"She's a hero": Cleveland baby defies odds, saves two children

Credit: Clarissa Tilley, C. Tilley Photography

A Cleveland family is turning their worst day into hope for other families. Rylei Arcadia Lovett was born at Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga on Christmas Eve.

Krysta Davis and Dereck Lovett were told four months into their pregnancy their baby would not survive because of a rare, deadly brain disorder.

It’s called Anencephaly. It’s a condition where the brain doesn’t fully develop.

NewsChannel 9’s Kiley Thomas discovered they decided to carry their baby to full-term for one selfless reason.

“We only had two options. We could have her now or carry her to full-term,” said Davis.

Doctors told them if carried to full-term, they could donate her organs to save other children. Davis and Lovett looked at each other and knew that’s what they were going to do.

“If I wasn't able to bring my baby home, at least others could bring theirs home.”

Doctors expected Rylei to die 30 minutes after birth. She had other plans.

“There's no way to describe how amazing it felt. When you go to thinking you'll only have 30 minutes with your child and you get an entire week,” said Davis.

Rylei took her last breath New Year’s Eve night, one week after she entered the world. She beat her own odds of survival.

“The majority of these babies don't survive to childbirth,” said Dr. Kyle Gonzales, a Maternal Fetal Medicine doctor with Erlanger Hospital.

Gonzales say Erlanger says only sees babies with this condition about once a year. No baby survives it.

Before she died Monday night, Rylei was able to donate two heart valves that will go to two children who need them. Her lungs will also be donated for research and development of Anencephaly.

“Rylei has now left a legacy and is a hero because of it,” said Dawn Mazurek, Hospital Development Coordinator with Tennessee Donor Services.

This is the first case in 10 years Mazurek has seen a baby with this condition donate organs to help other families. She credits Davis’ and Lovett’s doctor for introducing them to the idea early in the diagnosis.

“There are going to be two kids who make it a lot longer because of her,” said Davis.

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