Father and husband Royce Young shared a photo of his pregnant wife, Keri, on Facebook. What he wrote beneath the picture is beautiful, but also ever so heartbreaking. The couple experienced the worst moment of their lives when they learned the baby girl inside Keri's belly will be born without a brain. She won't live long after birth. But Keri bravely chose to carry on with the pregnancy for the most incredible reason!
Royce was on his way out the door, leaving for a trip, when the sight of his pregnant wife, asleep on the couch, overwhelmed him with emotion. Later, he sat in a hotel, a thousand miles away, staring at the photo he took of Keri napping. The memory of the day doctors delivered the terrible news about their unborn baby girl, Eva, flooded back. And Royce still couldn't believe his wife's amazing response.
Moment Of Awe
If you've ever heard the quote, "Life isn't about how many breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away," this was certainly one of those moments.
"I thought back to the moment where we found out Eva wasn't perfect," Royce wrote on Facebook, "and how literally 30 seconds after our doctor told us our baby doesn't have a brain, somehow through full body ugly crying, Keri looked up and asked, 'If I carry her full term, can we donate her organs?'"
During a time of such intense personal grief, it was an incredibly selfless and compassionate question. But Keri wasn't merely asking -- she was committing.
"Keri meant it. There I was, crestfallen and heartbroken, but I momentarily got lifted out of the moment and just stood in awe of her. . . 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. . . It hit me that not only am I married to my very best friend, but to a truly remarkable, special human being."
Wrestling To Decide
Keri opened up in her own Facebook post, admitting the courageous decision wasn't an easy one. At one point, she almost decided not to follow through.
"I knew what we had to do, I just didn't want to do it," she said in her post.
As Keri and Royce mulled over what to do, their pastor provided a powerful outlook. She shared the exchange on Facebook:
"Our pastor simply asked, 'Royce, how old are you?'
'In your 31 years of life, how many lives have you saved?'
'In your daughter's 24 hours of life she might save 50 lives. She's going to be a very busy girl, you know'"
The meeting with their pastor ultimately confirmed what Keri already knew she must do. She was committed to seeing the pregnancy through.
Bravely Carrying On
As the pregnancy continued, Royce's admiration for his wife only grew.
"Keri has been in the trenches the entire time, feeling every little kick, every hiccup and every roll," he writes. "She's reminded every moment of every day that she's carrying a baby that will die."
The consolation is the couple will at least get to meet their baby girl, if only for a short time. Royce and Keri take comfort in knowing that while they grieve, other families will be celebrating. All because of the gift of their little miracle.
"While the experience of holding and kissing our daughter will be something we cherish forever, the gift(s) she's got inside that little body of hers is what really matters," Royce said. "Keri saw that almost instantly. . . There's another family out there hurting and hoping for a miracle for their baby, knowing full well someone else's baby will need to die first. Eva can be that miracle."
Naturally, Royce wishes he could change the situation. He talks about wanting to see Eva blow out her candles on her first birthday, to watch her learn to walk and eventually walk her down the aisle. But what he can't change, he accepts.
Trying times like these will test even the strongest faith. But God has a way of using these moments to make beauty out of the ashes -- to bring to light strength we sometimes didn't even know we had.
"Whenever Harrison gets hurt, or has to pull a bandaid off or something, Keri will ask him, 'Are you tough? Are you BRAVE?' And that little boy will nod his head and say, 'I tough! I brave!' I'm looking at Keri right now and I don't even have to ask. She's TOUGH. She's BRAVE," Royce writes. "Not that I needed some awful situation like this to actually see all of that, but what it did was make me want to tell everyone else about it."
Being brave doesn't mean we aren't afraid. It doesn't mean you don't have doubts or moments of weakness. It just means that in the face of fear and doubt, you carry on. Truly being Christ-like means having the courage to suffer for the benefit of others, just as Keri and Royce are doing. So, so many prayers for this amazing family!
"Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends." John 15:13
h/t: Huffington Post
This brave mom gave her life so that her baby could live!