Keri Young feels the kicks, has the hiccups and can hear her daughter’s heartbeat, but unlike most mothers, she won’t get to see her daughter grow up.
Her unborn daughter Eva has anencephaly and doesn’t have a brain.
Keri Young and her husband Royce, of Oklahoma City, have shared heartbreaking details of the pregnancy in a series of posts on social media.
At 19 weeks, they found out their daughter would only have 24 hours to live at birth if they decided to keep her.
“This is our daughter’s perfect heart. 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,” Keri wrote in a post on Instagram.
Faced with terrible options, Keri said they decided to continue with the pregnancy to full term to give other children a chance at life.
“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.”
Royce paid tribute to his wife for her selflessness in a post shared last Friday on Facebook, which has received thousands of comments from people touched by the couple’s story.
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“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?” he wrote.
“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. It’s one of the most powerful things I’ve ever experienced.”
Royce and Keri also have a two-year-old son named Harrison. “Whenever Harrison gets hurt, or has to pull a Band-Aid 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!’” he wrote.
“I’m looking at Keri right now and I don’t even have to ask,” he added. “She’s TOUGH. She’s BRAVE. She’s incredible. She’s remarkable.”