Expectant parents Abbey and Robert Ahern arrived at Oklahoma University Hospital that day with the intention of finding out their third child was developing anatomically well. They weren’t interested in finding out what the sex of their baby was but rather making sure the ultrasound would rule out any preeclampsia Abbey might have because of her past history with it.
When the technician stepped out of the room to consult with the doctors, they didn’t feel the need to worry. But when the doctor proceeded to perform a second scan, the Aherns were given some devastating news: their baby had anencephaly – and the chance for survival was grim.
They took a moment to process the information and decided to ask the sex of the baby – a girl. Abbey and Robert chose to name her Annie. Knowing their daughter would not survive her fate, the couple made a difficult decision that would impact many lives in the years to come.
The choice to abort their daughter at 19 weeks was not an option for the Aherns, so they chose to carry her to term. Assured she was not in any pain, they made the difficult decision to deliver Annie and donate her organs to those in need.
After living 14 hours and 58 minutes, Annie passed away, surrounded by her family – including two older sisters Harper and Dylan – and loved ones. Abbey hopes Annie’s gifts will help inspire others to give back to the world with organ donation.
“Annie’s story is one of hope. I think it shows people that in the midst of tragedy, there can be beauty. Annie was not ours to keep — her story was meant to be shared, and I intend to do so until the day I die,” Abbey said to Good Housekeeping.
Abbey And Robert Received Devastating News About Their Baby Annie
Annie Was Diagnosed At 19-Weeks-Old With Anencephaly
Her Parents Chose Not To Abort Her And Instead Donate Her Organs
It Was A Difficult Decision To Make