Selfless mom gives birth to dying baby girl so she could donate her organs and save lives

A broken-hearted mom carried her terminally ill baby girl to full term so that she could donate her organs to save other babies’ lives.

Young mom Krysta Davis made the gut-wrenching and brave decision in order to enable other little ones to have the chance to go home healthy with their parents.

Image credit: Clarissa Tilley/Caters News
Image credit: Clarissa Tilley/Caters News

At 18 weeks pregnant, Krysta, 23, from Cleveland, Tennesee, was given the news that her daughter has anencephaly which meant the baby girl was going to be born without parts of her brain.

Medical specialists gave both Krysta and her partner Derek, 26, the two possible options: they could induce labor instantly or Krysta could carry her child to full term, with the knowledge that she may die in the womb during that time. Moreover, the baby would have the ability to live only a couple of days in the best-case scenario.

Being aware of the devastating birth defect and that their time together is restricted, the loving couple made every moment of the pregnancy count.

Image credit: Clarissa Tilley/Caters News

Krysta, who is an assistant manager profession-wise, has said:

“Carrying her to full term would mean we had the option to donate her organs so that other mothers could bring home their babies when we couldn’t. That sealed the deal for us, for the entire pregnancy the majority of our strength came from her, it was very positive, and we did everything we could like most parents do.”

“We found out her favourite band was Fleetwood Mac and did a lot of normal parent things, but we also had an extra ounce to cherish that little more.”

Image credit: Clarissa Tilley/Caters News
Image credit: Clarissa Tilley/Caters News

The brave mother also added:

“I knew I had to be happy throughout the entire pregnancy for her, there was no point putting myself or her through that when we had such limited time together. It was amazing feeling her kick, I didn’t know if she would move around at all but we found out, as she moved a lot.”

“As we got further along into the pregnancy she moved more and more, I could watch her little feet move across my belly. I had nine months to carry her and fall in love but it was nothing compared to holding her and seeing her, I couldn’t see anything wrong with her when she was born, I was in love.”

Beautiful Rylei Arcadia, weighing six pounds, was born on Christmas Eve.

Image credit: Clarissa Tilley/Caters News

Little Rylei managed to survive a whole week before passing away on New Year’s Eve in the loving arms of her parents.

While her life might have been short, it allowed for two other babies’ lives to be saved as her heart valves were donated and her lungs were given to a research foundation in urgent need of organs.

Krysta continued to say that:

“After she passed, the surgeon came in and told he us he had not met a family like us in 12 years. It felt wonderful knowing that because of her two other kids get to go home, that touched us the most.”

“Every time I look at the reminders of her, I treasure the moments, I still get a couple of tears coming down they are perfect moments. As hard as it is to give away those organs as it is your child, it makes a huge difference to others’ lives who wouldn’t have a second chance.”

Unfortunately, this was not the first tragic pregnancy for the young couple as Krysta had miscarried in September of 2017 due to her having polycystic ovary syndrome.

The young parents firmly believe that they have made the right decision to carry the pregnancy to full term so that they could donate the organs of their terminally ill child.

Image credit: Clarissa Tilley/Caters News
Image credit: Clarissa Tilley/Caters News

Krysta also said:

“We were told there was a good chance she may not make it out alive on her own and if she did she may not survive the cord being cutting as she was living off me. It really stemmed from the love we have for her, no matter what the outcome we would carry her to term.

Photographer Clarissa Tilley, 27, photographed the week-long life of Rylei, spending 50 hours by the couple’s side.

Some of her best-loved images captured heart-warming emotions such as when Krysta sees her daughter for the first time, as well as when the nurse checks the baby’s heart rate for the last time before putting a monitor on her.

Image credit: Clarissa Tilley/Caters News

Clarissa offers this service to parents free of any charge. She says:

“I’m a mother myself so to experience that hit me on a deeper level, it could happen to anybody and the thought of that is heartbreaking.

“I treated her how I would want to be treated in that situation when Rylei was born I fell in love too, it was emotional, I fell in love with them all. Rylei was absolutely beautiful, she had her brain exposed but Krysta didn’t see disability or her conditions, she saw her daughter and the pure love shone from her.”

Image credit: PopSugar

“The nurse checking her heart was the start of Rylei surprising us even more. All the nurses and organ donation team were in there for 45 minutes, sitting there waiting to call time of death and it never happened.”

It brings me to tears every time I look at the images, I wasn’t really in photographer mode, they mean a lot to Krysta and me. I will keep them for the rest of my life.

As a way to remember their daughter and continuing her journey, the parents have created a Facebook page Rylei Arcadia: An Unexpected Journey. It is dedicated to the life of Rylei and the cause to continue to raise awareness of organ donation.

Content on the page consists of posts of the following nature:

Today marks three months since you left this world.Three months since we saw you smile for us.Three months since we…

Posted by Rylei Arcadia: An Unexpected Journey on Sunday, March 31, 2019

Today, we took Rylei to the sunflower field for their last day open. It's always bittersweet dressing up her bunny…

Posted by Rylei Arcadia: An Unexpected Journey on Friday, July 26, 2019

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