It should have been the happiest day of their lives when Royce and Keri Young went to their doctor for Keri's ultrasound. They have a little boy already and were excited to be expecting a baby girl.


But instead, the couple received devastating news. The baby was missing part of her brain and would not survive for long after delivery.


Their baby suffers from a condition called anencephaly, which affects one-in-100,000 pregnancies. The Youngs were horrified by the diagnosis, and Keri told ABC News that the first 48 hours were “very dark".


Their doctor then explained to the couple what their options were: "Our doctor at first kind of laid them out. You can induce early, and ... in effect, terminate the pregnancy. Or you can carry it on," Royce said.



The couple considered how painful it would be to carry on with the pregnancy, and thought about terminating it.


"You can be the most pro-life person in the world, but until you sit there and 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 explained.


But the couple eventually decided they wanted to go ahead and carry the baby to full term. They are hoping to donate some of her organs to people in need.


The Youngs have been told their baby could survive for as little as five minutes, or up to 36 hours.


Keri says at the moment their baby is still growing and developing, and she has felt her kick and even get the hiccups. But without the brain cortex, she cannot survive outside the womb.



"I'm now terrified of delivery," Keri Young said. "I don't want her to come out, you know.


"She's healthy right now, and I love feeling her kick...She's as perfect as she's going to be right now. So I don't want to give that up.”


Royce posted an emotional tribute to his brave wife on Facebook, explaining how proud he was of her.


He wrote that, just seconds after receiving the bad news, Keri’s reaction amazed him.


“Keri looked up and asked, ‘If I carry her full term, can we donate her organs?’" he wrote.



“I remember our doctor putting her hand on Keri's shoulder and saying, ‘Oh honey, that's so brave of you to say.’ Like, how nice of you, but come on.”


Royce poignantly added: “We'll go to the hospital for a birth, and go home without a baby.”


The heartbroken dad said he wished they could take their baby - whom they’ve named Eva, which means “life” in Hebrew - home with them.


“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."


The Youngs hope that by donating some of Eva's organs, they will be able to save others' lives and create a legacy for their daughter.



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