During her pregnancy, the 23-year old Krysta Davis received terrible news on day 18 of her pregnancy. The baby was diagnosed with anencephaly, a deadly neurological defect that occurs when parts of the brain or skull are missing. In most cases babies with this defect live a few minutes or days. She lost her first baby with boyfriend Derek Lovett, 26, in 2017.The diagnosis was devastating for both of them.
“They called me about my quad screen. They said it came back abnormal, they suspected a neural tube defect like spina bifida. I went to see a high-risk doctor and noticed that the nurse was acting strangely while checking me. She spent a lot of time looking at Rylei’s head. That’s when they told me it wasn’t spina bifida – it was anencephaly.”
She was nervous about her pregnancy, and they were heartbroken when they received this bad news. The doctors gave them two options, she could deliver the baby Riley at 18 weeks through induced labor, or they could let her be a saving grace to other babies.
“We followed up with another doctor, and we were told that if I carried to term, I could donate Rylei’s organs, and possibly arrange to meet with the kids who get them. At that moment, Derek and I looked at each other and knew what we were going to do. I may have not been able to take my baby home, but I could maybe use her life to give other mothers the chance to.”
She gave birth on December 24, 2018 and weighed 6lbs 19 inches. For forty-five minutes later, Rylei was placed on a heart monitor and 45 minutes later, she demonstrated amazing strength for a baby with such a diagnosis.
They were just as shocked as us and everyone else here in the hospital, and at first we were.
After the birth, she had difficulty breathing and I thought it would not take us long to get things right. About 45 minutes later they put a heart monitor on her and about an hour later they were shocked.
She was still drinking sugar and water, she was still drinking breast milk and formula. She was still asking for something to feed herself on.
“At first I was cautious, but it always amazes me. She doesn’t cry, she looks a bit stinky, but I expect she’ll make it. She has a great temperament. She is very balanced, she will not cry when her brain stem is exposed. But she’s also great with everything else.”
Her parents used every minute of their lives to show their love. They severed her umbilical cord, put skin upon skin on chest, rubbed her back and screamed in love. “She was perfect and beautiful to me. Her brain stem was exposed and everything. But I didn’t care, I just noticed the love.”
The baby died a week after birth on New Year’s Eve. She could only breathe alone for the first nine hours, and it is considered a medical miracle that she survived for so long.
In her life, she brought great joy to her parents, who were willing to donate two halves of her angelic heart , along with two other babies like her, to the Lung Research Institute, which studies anencephaly.
The mother dedicated a post on Facebook:
“For nine months, I carried this beautiful soul while her father, our friends, family and myself filled her with love as she grew. I never would have imagined after she was diagnosed with anencephaly that she would bless us with a week of her presence. A week of smiles and sounds of protest and snuggles. I wouldn’t trade this week for anything in the whole wide world.”
To donate organs, means that you will decrease mortgage.