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Two months ago, Royce Young shared a picture on Facebook of his pregnant wife Keri, sleeping. He included a heartfelt message about her strength. Keri wasn’t simply carrying their second child; she was carrying a baby girl that they knew would not live after birth.
Baby Eva had what is known as anencephaly, meaning she did not have a cortex in her brain. Despite the couple's grief, Keri Young wanted to carry their daughter to term to donate her organs and give other babies the chance Eva never had. Her photo went viral, and inspired many.
“There I was, crestfallen and heartbroken, but I momentarily got lifted out of the moment and just stood in awe of her," Royce Young wrote on Facebook on Feb. 17. "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.
Two months to the day that Young shared his moving message about his wife, Keri gave birth to Eva April 17, and as expected, the baby did not live.
“We said hello and goodbye to our sweet Eva yesterday. She was so perfect in her own little way," Keri wrote. “And of course, this is NOT a sad post. Don't hit that button.”
Young shared a black-and-white photo of him holding Eva, with a short message:
“We said hello and goodbye to our sweet Eva Grace yesterday.”
Keri shared some of her thoughts about being pregnant with Eva on Instagram. Three weeks ago, she posted an ultrasound picture and wrote about the bittersweet emotions she felt carrying Eva to term.
“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," she wrote. "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."
Keri plans to share more of Eva’s story in the future. The family has not yet disclosed whether Eva’s organs were able to be donated.