Mother carries fatally ill baby in the womb for a full term to donate organs to those in need

“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."


Krysta Davis of Cleveland, Tennessee, was 23 when she had a miscarriage. She and her husband, Derek Lovett, were heartbroken. But then, they learned she was pregnant again, and their days turned a bit brighter.

Everything seemed fine with their baby girl, but then, when Davis reached 18 weeks of pregnancy, their hearts were broken again. The little one had anencephaly, a rare health condition where a baby is missing certain parts of their skull or brain. The devastated parents were told that their daughter wouldn’t live more than an hour after birth.

It was definitely shocking. It was a huge heartbreak knowing that we’d miscarried previously and were having complications with this pregnancy… it was really hard to take in,” Davis said. “We were going to cherish what time we had with her.”

These parents had two options, to either induce labor right away or carry the baby to term and donate her organs to other babies in need. They chose the latter. Imagine the strength and bravery one needs to possess to make such a decision.

Source: C. Tilley Photography

[The doctor] said babies with anencephaly don’t tend to survive birth let alone cord-cutting. There was no outcome where she would be able to survive on her own for very long if at all,” she said. “We decided that even if we couldn’t bring our daughter home, no mother would have to go through what we were going to go through.”

Rylei Arcadia Diane Lovett was born at 40 weeks. Despite doctors’ prognosis that she would live just an hour at most, this sweetie was by her parents’ side for a whole week. During that time, she never cried. The only time she did cry was when she took her last breath and left this world.

Rylei was born on Christmas and died on New Year’s Eve. The time she spent with her parents was so precious that it changed their lives forever.

“It was absolutely amazing going from knowing we were maybe gonna get 30 minutes with her at most to having a week with her was more than we could have ever expected or imagined,” Davis said. “We were able to fit an entire lifetime of love into that one week with her that wasn’t promised to begin with. She just smiled the whole time. She was such a good baby.”

Rylei’s lungs were donated to a research hospital and her heart valves went to two children in need. It’s been really hard coming to terms with the fact that she’s really gone. But it’s also been a great month that we’ve got to share her story,” said Davis. “It’s helped a lot to be able to help other women in our situation, and hear their stories. It warms our hearts to know that [Rylei’s life] will give two other babies a second chance at life.

Despite losing their girl, these parents were glad she would continue to live through the children whose lives she saved.

Three years after Rylei passed away, her mother shared photos of her on the Facebook page dedicated to this girl’s short but meaningful life. “I can’t believe it’s already been 3 whole years since the first time I held this tiny little human. 3 years since you took your first breath… I am so thankful for the time I had with you, but what I wouldn’t give to see you now… Happy birthday, precious girl.”

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