Another heartbreaking story of loss and bravery occurred in the United Kingdom: a baby girl named Hope, who died 74 minutes after her birth, has now become the youngest organ donor in the country.
Emma and Drew Lee of Newmarket, the parents of Hope and her twin brother Josh, discovered just 13 weeks into the pregnancy that one of their twins was suffering from anencephaly. This was a medical condition in which the skull does not develop properly.
Emma and Drew met 10 years ago. Their firstborn child was named Madie and was conceived after Emma underwent IVF treatment. Emma said the twins were conceived the same way. After attending a 12-week ultrasound scan, the couple was told of the tragic news.
Emma and Drew were asked if they wanted to abort one of their twins, but the couple bravely refused.
"The first thing I said was 'I want to donate the baby's organs'," recalled Emma. She said she had not discussed it with her husband, and it was spontaneous and felt very natural.
"Straight away he said 'I want to do it as well'. We were distraught but we didn't want her to die in vain," said Emma.
Consultants gave the couple a choice to terminate the affected twin. They were told that if they did not abort, there would be a greater risk of the other twin to be born prematurely.
Still, the couple decided to carry on despite the risks. Around this time, they were told that Emma was pregnant with a baby boy and a girl. Drew said he thought of naming their baby girl Hope.
"It means hope for us and hope for the other people she helps," said Drew.
Emma delivered Hope during the last week of November at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, minutes ahead of Hope's twin brother Josh.
"Watching Hope being born was great but heartbreaking at the same time because I knew she wouldn't survive. I will remember those minutes as long as I live," added Drew.
Similarly, a baby boy named Teddy Houlston had previously become the youngest organ donor in the UK after dying because of the same condition.
Emma said she had read of Teddy's story in the papers, and her thoughts back then were that Teddy's parents were so brave.
"I never expected that I would end up in exactly the same position," said Emma, adding that when they found out Hope would not survive, Teddy's story made them feel hopeful that the doctors could do the same thing. Hope's parents agreed to donate her liver and kidney cells.
Meanwhile, according to the National Health Service, 43 babies under the age of two years old have donated organs in the UK since 2005, and 11 babies under 60-days-old have donated in the country. Hope Lee is the second baby with anencephaly to donate organs. Teddy Houlston died 100 minutes after his birth in 2014.