Hope Lee lived for just 74 minutes outside the womb, but her tiny life is still helping to save others.
Doctors discovered that Hope had a condition called anencephaly in the 13th week of pregnancy, her parents Andrew and Emma Lee told BBC News. Usually fatal, anencephaly is the absence of a major part of the brain, brain stem or skull.
The Lees refused to abort Hope (pictured on the left above). Instead, the decided to treasure the time they had with their daughter; and they decided to create a legacy for her after she died by donating her organs, the report states.
“It was a very sad time, but our whole family are signed-up for organ donation,” her father told the BBC. “We had time to plan everything we wanted to do and the hospital was able to put into action the transplant of the kidneys, and some liver cells were taken as well.”
Hope was born last week in Cambridge, England. Her twin brother, Josh, who was born after her, survives. The Lees had a little more than an hour to spend with their newborn daughter before she died.
“Just before she died she bent her fingers around my finger and I broke down,” her father said. “Seventy four minutes isn’t long, but it has given us a chance for a bit of closure.”
After her death, her family donated her kidneys for transplant – making Hope the youngest organ donor in the UK, the report states.
“There’s an adult lady out there who is doing very well, so a lot of good has come out of it,” her father said.
Hope’s story is very similar to the previous youngest organ donor, Teddy Houlston. LifeNews reported his story in April. Teddy also had anencephaly and was a twin. His parents rejected aborting him, too.
“We thought that even if we had a moment with him, or 10 minutes, or an hour, that time was the most precious thing that we would ever experience,” his mother, Jess Evans, said.
Having made this life-affirming decision, Teddy’s parents decided to donate their baby’s organs after he died. An adult in Leeds, England, received his kidneys.
“We never doubted him,” his father, Mike Houlston, said. “He lived and died a hero. It’s impossible to explain how proud we are of him.”
In life and in death, these two tiny human beings are important reminders of how every life holds meaning.