Giving birth to a child: It’s one of the most exciting moments in parents’ lives.
You really can’t experience a more powerful moment than when you see your child for the first time. The event is filled with wonder, overwhelming happiness, and a deep understanding of your purpose in life.
But for some parents, giving birth isn’t the experience that it should be.
Instead of preparing to take their child home for the first time, they must come to terms with their son or daughter leaving this world as soon as they come into it. That’s just the experience that Keri and Royce Young had to go through.
When Keri and Royce went in for their 19-week checkup, they were excited to find out whether their baby was a girl or a boy.
After all, that’s what parents usually find out at this point in the pregnancy. But instead of simply finding out that their baby was going to be a girl, they also found out that she had a 0 percent chance of survival.
Their baby was diagnosed with a condition called anencephaly, a rare issue in which the frontal lobe and skull don’t form in the womb. At this point, they knew that their baby wouldn’t survive.
Obviously, this was a very hard thing for these parents to hear. They didn’t know what to do next. They had two options. They could terminate the pregnancy early or they could carry the girl, whom they named Eva Grace, to full term. The second option would allow them to donate her organs to other infants in need.
After a lot of careful consideration, they decided to carry Eva to full term.
You can imagine how hard that decision must have been. Not only did they have to deal with the reality of the fact that their daughter wouldn’t survive, but they also had to deal with the physical and emotional toll of carrying a child for weeks.
But the couple was determined to make the best of the situation by doing something positive for someone else in need. That’s what kept them going. They knew that their little girl’s heart or lungs or pancreas could go to some other little child who was in desperate need of an organ. They teamed with an organization called LifeShare of Oklahoma that would help set them up with patients who needed donors.
They spent weeks planning what they would do with Eva Grace’s organs.
Since there wasn’t much of a precedent set for infant organ donations at the hospital they were at, they had a lot of work to do. However, once they had everything set up and were two weeks away from Keri’s due date, Keri stopped feeling Eva Grace moving inside of her.
The couple panicked and went to the hospital. There, they found out that Eva had already passed away. They were so excited to see her and hold her while she was alive for even just a few minutes, and now, they weren’t even able to do that. It also meant that they wouldn’t be able to donate any of her organs.
Royce describes this time as the worst experience of his entire life. And how could you blame him? The couple had already experienced an incredibly difficult loss, and now, the small sliver of hope and happiness they had had been taken away, as well.
Doctors induced Keri’s labor, and then, a miracle happened.
They got a call from LifeShare. Even though they wouldn’t be able to donate any of the baby’s major organs, they were able to donate her eyes. Although Eva Grace would never be able to see out of them, somebody else’s child would get to use them. Although it seemed like everything else had gone wrong, this was a huge blessing that finally brought some joy to the Youngs.
Royce describes seeing his baby girl:
“As the nurses handed her to us for the first time, much of the dread and fear was lifted from us and replaced with hope and joy again. Here comes Eva Grace Young, the superhero she was always meant to be.”
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Although Eva may not have been able to experience this world, she was able to give somebody else a life worth living.
Through her impact, she affected somebody else’s life drastically. At the end of the day, that was worth it for the Youngs.
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