Tournament of Roses Parade to honor late OKC infant for giving life to others

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Baby Eva Grace Young, complete floragraph

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – An Oklahoma infant that did not survive birth, but helped give life to others will be honored during the 2020 Tournament of Roses Parade on Jan. 1.

Eva Young, the late infant daughter of Royce and Keri Young of Oklahoma City, was chosen to be the floragraph honoree who will represent Oklahoma in the Donate Life Rose Parade Float, according to a LifeShare news release states.

The Young Family with a floragraph of Eva Grace Young. Photo provided by LifeShare.

Royce and Keri Young received national attention when they decided to continue their pregnancy in hopes of offering others life, the news release states.

Eva will be honored as a tissue donor in a floragraph on the Donate Life Float.

“A floragraph is a portrait of the donor, created with floral materials such as seeds, grains, spices, dried flowers and other organic materials. She is one of 44 donors to be featured on this year’s float,” the news release states.

Keri Young was getting a routine 19-week ultrasound when doctors discovered that Keri and Royce’s daughter was growing, developing and kicking, but without a significant portion of her brain. A doctor told the Youngs that their baby wouldn’t survive long after delivery. The doctor said the baby had anencephaly, a condition that was “incompatible with life.”

“Within a few minutes of hearing this news, the Young’s asked the doctors about organ donation. The doctor sent them home for 48 hours to decide what they were going to do. Their options were to terminate the pregnancy or continue the pregnancy to term with the intent of donating the baby’s organs. The family decided to continue the pregnancy and chose to name their daughter ‘Eva Grace’, which means giver of life,” the news release states.

The Youngs had a simple mission:

“To get Eva to full-term, welcome her into this world and let her give the gift of life to some other hurting family,” according to the news release.

A 4D ultrasound made the Young family more excited for the “life Eva would have, carrying on her legacy and celebrating the short time she was alive.”

“They were thrilled thinking about the legacy their little girl would leave behind and another family Eva would help,” the news release states.

Keri went to the hospital 37 weeks into her pregnancy. She had not been feeling Eva’s usual movements.

“The doctors could not find a heartbeat. The Young Family was devastated to learn baby Eva’s heart had stopped beating. They learned that because of that, their daughter would not be able to be an organ donor,” the news release states. “They continued with their birth plan and spent time together as a family, cherishing their last moments with Eva. A few minutes after she was delivered, their phone rang with news that Eva could donate her eyes.”

Finding out that a part of Eva would help another child brought the Youngs happiness.

“Eva’s story has made an incredible impact on the Young Family. Although the Youngs miss Eva daily, they cannot deny the significance of her tiny life and her effect on the world,” the news release states.

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