ROWLETT, TEXAS - Thousands of stuffed animals are part of the Zapotockys holiday tradition.
It's a tradition honoring a son that they knew for just moments.
"Twenty weeks to carry a baby that you know is not going to survive is a long time," said Whitney Zapotocky. "It's just really hard, really hard."
Back in 2014, Whitney and her husband, Adam, faced a seemingly impassible decision. At just 20 weeks pregnant they learned their son would be born with Potter Syndrome, a rare and fatal condition.
"If I carry him to term when I get to heaven is he going to say, 'Mom, why did you let me suffer?'" Whitney said. "And that was what I was worried about."
But rather than terminate the pregnancy they made the decision to carry the child to term so his organs could be donated.
"It's our way to share our boy," Whitney said.
Rather than flowers, the Zapotockys asked friends and family for stuffed animals. They didn't realize it but they had started a tradition in their late son's memory.
"It exploded beyond what we ever imagined, what we ever dreamed was possible," Whitney said.
In 2014, they donated 250 stuffed animals to a children's hospital.
"At that point we knew there was no stopping no turning back," Adam said.
Today, under the name Tyler's Toyz, their house is filled with more than 3,200 stuffed animals, which will all go to children spending the holidays away from home.
Donating to children in need and raising awareness for neonatal organ donation.
"I think that more now Tyler's story is really being shared as far as giving all you can give and making the best for someone else out of a bad situation," Adam said.
And just days away from Christmas, Whitney has one more surprise to unveil. She's pregnant.
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