At 18 weeks pregnant with her daughter, a Tennesee mother was faced with a tough decision.
Krysta Davis and her boyfriend learned their daughter, Rylei Arcadia Diane Lovett, had anencephaly, a rare condition in which the brain and bones of the skull don’t form completely while the baby is in the womb. Rylei likely wouldn’t survive more than 30 minutes after birth.
“It was definitely shocking. It was a huge heartbreak knowing that we’d miscarried previously and were having complications with this pregnancy. It was really hard to take in,” Davis told PEOPLE magazine.
Davis was given two options. Doctors could induce labor immediately or she could carry the child to full term and donate her organs.
“[The doctor] said babies with anencephaly don’t tend to survive birth let alone cord-cutting. There was no outcome where she would be able to survive on her own for very long if at all,” Davis said.
“We decided that even if we couldn’t bring our daughter home, no mother would have to go through what we were going to go through.”
Rylei was born on Christmas Eve, weighing six pounds. She survived a week before passing away on New Year’s Eve.
“It’s like she was fighting to give us more time. It was amazing,” Davis said. “She surprised everyone by being alive for that week.”
Two of her heart valves were donated to children in need while her lungs went to a research foundation dedicated to the treatment of anencephaly, Tennessee’s WTVC-TV reported.
Davis and her boyfriend, Derek Lovett documented their journey and shared it on a Facebook page titled, “Rylei Arcadia: An Unexpected Journey.”