Sweet Eva: Miracles on Earth and in Heaven


On this last day of Anencephaly Awareness month, we wanted to share the story of sweet Eva. Sufficient Grace Ministries Comfort Doula Kelly Gerken and SGM Remembrance Photographers: Erin Foster (maternity) and Kristi Bodey, along with the teams from Life Connection and Purposeful Gift had the privilege of walking with this family through their time waiting to meet their beautiful baby girl. Eva is so loved. She defied many of the odds, living much longer than expected…a life filled with miracles…even though it was brief. She was able to donate organs for research, as described in her mother’s brave and beautiful words below. Parents, Katie and David, were surrounded with the love and support of their family and friends, their support team, and covered in so many prayers…every step of the way. Sufficient Grace Ministries was honored to attend appointments with this family, helping with the planning process.

One of my favorite memories with Eva and her family occurred during the last moments of her life. The song Good, Good Father was playing on the computer. I sang along quietly as Eva took her last breaths while being held by her mother and father. Miraculously, her color…which had been slightly purple due to low oxygen and blood flow…changed minutes after she was taken to heaven. She was restored to a typical rosy newborn color. No one could explain Eva’s miracle. But, her family knew it was just another gift from their heavenly Father…a reassurance that she is perfect in heaven and that they would meet her again one day.

The beauty, courage, love, and faith Katie and David share shines in their eyes and in the telling of their story. It was an honor to watch them walk this path with beauty and grace…the sweetest beauty…even in the broken.



Let me tell you about my daughter…

by Katie Yankee

Let me tell you about my daughter…

If I could tell you something about my daughter Eva I would tell you that she was a fighter. She fought the odds. She proved everyone wrong. She fought to give us almost 6 hours with her.


If I could tell you something about my daughter Eva I would tell you that she was strong. Just when we thought she had taken her last breath, she took another.


If I could tell you something about my daughter Eva, I’d tell you she was strong-willed. She was sassy.  She knew what she liked and what she didn’t like and she wasn’t afraid to let us know.


If I could tell you something about my daughter Eva, I’d tell you that she was beautiful. She had the most perfect little lips.  Even amongst great pain, even amongst the ashes, she brought us beauty.


If I could tell you something about my daughter Eva, I’d tell you that she was a miracle. Her skin lightened just seconds after she had passed into Jesus’ arms, something no doctors could explain.


If I could tell you something about my daughter Eva, I’d tell you that she was light in the midst of darkness. She showed us that there can be joy in the midst of great sorrow.


If I could tell you something about my daughter Eva, I’d tell you she was a hero. She donated 6 organs for research, to help improve the lives of others.


Many people said that I did something special because I chose to give Eva life even when I knew she would die. But let me tell you something about my daughter… It was Eva who gave me life. It was Eva who taught me to treasure each moment, to protect the ones you love fiercely. She taught me to fight. She taught me to be brave. She taught me to live with no regrets. She showed me that there’s a strength in me… Not because I’ve done anything special, but because He died for me.  That strength comes from Jesus.


Let me tell you something about my Jesus.. He holds a piece of my heart in His hands and her name is Eva.



Don’t Cry for Me

Written by Kevin Park (Eva’s Grandpa) from the perspective of Eva Kathryn Yankee

Don’t cry for me Mommy, I am happy and blessed.. Jesus called me home and my soul is at rest.

Don’t cry for me Mommy, you and Daddy gave me life. Five hours and forty-two minutes was a miracle, and there is no strife.

Don’t cry for me Mommy, they said I would not breathe. But I breathed and I cried and I held Grandpa’s finger, and because you asked- Our Father let me linger!

Don’t cry for me Mommy, my body is perfect.  My cry used to be hoarse, but now I sing with a big voice, of course.

Don’t cry for me Mommy, I am running in a field.  My bare feet are squishy in deep heavenly clover, and then I see Jesus and He just called out to me, “Eva Kate, come on over!”

Don’t cry for me Mommy, I am sitting on Jesus’ lap.  Everyone is belly laughing because Jesus just began to rap.

Don’t cry for me Mommy, Jesus is telling me a story.  When I was in your tummy, He whispered into your ear.  He said my name means life and He helped to take away your fears.

