Keri Young chose to give birth to her daughter, Eva, who was born without a brain, for a really good cause.
Her husband, Royce, could not believe what she was saying, “If I carry her full term, can we donate her organs?”
He wrote down a touching tale of his wife’s courage and selflessness during this trying period on Facebook which is inspiring thousands who have been impacted by this mother’s bravery.
He wrote, “The other night before I left for New Orleans, I was watching my beautiful wife sleep peacefully on the couch. I looked at her laying there, her belly big with our daughter kicking away, a daughter that won’t live more than a few days, and it just overwhelmed me of how incredible this woman is.”
Royce wrote that being a writer he had a habit of writing things down and so he began writing his thoughts down on a cell phone. He continued, “And I realized tonight sitting a thousand miles away in a hotel room, especially after meeting this awesome kid named Jarrius that’s been everywhere at All-Star Weekend who needs a liver transplant, that instead of just keeping this one for me like I normally do, I should tell everyone else just how incredible Keri Young is.”
Baby missing a brain
He wrote about the time when they found out that Eva wasn’t perfect, and how the doctor told them that the baby didn’t have a brain. He said he was surprised when Keri looked up and asked, “If I carry her full term, can we donate her organs?” Their doctor was like, “Oh honey, that’s so brave of you to say,” little did she know that Keri meant every word she said.
Royce was heartbroken, but at that moment he drew strength from Keri, during the worst times of their life who even though she knew her baby was dying, was thinking about how to help other people.
He writes, “In the eight years we’ve been married (and 15 years together) I’ve had a lot of moments stop me in my tracks where I thought, “holy crap, this woman I’m married to, lucky me.” But this one was different. It hit me that not only am I married to my very best friend, but to a truly remarkable, special human being.”
It was a difficult time for the couple as Keri has been through the lowest feelings as she experienced her daughter’s kicks, hiccups, and rolls. She knows she is carrying a baby to full-term that is eventually going to die. Just like other pregnant women, her feet feel sore, but at the end of the whole process, she will find darkness instead of light when Eva is born.
He expresses their anguish at having a baby who is destined to die by saying, “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.”
He says, “We made our choice to carry Eva to full term for a lot of reasons, but the first and foremost was to donate her organs. We don’t say that to try and sound like great people or anything. It was just a practical endgame that in our minds, before we came to the realization Eva is alive and our daughter deserves to meet her mama and daddy, gave us a purpose to continue on. Donating was on Keri’s mind from darn near the second we found out and while the experience of holding and kissing our daughter will be something we cherish forever, the gift(s) she’s got inside that little body of hers is what really matters. Keri saw that almost instantly. That kid Jarrius wears a shirt that says “It Takes Lives To Save Lives.” I couldn’t stop thinking about that all day. There’s another family out there hurting and hoping for a miracle for their baby, knowing full well someone else’s baby will need to die first. Eva can be that miracle.”
“A lot of people say things like, “I wouldn’t change anything” after a trying circumstance, but I’m not about to say that. I would definitely change this if I could. 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,” he writes.
He ends with a spectacular note about his wife, “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.”
Amazing testimony and courage. Eva is certainly in heaven because God Is Love!
Read John MacArthur book “Safe in the arms of God”
Eva is flying high and singing with the angels.
Zachariah 8:5 ….. and the streets thereof shall be full of little children playing…….
Tears. Such a Beautiful Story of Godly Character and a Heart full of God. We can be inspired and in awe of God’s purpose in our lives. Only He can give us the strength to get through something like this.
I know that very child conceived is destined to make a difference even if they don’t live to take their first breath.
My incredible mom carried a baby to full term 50 years ago before they had the technology they have today. She knew in her mind that the baby wasn’t alive but she had hope in her heart and took a little yellow outfit with her to the hospital for the baby, just in case.
When her baby wasn’t born alive, she asked the nurse if there was a new mom in the hospital that might need it? The nurse came back to mom later and said there was a woman down the hall that would appreciate it. Mom took that little yellow outfit down the hall herself and dressed a beautiful baby boy to go home with his mom.
I bet that mom never forgot the kindness that came from that moment. Out of our deepest despair, God can shine the brightest light.
Eva’s light will continue to shine in this world because her mom was strong and brave enough to trust God’s purpose for her life. Keri is an amazing woman and Royce is an awesome, supportive husband! God bless you both!
I pray that you will find healing and peace in the arms of God.
We, too, lost an anencephalic infant, a son, in1974 when we lived in Texas. Sonograms were not routine (I had never even heard of them) so this was a complete, shocking surprise. Our nation had not yet quite come to the advances in humanitarian treatment for the families of dying neonates, but we did send our son to a large nearby hospital in the hopes that doctors and researchers could learn preventive measures for this devastating birth difference (I prefer that word to “defect”). As long as it’s been, I still think of Billy probably every day. One strange thing happened as we pulled into the hospital with me already in advanced labor. There was absolutely No Place to park – until Bud spotted the only place – with a sign stating that it was For Clergy Only. We parked there, even though I begged him not to. “Look at me, everybody,” he said to the middle-of-the-night silent parking lot, “I’m clergy tonight.” Within just a few hours, a nurse brought my husband a basin so he could baptize our barely-moving son! We’ll see our son again – Glory to God!