Brave parents gave birth to a terminally ill baby, Eva Grace Young, only to say goodbye to her moments later.
Keri Young gave birth to Eva Grace Young, who had anencephaly (part of her brain never developed), last month – two months after Keri and Royce Young’s story went viral in February.
Look at these two pregnant ladies! Lisa and I have due dates only days apart but with one itty bitty exception…she's carrying twins! A number of people have asked questions about my high fluid and what that means. Well, here's a good example. At this point in our pregnancies Lisa had 10lbs of baby and two placentas. There's really no way to measure how much Eva weighs because they use two head measurements when finding that but we can guess she was about 3lbs. Babies practice swallowing and peeing amniotic fluid in the womb and Eva can't really do that (the brain controls that function). So all my fluid is just floating around making my uterus get much bigger than it should be. Crazy!
The brave parents decided to carry their daughter to term so she could donate her organs to other babies. Eva Grace Young, who was named Eva for a reason (Eva means “giver of life”), lived only moments after birth.
Keri and Royce Young went public with their story earlier this year, revealing that their unborn daughter had anencephaly and announcing that they intended to carry her to term knowing that she would never live.
We had an appointment yesterday to measure my fluid and sadly, it increased nine points. That's a huge bummer for us mentally and emotionally. It's not surprising necessarily but definitely discouraging. Another bummer: I had contractions all day yesterday. Hopefully it was a lack of hydration on my part because they have been few and far between today after drinking a lot of water. The longer I stay pregnant, the higher the chance is we will get to spend time with Eva before she passes (theoretically) so we're taking things easy and doing our part in that. Organ donation for transplant is no guarantee for her and we knew that from the beginning but I won't lie, we want her to continue living in some way. We're trying to come to grips with all our possibilities right now and be okay with whatever happens because there are no givens with anencephaly. Ladies, you know that feeling of being 40 weeks pregnant? Miserable, uncomfortable, heartburn like crazy… that's me. But we have many more weeks to go. Pray for me. Maybe not the best news, but I'm still pregnant and Eva is still kicking me at all hours of the day so there's at least two positives.
The decision was heartbreaking for Keri and Royce Young, who also share a 2-year-old son, Harrison. But even more heartbreaking was saying goodbye to their terminally ill tiny infant moments after she was born.
Keri took to Instagram to share a photo from the hospital on Tuesday, April 18, the day after Eva Grace Young was born.
In the photo, the terminally ill Eva Grace Young – who could never live because Keri and Royce had found out back in December of 2016 that their daughter had anencephaly – is seen on Keri’s arms, bundled up in a swaddle and wearing a pink hat.
Royce Young, who works as a writer for ESPN, uploaded an even more emotional snap the same day. On the black-and-white photo, the father of Eva Grace Young is seen holding his terminally ill daughter as his face is focused on hers.
While the parents haven’t revealed how long Eva Grace Young lived, they had been previously told by doctors that they would have between five minutes and 36 hours with their terminally ill daughter.
Keri and Royce found out that their future baby had anencephaly when they went to an ultrasound to find out if they were expecting a daughter or son. Doctors then told them part of their daughter’s brain wasn’t developing and that she wouldn’t be able to live.
While the news understandably shocked the couple, Keri decided that she would carry her daughter to term just so that her other healthy organs could be donated to babies in need.
Unfortunately, Eva came early after Keri could no longer feel her kicks. The early delivery meant that despite their very best intentions, Keri and Royce were not able to donate their precious daughter’s organs. However, according to People, the devastated parents were soon informed that a recipient had been found for Eva’s eyes.
In a Facebook post explaining her decision to carry Eva Grace Young to term, Keri wrote that “sadly, she doesn’t have a perfect brain.”
“This is our daughter’s perfect heart. She has perfect feet and perfect hands. She has perfect kidneys, perfect lungs and a perfect liver.”
Both Keri and Royce have received numerous messages of support from Instagram and Facebook users, who were moved by the incredible story of Eva Grace Young, whose rare condition made it impossible for her to know what it’s like walking, talking, and laughing.
It’s not only Eva Grace Young who is everyone’s new hero, but also her brave parents, Keri and Royce, who carried their terminally ill baby for months knowing that she’d die moments after birth.
Royce penned a lengthy post on Medium sharing what it was like saying goodbye to his newborn daughter.
Royce writes that even though he and Keri spent months “bracing and preparing for the death of our daughter,” when the day came – they still weren’t ready to lose Eva Grace Young from their lives forever.
I wrote something about the birth and death of my daughter, Eva Grace Young, and the difference she’s gonna make: https://t.co/omzbj4JaIN
— Royce Young (@royceyoung) April 27, 2017
[Featured Image by Falcona/Shutterstock]