Mum's heart-breaking decision to save someone else's baby

Keri Young with her family
The family shared this photo with the announcement on Facebook (Keri Young / Facebook)

A US woman is being praised for carrying her terminally-ill baby to a full-term pregnancy - so that her daughter's organs could be donated to other babies in need.

On Tuesday, Oklahoma woman Keri Young shared a photo of herself with her husband, young son and newborn daughter Eva Grace on Facebook.

"We said hello and goodbye to our sweet Eva yesterday," she wrote. "She was so perfect in her own little way."

The post has had more than 8000 reactions and over 1000 comments of support.

The family's heartbreaking story began in December 2016, when Ms Young posted an ultrasound picture online, saying: "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."

But instead of getting an abortion, Ms Young made the decision to turn the tragic situation into a beautiful act of generosity.

"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."

Her husband, ESPN writer Royce Young, gained a lot of attention online when he wrote about their experience.

"Keri has been in the trenches the entire time, feeling every little kick, every hiccup and every roll. She's reminded every moment of every day that she's carrying a baby that will die.

"We had some pretty awful thoughts running through our minds but we made a pact with each other that it was a judgment-free time and we could say whatever we were thinking without consequence.

"So we did. Everything from, 'there's no way God exists' to 'We're going to spend all this money on prenatal care and labor and delivery and not take baby home [sic]'."

Eva was due to be born on May 7, but is believed to have been born early after complications.

"As a mom of a baby that has had multiple heart surgeries and may one day face heart transplant I am blown away," one woman commented on Facebook.

"Thank you for your decision to carry and help others. She is blessed to have you as a mom."

Another woman wrote: "I am a mother of a child who had a heart transplant. My son is the most precious gift. His donor was a baby too. I could never be able to express to you how much your choice means to me and the recipient family.

"This choice is going to change the entire world for so many people."