time, feeling every little kick, every hiccup and every roll. She's reminded every moment of every day that she's carrying a baby that will die. Her back hurts. Her feet are sore. She's got all the super fun pregnant stuff going on. But the light at the end of her nine-month tunnel will turn into a darkness she's never felt before a couple hours or days after Eva is born. She's the one that is going to deal with all that comes with having a baby-- her milk coming in, the recovery process, etc, but with no snuggly, soft, beautiful newborn to look at to remind you that it was all worth it.

More from CafeMom: Baby's Life-Saving Heart Transplant Shows the Bittersweet Beauty of Organ Donation

Your heart breaks for this family, and yet we hope that they find comfort in knowing that their daughter, though she didn't live long, gave life to others and is a hero too, just like her mama. Royce explains why he chose to share the family's story: 

Whenever Harrison gets hurt, or has to pull a bandaid off or something, Keri will ask him, 'Are you tough? Are you BRAVE?' And that little boy will nod his head and say, 'I tough! I brave!' I'm looking at Keri right now and I don't even have to ask. She's TOUGH. She's BRAVE. She's incredible. She's remarkable. She's cut from a different cloth, combining wit, beauty, courage, silliness, character and integrity into one spectacular woman. And somehow, she's my wife. Not that I needed some awful situation like this to actually see all of that, but what it did was make me want to tell everyone else about it.

We don't blame him. We hope that even though they are leaving the hospital without their beloved little girl, they know that they and she have made a huge difference in the lives of others.

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