The journey of pregnancy is not an easy road. After the swollen feet, the heartburn, back aches and nausea, you get to hold your snugly, soft newborn and know that it was all worth it. That's not the case for Keri Young. On December 13, 2016 she found out her daughter has anencephaly, which is the absence of a major portion of the brain, skull and scalp, and is terminal. Faced with nothing but terrible options, she decided to continue the pregnancy to full-term so her baby can grow strong and give life to multiple people through organ donation.
"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?" her husband Royce wrote in a Facebook post on February 17, 2017. "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."
Royce Young, Keri's husband, is a writer for ESPN. He wrote a stunning tribute to his wife while on a trip for work, and shared it with everyone on Facebook.
The baby girl, whom they have named Eva, which literally means life, will be able to save the lives of many through her organ donation. “We love seeing the impact our little girl is having,” the dad told HuffPost, adding that parents love to talk about their kids and this is their chance to do that with Eva.
While Keri may be the one carrying the child, the couple is definitely in this pregnancy together. When Keri posted about her husband speaking about their terminal daughter, she can't help but feel how much it's hurting him as well.
"Sure, it's my body. But it's his child in my body. Half him, half me," she wrote in a Facebook post.
Royce mirrors the impact that having and losing Eva will have on his wife. "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."
The couple is very sure-footed about the situation and have made the decision to carry Eva to full-term knowing that she won't have a very long life outside of the womb.
"At one point in the past 72 hours Royce and I talked about how, in a way, we're a little lucky. We have a definitive answer. 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." Kerri writes in a Facebook post. "I've opened up to the thought of holding my daughter and watching her die. That's going to happen. We will leave the hospital without a baby. That is our reality. But we accept it."
Royce parallels what Kerri says in his Facebook post, "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."
Eva is due to enter the world on May 7, so the family is asking for prayers during their journey.