Royce and Keri had to accept the fact that their daughter’s life would be very short after her birth. Keri decided to carry the baby to full term and donate her organs so that another child could survive. The baby had an incurable condition and was unable to develop a brain. However, after the already painful prognosis, the fetus was stillborn, rendering her organs unusable for donation.
They named her Eva, meaning ‘giver of life’.
Royce’s blog post
Royce wrote a poignant blog post where he explains his feelings. He explains in his own words:
‘The kicks and punches to Keri’s bladder serving as a constant reminder of what was inside. (By the way, yes, Eva kicked like any other baby; her brainstem was complete, which is what controls basic motor functions. I know, we had a hard time wrapping our minds around it, too.)
She feared people asking what she was having, or the due date, or if the nursery was ready.
There were some concerns from the hospital’s ethics team about Eva and our plans.
But as I explained to them, and to anyone else out there that has this idea that we grew a daughter just to be killed for her organs, Eva was a terminal child. And as her parents, we elected to make her an organ donor. That’s it.
She would be born, live an indefinite amount of time, and then we choose to donate her organs because she was under the age of 18. As Russell Westbrook would say, don’t get it twisted.”
Keri, 31, gave birth to Eva on April 16th in Oklahoma City. Sadly, she was stillborn. She had died inside her womb. The whole family was there to say goodbye to her, including their two-year-old son Harrison. The parents had mixed feelings. They were both devastated and disappointed.
Here is the couple with their son Harrison holding Eva.
Moments after the stillbirth, Dr Pinard gave them the news that Eva’s eyes could be used by another child.
Royce continued in his blog:
‘There was no heartbeat. Eva was gone before we ever got to meet her. The brain controls steady heart functions, and Eva’s finally gave out.
Keri rolled onto her side and put both hands over her face and let out one of those raw, visceral sobbing bursts. I stood silently shaking my head. We had tried to do everything right, tried to think of others, tried to take every possible step to make this work, and it didn’t. No organ donation. It’s a weird thing to say that in probably the worst experience of my life was also maybe the best moment of my life, but I think it was the best moment of my life.’
Royce holds his stillborn daughter.
Keri shared updates of a 4D ultrasound and got support from social media
Keri was happy to wait for her daughter to be born.
People praised her bravery.
After everything that happened, the couple dedicated their baby to the church and were the guests of honor at a benefit thrown in her name.