PARENTS

Terminally Ill Child Carried To Term For Chance At Donating Her Organs

04/24/2017 01:37 EDT | Updated 04/24/2017 05:17 EDT

Keri and Royce Young may have had to say "hello" and "goodbye" to their baby girl, Eva Grace Young, on Monday, April, 17, but thanks to their selfless act she will live on in the lives of others.

The Oklahoma City couple went viral online in December when they announced on social media that Keri intended to carry their terminally ill child to term so they could donate her organs.

This is our daughter's perfect heart. She has perfect feet and perfect hands. She has perfect kidneys, perfect lungs and a perfect liver. Sadly, she doesn't have a perfect brain. We found out recently she has anencephaly and is terminal. Faced with terrible options we have decided to continue the pregnancy to full term so Eva, which literally means life, can grow strong and give life to multiple people through organ donation. This was not an easy decision. For the next 20 weeks I will feel her kick, have the hiccups and we'll be able to hear her perfect heart beating all while knowing we'll only get a few short hours with her when she's born. As you might expect, we're devastated but have an amazing support system with our family, friends, church and doctors. We're choosing to try and see the positives in this situation and cherish our time with Eva, and be grateful for the impact she will have on the world in the short amount of time she'll spend in it.

A post shared by Keri Young (@keriyoung) on


The Youngs discovered their unborn child had anencephaly — a birth defect that results in an underdeveloped brain and an incomplete skull — when Keri was 19 weeks pregnant.

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"This is our daughter's perfect heart. She has perfect feet and perfect hands. She has perfect kidneys, perfect lungs and a perfect liver. Sadly, she doesn't have a perfect brain," Keri wrote on her Instagram page after the diagnosis. "For the next 20 weeks I will feel her kick, have the hiccups and we'll be able to hear her perfect heart beating all while knowing we'll only get a few short hours with her when she's born."

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The couple, who are parents to a young boy named Harrison, said despite their devastation by the diagnosis, they were committed to focusing on the positive and being "grateful for the impact she will have on the world in the short amount of time she'll spend in it."

Just three weeks before giving birth to Eva, Keri updated her followers on her condition and also addressed concerns about whether or not Eva would even be a candidate for organ donation. "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," she wrote.

On April 18, the day after Eva's birth — and death — Keri posted a photo of the family together in hospital before Eva passed away.

"We said hello and goodbye to our sweet Eva yesterday," she wrote. "She was so perfect in her own little way. I'll be sharing more about her incredible story later.