“She’s still our third child and she’s still very much loved”

Couple will carry unborn baby with anencephaly to term

By Dave Andrusko

 Brandi Rogers, 25, is carrying her unborn baby Emersyn to term. Doctors diagnosed Emersyn with anencephaly when Rogers was 20 weeks pregnant. (Brandi Rogers)

Brandi Rogers, 25, is carrying her unborn baby Emersyn to term. Doctors diagnosed Emersyn with anencephaly when Rogers was 20 weeks pregnant. (Brandi Rogers)

When Brandi and Michael Rogers learned their unborn daughter Emersyn, had been diagnosed with anencephaly, a devastating brain condition, the couple from Effingham, South Carolina, could have done what most couples do when they learn their child would be fortunate to live until birth: they could have aborted.

They didn’t, even though the best prognosis is that Emersyn, who would be missing much of her brain, would survive only a few hours or days. Michael and Brandi Rogers gave their most complete and heart-warming explanation for their decision to ABC News:

“It’s for Emersyn,” [Michael] Rogers said. “She’s a sister and she’s a daughter and it’s not just for organ donation. It gets a lot deeper than that. You’re in a room and you’re listening to your baby’s heartbeat and then you go into another room and they say, ‘Well, you can stop it.’ That’s extremely hard.

“We decided on the spot that it wasn’t something we were going to do.”

Brandi Rogers said they decided against inducing delivery early. “When we got home and we were researching, I was looking for a voice of someone who went full term and didn’t regret it,” she told Nicole Pelletiere.

“I want to be that voice. It’s OK to celebrate Emersyn even though she’s not going to survive. She’s still our third child and she’s still very much loved.”

Brandi Rogers tactfully told Jessica Imbimbo of The Morning News of Florence, “I don’t think going to term is for everybody, but if a lot more people spoke about it, a lot more people would be open to going to full term. ” She added, “There’s a sense of closure in getting to hold her and see her, for me. I want her to be with me when she passes.”

“We’ve come to grips with it, and we’re at peace with our decision,” her husband told Imbimbo. “We know what the outcome is going to be, but we still want her (Emersyn’s) life to have meaning.”