Krysta Davis is a 23 year-old mother who learned she was pregnant with what she affectionately called her “rainbow baby” in April of last year.
All was going well with Krysta’s pregnancy until 18 weeks in, when doctors informed her that her unborn baby had anencephaly, a serious birth disorder which creates an absence of a major portion of the brain, skull and scalp during embryonic development. This meant that the baby girl, who Krysta and her partner Derek Lovett had already named Rylei Arcadia, would likely not survive birth.
Krysta could have terminated her pregnancy then if she wanted to, but she decided instead to carry Rylei to term so that she could help other sick babies by donating her organs.
“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,” she said. “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.”
Rylei was born on Christmas Eve, and miraculously, she survived the birth.
“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,” she said.
Though the couple knew their time with Rylei would be short, the couple treasured the moments they had with their daughter.
Rylei beat the odds and managed to survive for a few days, much to the surprise of doctors. Sadly, she eventually did pass away.
“After she passed, the surgeon came in and told he us he had not met a family like us in 12 years,” Krysta recounted. “It felt wonderful knowing that because of her other kids get to go home; that touched us the most.”
“Her favourite band was Fleetwood Mac,” Krysta said, explaining that Rylei would kick and turn in her stomach every time their songs came on. “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.”
“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,” she added.
Despite everything she went through, Krysta said that she would not change a thing, as she is glad she had the chance to help others.
“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.”