When Royce and Keri Young learned in December that the daughter they were expecting had a fatal condition that would only allow her to live for a few hours, the couple had an extremely tough decision to make.
The baby, who they later named Eva, had Anencephaly, a defect in which an infant is born without parts of the brain. Although the pair talked about terminating the pregnancy, they ultimately decided that Keri would carry Eva to term so that her organs could be donated.
“There’s another family out there hoping that their baby’s gonna get a kidney, knowing full well that means that somebody else is gonna have to go through heartbreak,” Royce told ABC News in March. “She’s gonna do more in her 24 hours or whatever than maybe we’ll ever do in our lives. To be able to remember our daughter in that way is pretty powerful.”
Eva was born on April 17, and the parents, who also have a young son named Harrison, documented her birth with a couple of heartbreaking Instagram posts. “We said hello and goodbye to our sweet Eva yesterday. She was so perfect in her own little way,” Keri wrote next to a photo of their family. Her husband also shared a black-and-white image of himself cradling the baby girl.
In February, Royce, who writes for ESPN, opened up about the “rough” process in an emotional Facebook post, admitting, “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… We're getting closer to the finish line, and while it's going to be amazing to run through that tape and meet Eva, it comes at a cost. We'll go to the hospital for a birth, and go home without a baby.”
Our thoughts are with the Youngs as they continue to mourn the loss of their daughter, but we’re amazed by their unbelievable sacrifice.