Young mother with cancer sacrifices her life for her unborn child


#1

After she found she had cancer, she refused a treatment, which would likely kill her child or cause brain damage in her child. She had the full support of her husband, and this is his story as well as hers.
see www.lifesitenews.com/news/exclusive-young-mother-with-cancer-sacrifices-life-for-unborn-child?utm_source=feedburned&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+LifeSiteNews.com+Latest+Headlines%29


#2

I'm immediately reminded of Footprints in the Sand. When he says he couldn't even pick up his bible... and in the poem... Christ says, I had not left you... I carried you...

What a heart breaking story... His children will always know they are loved very deeply.


#3

Thank you.


#4

Obviously no one knows the details from such a skimpy source, so I don’t know what the doctors really told this couple. However, according to the article the choice boiled down to:

Mom tries treatment, may survive, baby might have brain damage

OR

Mom has no treatment, definitely dies and girl still likely has brain damage (since 23 weekers have about 3-5% chance of escaping severe brain damage)

I’m having a harder time than most in seeing the good here. The baby was at risk of barin damage either way, so what was gained by mom allowing herself to die?


#5

I agree with you.
I think we should be careful to just praise things which are very complicated moral dilemmas. Soem children here have lost their mother… Someone says they will know their mother loved them very much.
But I must ask myself why, in the case where a mother will probably die if she stops chemotherapy or something like that, then why people don’t abstain from sex or have their tupes tied?

It seems this is a loose-loose situation and if it could have been avoided it would have been more admirable.


#6

Hi Z1Z2,

I can certainly understand your point of view, but as a mother of five children, I can only assume that this mother wanted to give her unborn child the best possible chance of life available that she could.

Mothers usually will sacrifice their life for that of their children, and I can only surmise that she placed her trust in God and left it up to Him. Yes, God could have “done” a miracle and saved the mother and thus the baby born full term with no complications, but He allows us to make our own choices and helps us to live by them. Many times God will use the strong faith of others for the good of all. What love this mother showed – a true “perfection” of Christian love for another human being that He calls all of us to. There is no greater love than to sacrifice ones life for another.

So, what was gained by mom allowing herself to die? In my own opinion, I believe what was gained was the witness of her faith and love for others to see, and the miracle of new life, for every life has value, even if our physical and mental abilities aren’t up the world’s ideal of “normal”.

blessings of God,

CEM :slight_smile:


#7

I agree. I respect her choice to not take treatment because she thought that was what was best for her child, but I see no reason why the other route (taking treatment) would have somehow been immoral.


#8

here’s a link to her blog, updated occasionally by her husband.

jessicacouncil.blogspot.com/


#9

I also believe we need to be careful.

For me, I would be wary, simply because we don't know all the details. Maybe the baby would have issues either way, maybe the baby would survive either way. But I would have a problem with a priest, etc holding women as role models saying, ladies, you should be prepared even unto death.

I know I'd be conflicted if a doctor told me, "K, yes, you're pregnant, but you have a condition that makes pregnancy deadly and your baby may or may not survive the fallout." If it were definite that my baby would survive, I'd like to think I'd make the sacrifice. If not, I'd feel very torn about leaving behind a husband and potentially other kids. Because then, if the baby didn't live, there would be no point. Then, I'd have a family grieving a lost wife and mom AND a lost baby brother/sister.

Young girls in our society are already taught to fear pregnancy, unfortunately. I'd worry that someone saying, "You should be prepared to die for it," would have dangerous implications and make it worse. Note, I'm not condoning abortion or anything like that. I'm just saying, those are extremely complicated situations, and, as someone who hasn't had sex (but is discerning marriage with a good Catholic lad) and who's not in the medical profession, I'm wary of situations like these.


#10

Young girls in our society are already taught to fear pregnancy, unfortunately. I'd worry that someone saying, "You should be prepared to die for it," would have dangerous implications and make it worse.

We are all called to be prepared to die for one another, if a situation calls for that kind of love. This young women prayed and did what she believed to be right. In doing so, she made the ultimate sacrifice of love for her child. That kind of example should not scare us. It should inspire us to be and give more than this world would ever ask.

"Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13


#11

#12

I don’t expect to convince anyone of anything here, so we will have to agree to disagree. However, I stand by the point that there is more to this story than what was contained in one little article.


#13

[quote="sanctamaria17, post:9, topic:238331"]
I also believe we need to be careful.

For me, I would be wary, simply because we don't know all the details. Maybe the baby would have issues either way, maybe the baby would survive either way. But I would have a problem with a priest, etc holding women as role models saying, ladies, you should be prepared even unto death.

I know I'd be conflicted if a doctor told me, "K, yes, you're pregnant, but you have a condition that makes pregnancy deadly and your baby may or may not survive the fallout." If it were definite that my baby would survive, I'd like to think I'd make the sacrifice. If not, I'd feel very torn about leaving behind a husband and potentially other kids. Because then, if the baby didn't live, there would be no point. Then, I'd have a family grieving a lost wife and mom AND a lost baby brother/sister.