Don’t cry for me Daddy, daily ice cream here.  Blizzards in heaven have more chocolate and whipped cream.  I know yours are good Daddy, but ours are like a dream!

Don’t cry for me Daddy, I know you would like it here.  The wine is so sweet and the deer are all running.  The does are very fast and the bucks have racks that are stunning.

Don’t cry for me Grandmas and Grandpas, I know you held me tight.  You loved me so hard and you helped me fight. Your prayers and your faith helped me see the light.

Don’t cry for me Kelly, you helped my mommy so much!  Especially your love and dedication, your faith, your smiles, and your touch.

Don’t cry for me friends and family today, because although my life was not long, our God was glorified and Mommy and Daddy’s faith was so strong.

Don’t cry for me anyone when you think of me today, for I am with my Savior and friend Jesus who said I am a keeper and he asked me to stay.  God the Father and the Holy Spirit, too, have given me the chance to laugh and play and do a heavenly dance.

There is no reason to cry and no reason to mourn, for I was so blessed since the day I was born.

My Mommy and Daddy are forever blessed for their commitment to life and our Savior- passed the test.

My life is recorded in history today!  Eva Kathryn is my name and I came to say: My life gave my Mommy and my Daddy and family a chance to profess their faith and think about the eternal dance.

Heaven is a place that you could not describe until you knew me and could see where I was going.  So don’t cry for me today, because now you know what I am knowing.  That our faith and our love of our God helps our minds to see the showing.  The angels and the cherubim are dancing and singing and I am dancing and singing too, and my dress is glowing.

I love you Mommy and Daddy.  You are so awesome and your faith is so strong.  But don’t cry for me- for I will see you again soon, I promise you it won’t be very long!


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  1. Beautiful writings here from Mommy and Grandpa! We know the deep meaning and heart felt love you are speaking of. Our middle daughter has lost a baby boy Samuel due to anencephaly… and also another baby boy Josiah, to a herniated diaphragm, and later their 6 year old daughter Anna to heart defects. The Lord got them/us through every step of the way! We give Him all the glory!
    Our daughter went on in faith to have more children, and after 9 pregnancies and births she has 6 children still with us, and all of them are healthy and strong. They are ages 28 down to 11. Many people have said that after having one born without a brain they would never try again! Well if they had been fearful and given up they wiuld have only had one child…their oldest son Jared. But instead they have six! God is so good!
    May He continue to take care of you and bless you abundantly!
    P.S. I love Kelly and she is my “adopted daughter” ever since we met in blog land! She calls me Momma Linda!

  2. Faith Bradford-step great grandmother says:

    Katie and David are amazing people.The love they share for each other and family

  3. Laura Knapp says:

    This is so beautiful, as is Eva. We lost our 5 year old Grandson Layne to Brain Cancer, and we thank God for our Faith and can’t wait to see him again someday. You are a beautiful family with a Heavenly Angel named Eva I’m sure our Layne is pushing the swing for your Eva and they are laughing and talking about their earthly families. God Bless you.

  4. Grandma says:

    I feel so fully blessed to have been with my son, David, and daughter-in-law, Katie, at the birth of my beautiful granddaughter, Eva Kathryn. Eva was perfect and cooed to her mommy all the while Katie held her. Eva could feel her love.
    Witnessing this precious gift from God, returning home so soon to walk with Jesus, was indeed, a gift in itself and a privilege. Thank you to Katie and David for so unselfishly sharing their daughter with us, so we could drink in her love as we held her in our arms.

  5. Teresa Kroetz says:

    Absolutely beautiful! Eva you are so blessed to have a mommy, daddy and big sister who loves you dearly. The story gave me goosebumps, but at the same time I was at peace for the family. Eva you have touched so many life’s just the short time you were here on earth. Your a blessed beautiful baby girl. There’s a reason for everything and Eva there is a reason you were born. I believe everyone could learn a lesson from your parents. God bless you Eva and your mommy and daddy. Thank you for sharing your story.

  6. Linda Long says:

    God bless this beautiful family. How blessed, are so many, that Eva gave so much in her short time on earth. What a beautiful angel indeed. Hugs

  7. Donna Jean Warnimont. says:

    What a beautiful reading. Someone put a lot of thought in it, or our Lord gave him the words. Our Lord is wonderful and we all should be thankful for His gifts. Look how He took care of mommy and daddy.

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