Couple is carrying terminally ill baby to term to donate organs
Inside their heartbreaking decision to help others
Eva – a name that means giver of life. It’s the name that ESPN reporter Royce Young and his wife Keri gave to their unborn child who is growing in her mother’s womb. But she won’t survive shortly after her birth. Eva has a condition known as anencephaly, which means she is missing the cortex of her brain. The condition affects 1 in 100,000 infants.
In February, Young posted a photo of Keri sleeping with a heartfelt note on his Facebook page. The post has more than 53,000 reactions and more than 22,000 shares.
The couple’s decision will potentially save dozens of lives of other infants. They spoke out Monday in an interview with Good Morning America, saying that their daughter will do more during her short time on Earth “than maybe we’ll ever do in our lives.”
The duo told ABC News that they found out about their daughter’s condition in December 2016 when they went in for their 19-week ultrasound, excited to find out whether they were having a boy or a girl. “The ultrasound tech came in and said, ‘Your doctor wants to see you immediately,’ ” Keri Young said. “I mean, she just literally opened the door and said, ‘I’m really sorry to have to tell you this, but your baby doesn’t have a brain.’
“And then we both totally lost it,” Keri Young added. “The first 48 hours were very dark and very heavy and very testing.”
Keri Young said she questioned the existence of God after learning about her daughter’s condition. “There’s no way God exists. There’s no way … there’s just no way that this could happen … we did everything right, you know?”
The Young family said their daughter is growing, developing and kicking like a healthy baby. She even gets the hiccups. Royce Young told ABC News that after he heard his daughter’s prognosis, they considered terminating the pregnancy.
“You can be the most pro-life person in the world, but until you sit there and you, you hear those words and you look at your future going forward, that’s when you have got to face the reality and make your own decision,” Royce Young said.
Keri Young added, “The whole time it was very much … ‘How can we limit regret? What will we regret the least?’
“Now is not the time to be sad,” Keri Young said. “I keep telling people we have a whole lifetime to be sad, after she’s born and after she passes, then that’s sad. But now, she’s alive and she’s kicked and … for this pregnancy, that’s the most joyful part.”
ABC News contributed to this report.