Young girls in our society are already taught to fear pregnancy, unfortunately. I'd worry that someone saying, "You should be prepared to die for it," would have dangerous implications and make it worse. Note, I'm not condoning abortion or anything like that. I'm just saying, those are extremely complicated situations, and, as someone who hasn't had sex (but is discerning marriage with a good Catholic lad) and who's not in the medical profession, I'm wary of situations like these.

[/quote]

Thanks for this. My gut response was that I would have gotten the treatment, running the risk of hurting the baby - because I would not want to put my son and husband through losing a wife/mother. :o

We need to realize that that decision - while it may not be as heroic - is not frowned upon by the Church. It fails within the concept of double-effect, i.e. if the child is hurt as a secondary consequence of a life-saving medical procedure, it's not as if it counts as abortion.

Like Sancta, I like to think that if my unborn child had a 100% chance of survival, I would gladly die. But there's a whole lot more at stake.


#14

Z1Z2, I understand the point you’re trying to make, but it’s also important to remember that the mother did not know she was going to die when the baby was only 23 1/2 weeks along. What she knew was that the doctors said her treatments would cause brain damage or even death to her child. So she chose not to do the treatments… She couldn’t know what the ultimate outcome would be. So, yes, we could judge from our point of view, knowing what did end up happening, but that doesn’t change the loving and heroic sacrifice she made to try her best to protect her child.

This story is also completely different from the story you mentioned, about the parents who deprived their child of treatment in the hopes of a miracle. Those parents denied their child of a treatment they knew would benefit her, whereas this mother turned down treatment for herself that would harm another. That is a very large difference.


#15

I don’t think so. The point I was attempting to make in tying the two stories together is this: maybe the miracle we hope for is not in the most obvious spot. The parents who deprived their daughter of treatment only looked in the most obvious spot. God “had” to directly cure their daughter, w/o treatment, for these parents to see a miracle. It seems that the mom who chose to go w/o treatment also looked for a miracle in only the most direct, obvious place.

I better, as I said, agree to disagree and let this go. I won’t convince anyone of anything, and I can’t see how this is a good thing, so I won’t be convinced of anything either. All we can do now is hope that the little girl will turn out to be in the minority of 23 weekers with minor brain damage.


#16

What scares me is that she became pregnant and noticed her first symptoms in August and then was misdiagnosed and may or may not have ignored subsequent symptoms as a result, until she ended up in the ER in November. To me she lost her life at least partly through medical error and possibly malpractice. It’s not clear from any of this whether she would have had much of any chance of survival even if she began treatments in November. If I were a young pregnant woman and I found doctors had inaccurately dismissed my symptoms this way and then caught it only 3 months later due to an ER visit, and then recommended abortion for treatments they could not fully vouch for but felt SURE would do some good - I’d have pretty upset feelings.

I think it’s rare that a pregnancy is truly life-threatening but often when that does happen there has been some medical error/neglect involved in getting to that point. That’s what would scare me. I’m sorry for the family’s loss and I hope the baby will pull through what are undoubtedly some serious health crises and rough times facing her, given that she is so premature. I hope the father and the children get a lot of emotional and spiritual support. This is real tragedy.


#17

[quote="pentecostbaby, post:13, topic:238331"]
Thanks for this. My gut response was that I would have gotten the treatment, running the risk of hurting the baby - because I would not want to put my son and husband through losing a wife/mother. :o

We need to realize that that decision - while it may not be as heroic - is not frowned upon by the Church. It fails within the concept of double-effect, i.e. if the child is hurt as a secondary consequence of a life-saving medical procedure, it's not as if it counts as abortion.

Like Sancta, I like to think that if my unborn child had a 100% chance of survival, I would gladly die. But there's a whole lot more at stake.

[/quote]

Thank you. Like I said, it's not like I wouldn't die for my kids. I'd want to make sure that my death would not be in vain. And, in that case, if the docs said, "baby's going to have damage either way," I'd get the treatment, so that I could be around to take care of my child alongside my husband, rather than leave him and possibly other children to care for a child, only to likely grieve again later on.

To me, that is a VERY huge loss for a family and it's easy to say, "Oh, she died a hero!" when we haven't lost our companion, caretaker/possible co-provider, parent of our children, and dearest friend. It's easy when we haven't lost our mothers at a young age and then possibly a baby brother or sister. Just like it's easy to glorify the struggle of poverty when we ourselves haven't lived it.


#18

What’s tragic is that she was always very careful with her health and she went to the doctor promptly and he misread a test which caused her to lose 3 months in which she could have been treated. it is not clear whether she was pregnant when she noticed the first symptoms - her husband may not even know b/c it sounds like it all happened around the same time. If she was not pregnant yet she could have been treated.

I know after a certain point it does not help to say ‘what might have been’ but if medical error is a huge part of a story I think it needs to be recognized so that it doesn’t happen again, if possible.

both my mother and my grandmother had thyroid cancer; they both had doctors who caught it early and had localized treatments and although they need to take thyroid supplements they are fine. This case is just a tragedy all the way around.


#19

Indeed.


#20

[quote="catharina, post:11, topic:238331"]
.......

[/quote]

Would you die for me as well? God Bless!


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