Haughton mom to carry fatal pregnancy to term for organ donation
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Pregnancy is one of the happiest moments in a woman's life.
But no mother expects to hear that her newborn will die shortly after birth.
At 18 weeks, Haughton resident Brittney Walls found out she is having a girl.
But during that same appointment, the excitement went to concern. She froze in fear when her doctor told her she had a fatal pregnancy.
"I had to make the decision of whether I was going to keep her or terminate," Walls said.
She is overjoyed about this blessing after a previous pregnancy ended in miscarriage.
Her baby girl has anencephaly, a rare condition in which a fetus has a brain stem and no brain. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 1,206 pregnancies in the United States are affected each year.
There is no known cure or treatment. Almost all babies born with anencephaly die shortly after birth.
"We know she is going to pass," Walls said. "She will be with me the whole time until it's time for them to get her."
Wall is so excited that she carries her sonogram pictures in her purse and is quick to share her excitement.
While some mothers would choose to terminate the pregnancy, Walls said her baby has a purpose.
She got the idea of organ donation from her best friend's mom.
Walls will be the sixth person in Louisiana to carry a fatal pregnancy to term.
She's even picked out the name Anastacia Faith. Anastacia means "reborn through Christ."
Walls said it will be such a massive purpose in her life and her baby's life if they can help another child.
An organ recovery team from the Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency will stand by during delivery.
When Walls is ready, the team will take little Anastacia Faith to the operating room.
The agency's Laura Leguin said Anastacia must hit a certain weight in order for her heart to be used.
If not, there is a possibility they can do a heart-for-valves transplant.
There is always a possibility for kidney transplant done by a doctor in California.
Walls is happy that her baby's organs will be used to save another life, which is one reason she chose to take this pregnancy to term.
She is expected to birth the child next week. The family has started making funeral arrangements.
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