Doctors expected Kathy to die over the weekend......
steadyaku47 comment: If you think you have problems....please spend a few minutes reading this: It will tug at your heart strings.
BETH GREENFIELD, YAHOOYahoo7 News
A US mother is fighting for her life alongside her premature newborn after receiving a devastating cancer diagnosis at 26 weeks pregnant.
Kathy Taylor, 33 — already the mother of five other children — was told she had an advanced form of melanoma earlier this month, prompting doctors to induce her labour so she could start receiving life-prolonging treatments. Her son, Luke, was born weighing just one pound, 15 ounces.
“He’s about as long as a pencil,” Jocelyn Taylor, Kathy’s mother-in-law, told the Deseret News, adding that Kathy is a devoted mother who has been home-schooling her kids.
On Sunday, Kathy watched from her hospital bed via Skype as her oldest child celebrated her 10th birthday with a party at home in Bear River, Utah. Baby Luke, who remains on a breathing machine at Salt Lake City’s University Hospital neonatal intensive care unit, is expected to stay there for months.
While Kathy has not yet been able to hold him, she was able to reach through his incubator to touch him before settling in at the Huntsman Cancer Institute, where she remains.
“It’s unclear whether she’s responding at all to the treatment, although it’s only expected to prolong her life. She’s still going to die,” Kathy’s brother-in-law, Brandon Taylor, told Yahoo Health from his home in Florida.
“Both sides of the family have really stepped up well with watching the kids and making sure they’re occupied. So as hard as it is, we’re pleased with how the kids are reacting so far.”
Brandon, who is brother to Nathan, Kathy’s husband of 12 years, has set up a FundMe page, “Kathy's Miracle,” in order to raise money for the family. So far it’s pulled in more than $48,000, which has been a huge and touching surprise for the family, he said.
“We pray for a miracle like those we hear about while sharing stories in church, but we are preparing for life for a husband without his wife, children without their mother, and laughter without her signature giggle,” the page reads.
“[The baby] won’t know his mother. Only stories told by his older siblings, pictures of a dark haired beauty, videos of a vibrant, energetic woman, and a reflection of her as he gazes into the mirror. Kathy, you leave us much to soon!”
While Kathy had melanoma removed from her back seven years ago, it reappeared there during her pregnancy, Brandon explained. Shortly thereafter, the mum-to-be had trouble breathing and was rushed to the emergency room, leading to her advanced cancer diagnosis.
Doctors expected Kathy to die over the weekend, prompting the family to set up goodbye visits for all of the children; but she was able to begin a new treatment on Monday that aims to inhibit cell mutation in her liver, according to an update on the FundMe page.
“If she responds to the treatment, she can then attempt to treat the melanoma in her liver,” the update noted.
“We did not expect her to be able to start this treatment. This includes a slew of oncologists and other medical professionals at the Huntsman Cancer Institute [where she is a patient]. Kathy is truly remarkable!”
Painful stories about mums dying or becoming gravely ill just as their newborns enter the world have been too many lately. Just this week in Philadelphia, a baby was delivered by caesarean section after a stray bullet killed her 25-year-old mother.
Earlier this month, a nearly two-month-old California “miracle baby” was released from the hospital; he had been born prematurely in July after his 21-year-old mother’s sudden death of a brain hemorrhage. And in March, New York mum Jenna Hinman was put into a medically induced coma following the diagnosis of an extremely rare placenta cancer and the birth of preemie twins. Hinman died in May, leaving her husband, a US Army infantry sergeant, and her parents, who post updates on a Facebook page, to care for the baby girls.
In each case, the feelings of tragic loss mixed with the joy of welcoming a new baby into the world work to create a complex set of emotions for the loved ones left behind.
"Most of the joy [over the new baby] has to take second place, given the depth of emotion of grief over a mother’s death," Fredda Wasserman, clinical director of adult programs and education at Our House Grief Support Centre in Los Angeles, told Yahoo Health.
“It becomes hard to convey the delight that’s normally present because it’s just so tempered by the sadness.” What makes a mother’s death particularly harrowing after the birth of a baby, she added, is that “one of the people who would be among the most joyous, and one of the main providers of love, is the one who is gone.”
For the family of Kathy Taylor, Brandon said, that anticipatory grief is being soothed, if only slightly, by the outpouring of kindness by strangers who have left messages or donations on the Fund Me page.
“It really gives us perspective on humanity,” he noted.
“It’s been a lesson to my family that people are still good. There’s strength in that.”