These selfless parents knew their baby girl would not survive, but determined that through organ donation, she would live on in others, after her birth.
Content warning: Distressing content – This post discusses baby loss
“We said hello and goodbye to our sweet Eva yesterday,” a grieving Keri Young posted, alongside a photo of herself, husband Royce and their little boy Harrison, snuggling with brand new baby, Eva in the delivery room.
“She was so perfect in her own little way.”
Eva’s devastated dad, Royce, also shared a photo of himself cradling his new, tiny daughter.
“We said hello and goodbye to our sweet Eva Grace yesterday. Eva Grace Young — 4-17-17” Royce captioned the image.
Late last year, at a routine 19-week ultrasound, Keri and Royce received the devastating news that Eva’s brain has failed to form in-utero.
At a time when most of us would fall apart, a shattered Keri somehow transformed a heartbreaking moment into something she could make a tiny bit more sense of, deciding to continue with the pregnancy to full term.
“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?’,” Royce explained in a Facebook post shortly after they received the news.
“There I was, crestfallen and heartbroken, but I momentarily got lifted out of the moment and just stood in awe of her. 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,” the grieving dad explained.
Royce’s tribute to Keri (below) was shared by thousands across social media last year, as people were touched and saddened by Keri’s strength and selflessness, and the difficult time the family were enduring.
"The other night, before I left for New Orleans, I was watching my beautiful wife sleep peacefully on the couch.I…
Of course Keri wasn’t seeking any of this attention. She just wanted to help those who might be facing potential tragedies of their own.
She wanted Eva’s little life to have a long-lasting, powerful legacy beyond their own family and friends.
“Eva will have life even though it will be short,” Keri explained in December.
“She’ll donate anything she can and do more in her time on earth than I ever will. We’re not hoping for a miracle. We know she will not live. But someone else is desperately hoping for a miracle. Their kidneys are failing them. Their liver has betrayed them. They deserve life, and they’re probably praying for it. Eva can be their answer to it.”
As we can see, Keri meant what she said.
Tiny Eva was born just a few days ago and the couple finally got to meet their baby girl – and say goodbye.
“I’ll be sharing more about her incredible story later,” Keri promised.
The Oklahoma City couple (and their little boy, Harrison) hope to raise awareness of the importance of organ and tissue donation and ensure Eva’s little life has a lasting legacy.
Our condolences to this beautiful family on their loss.
You can find out more about organ and tissue donation at Donate Life.