NFL fullback Evan Rodriquez and his wife, Olivia, are refusing to abort their first child who doctors say will be born with a rare and deadly birth defect, and are instead leaving the child’s fate in God’s hands.
CNS is reporting on the story of Evan and Olivia, whose unborn baby daughter, named Layla Sky, is due in December. Layla is suffering from anencephaly, a condition that causes a child to develop without a portion of the brain and skull. Babies who survive to term, normally only live a few hours or days after birth.
The couple was given the option to “either terminate or move forward with the process.”
After praying to God for guidance, they felt compelled to choose the latter.
“We decided to continue with the process because we felt like, who are we to determine a baby’s life? So, we are going to leave it in God’s hands,” said Evan, who was waived by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers just last week.
But it was a struggle. Olivia Rodriguez said she asked God, “Show me what it is that you want to do through all of this. What’s the good to come out of it?”
Love for her unborn child won out and she said they will do “anything we can to be able to make the best out of her life.”
The two are now working to raise awareness of anencephaly which strikes one in 4,859 infants a year in the U.S. Research has found that low intake of folic acid before getting pregnant increases the risk of having a baby born with some type of neural tube defect, which include spina bifida and anencephaly. There has been a 27 percent decline in pregnancies affected by neural tube defects since the U.S. began to fortify grains with folic acid.
As a result of their compelling story, the hashtag #thefightforlaylasky is spreading quickly on Facebook and Twitter.
As Olivia recently posted on Facebook: “Most [of] the time we plan on teaching our child about the world, never expecting you have to teach the world about your child.”
She’s also asking for prayer that Evan will be picked up by another team soon.
“I just ask everyone to help me pray so my husband gets on another team quickly,” Layla wrote on Facebook on August 21. “Our insurance runs out at the end of the month and it’s important to keep Layla on close watch and care. I believe the promises of the bible of when two or more come together …., Thank you facebook family for your continued prayers and words . . .”
Meanwhile, Evan is planning for the future and says one day “she’ll be waiting up there saying ‘Daddy’. So there’s a time and place for everything.”
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