Parents shed 'happy tears' after birth of baby without brain takes uplifting turn

Credit: Gitanna

Credit: Gitanna

An Oklahoma couple who decided to carry their baby without a brain to term in hopes of helping others has said "hello and goodbye" to their newborn daughter.

Royce Young shared the ups and downs of the couple's emotional experience in a post on Medium on Thursday.

The Youngs learned in December that their second child had anencephaly, a rare birth defect that causes the frontal lobe of the brain to fail to develop. Children born with the condition usually die shortly after birth. Keri Young asked the doctor if she carried the baby to term, whether she could donate the baby's organs to help others. When the Youngs were told that it was possible, they decided to carry the baby to term.

Royce Young's Facebook post about his wife's reaction to learning their baby would be born without a brain went viral in February.

The couple named the baby Eva Grace. The baby stopped moving in the womb on April 16, prompting immediate medical attention. Doctors confirmed there was no fetal heartbeat. There would be no organ donations, not even an opportunity for fetal tissue research. Royce said he and his wife were devastated.

Doctors induced labor and Eva was born on April 17. At the same time, a call came from a LifeShare representative, an organization that manages organ donations in Oklahoma. The doctor told the Youngs the good news: They had a recipient for Eva’s eyes.

Royce said the couple shed happy tears upon hearing the news that Eva would still be an organ donor. Royce said he’s excited about Eva’s eyes being her “living legacy.”