MILL VALLEY (KRON)– One Mill Valley couple found hope in a painful situation after deciding to donate their late three-week-old baby’s organs and tissues.
Aline and Josh Copp delivered their baby girl Carter Virginia Copp in June of 2016.
Their joy of becoming first-time parents was soon overshadowed after the Copp’s learned baby Carter had a rare genetic mutation that affected her brain development.
Carter’s brain didn’t develop past 25 weeks and she wasn’t breathing on her own.
A child has a one in 400 million chance of being born with the condition.
The Copps made the decision to say goodbye to their daughter after three weeks.
“We used that time to hold her every day, to read to her. We bathed her and changed her diapers and we cared for her,” said Aline Copp.
The parents picked July 14th as the day to say goodbye to Carter but vowed to make sure she made an impact.
Carter gave 11 organ and tissue samples to 5 different researchers, including her brain, lungs, heart, thymus, spleen, bone marrow, and liver.
“We felt it was a wonderful tribute that Carter could do and add a wonderful layer of dignity and meaning to her life,” said Aline.
The family is in touch with some of the researchers and are able to periodically get updates about how Carter is contributing.
After asking about donation, the Copps learned that Carter was too small to donate for transplant, yet she could donate her organs and tissues to support powerful medical research focusing on scientific advances to heal lives.
The Copps discovered that newborn tissue and cells are often still developing and have regenerative properties, which can make samples worth their weight in gold. Some researchers even wait years to receive a neonatal donation, as parents and even doctors are unaware that it’s an option.