Many women decide to terminate their pregnancy for justifiable reasons particularly if it could cost them their lives but even if continuing her pregnancy means risking her life, a mom from New York City decided to protect the unborn child in her womb.
Elizabeth Joice and her husband Max were ecstatic when they learned that she was pregnant. After all, her doctors have already told Elizabeth that she would never get pregnant after going through chemotherapy in 2010 to beat sarcoma, a rare but malignant tumor. The pregnancy was a gift and a miracle for a couple who no longer expected to have a child.
Elizabeth had already been declared cancer-free but one month through her pregnancy, the couple's excitement turned to despair when they learned that Elizabeth's cancer had returned. Although the doctors have already removed the tumors in her back, Elizabeth still needed to undergo a full-body MRI scan so doctors would know if her cancer had already spread and get a better overview of her condition.
The MR'S contrast dyes, however, pose a danger to the developing fetus so Elizabeth either had to choose between terminating her pregnancy so she can undergo treatment or ensure the safety of her unborn child and leave her cancer untreated. Elizabeth chose to protect her baby.
"We felt that if we terminated this pregnancy and did these scans, if it turned out that there was no evidence of this disease after the scans, then we would have possibly given up our only chance at having a child naturally and would have done it for nothing," Max said.
The baby's delivery was due March but because the cancer was already spreading and the baby was healthy enough, doctors performed a caesarean section earlier. Baby Lily was born Jan. 23. By then, however, the cancer has already spread to Elizabeth's right lung, heart and abdomen.
After six weeks on March 9, Elizabeth died at the age of 36.
"In the face of this life-threatening illness," Max said, "she was so optimistic and so strong and so willing to go through whatever fight she would have to go through in order to have this baby."