It rarely happens, but it does – a story so inspiring and heart-breaking at the same time. Get your tissues guys, you’ll need them!
At only 23 years of age, Krysta Davis was pregnant with her baby, later named Rylei. However, not everything went according to plan. Come week 18 of pregnancy, Davis received the news that her baby has anencephaly. This diseases is of neurological nature and is fatal. It basically happens when some part of the baby’s skull or brain remain undeveloped.
Babies who suffer this condition live from as little to several minutes to a few days. Still, in Rylei’s case, she lived through a whole week. And her short-lived existence was worthwhile, to say the least.
The Initial Diagnosis and Aftershock
Kyrsta Davis explains how, before getting pregnant with Rylei, she lost her first baby. In 2017, she also suffered a miscarriage. It wasn’t long before Davis received the news of getting pregnant for the third time. However, her happiness was shattered when doctors noticed something wrong with the baby.
‘They called me about my quad screen,’ Krysta noted. ‘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.’
It was only natural Krysta felt the pressure of protecting this baby now more than ever before. Still, the doctors noted that the family had two options. First, they could have the baby at 18 weeks, using an induced labor technique. The second option was to have the baby’s organs serve to save other lives in need.
‘We followed up with another doctor,” Krysta stated, ‘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.’
While Kyrsta had a rough time processing these news, she wanted to make her baby’s life count for something.
“She was so perfect and beautiful to me.” – Krysta
Therefore, Kyrsta gave birth to Rylei on December 24, 2018. With a baby with severe and fatal health issues, Rylie showed enormous endurance. Kyrsta and her husband Derek fell madly in love with their new baby.
‘After they cut her umbilical cord, I laid her on my chest, skin to skin, I was rubbing her and crying because I was so in love,” Krysta says. “She was so perfect and beautiful to me. Her brain stem was exposed. But I didn’t even care or notice, I was just so in love.’
A Heart-Breaking Goodbye
The family said their goodbyes to baby Rylei on New Year’s Eve, about one week since she was brought to the world. For doctors, her time with us was unexpectedly long.
Kyrsta and her husband cherish every memory of their baby and will have their peace knowing she will save so many lives ahead. The family agreed to donate Rylie’s heart to two separate patients and her lungs to an institute which plans on studying anencephaly in depth.
A moving story, nonetheless, and a one that will teach you how precious life can be…even if for a week.