Mom Carries Terminally Ill Daughter to Full Term to Donate Her Organs

Krista Davis made the tough decision to carry her terminally ill daughter to full term.
C. Tilley Photography

A Tennessee mother decided to carry her baby to full term despite doctors' grim prognosis so that her daughter could live on through other children.

When doctors told Krysta Davis, 23, that her daughter suffered from anencephaly, a condition in which a baby’s skull or brain doesn’t develop fully, and probably wouldn’t live more than 30 minutes after birth, she was devastated.

“He said we could carry to term or we could have her early,” Davis told 

At the time, she was just 18 weeks pregnant. When Davis and her husband, Derek Lovett, realized they could donate her organs, the decision was easy.

“We talked it out,” Davis said. “We knew that’s what we wanted to do.”

The mom said she tried to spend the rest of her pregnancy cherishing the moments. She still had a maternity shoot and tried to carry on like normal.

“We were going to cherish what time we had with her,” Davis said. “I knew we would have time after to grieve and be sad.”

Rylei Arcadia Diane Lovett was born on Christmas Eve and defied the odds by living a full week after she was born.

“They told us she probably wouldn’t survive past the cord cutting,” Davis said. “We didn’t expect more than 30 minutes. It was amazing.”

Davis said doctors were shocked. She described her daughter as the “happiest baby” she’s ever met and said she smiled all the time.

Rylei’s heart valves were donated to two babies through Tennessee Donor Services.

“They told us after six months, we would get to inquire about who received them,” Davis said. “We are super excited. It is amazing that our little girl is going to live on.”

The parents are elated they got to hold their baby girl for what time they could.

“We put an entire lifetime of love into this one little girl,” Davis added.


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