Mom With Cancer Chooses Baby's Life Over Her Own

Inspiring 62

baby footAs mothers, all we want is for our kids to be happy and healthy, right? And I think it's safe to say that we'd do pretty much anything in the world to ensure their well being and safety, even if it means putting ourselves in harm's way.

A woman in the U.K. named Sarah Brook was put to the ultimate test when she had to choose between possibly saving her own life or saving the life of her unborn baby. When she was six months pregnant with her daughter, she got the devastating news that she was battling bowel cancer. She'd been suffering from back aches and morning sickness, which are two symptoms that can typically be attributed to pregnancy -- and she was no doubt shocked when she learned that she actually had a life threatening disease.

Sarah was faced with a gut wrenching dilemma when she had to choose whether to start chemotherapy and risk the life of her baby, or to delay treatment altogether in the hopes that her child might live.

Ultimately, she decided that the life of her baby was more important than her own, so she put off chemo and wound up delivering her baby girl, Polly Jean, premature at 27 weeks

The baby is now 4 weeks old, and her condition is improving -- and odds are good that she will go on to lead a full and happy life. But sadly, 32-year-old Sarah is nearing the end of her fight. The cancer has spread to her lungs, pancreas, neck, and intestines. And this is a battle she knows she isn't going to win. Doesn't that make you want to break down and cry? This is seriously one of the most heartbreaking and unfair things I've ever heard of a mother having to go through.

Holding her tiny baby in her arms and knowing that she won't live to see her grow up is beyond devastating. But at the same time, I can't help but feel inspired by her selflessness and her incredible love and devotion for her child. I mean, the thought must have crossed her mind more than once that delaying her treatment may cost her the ultimate price, but she still chose to put the health of her child above her own survival. If that doesn't speak volumes about the level of unconditional love in her heart, then I don't know what does.

Knowing her time with her baby girl is running out, I'm sure she's savoring every single second she has to cuddle her, smell her tiny, perfect little head, and tell her how much she loves her. This little girl may not remember her mother growing up, but hearing the story of the incredible sacrifice she made will remind her of just how much she loved and cherished her -- even before she was born.

I only hope that Sarah can find some peace in the fact that she saved her baby's life, and that her legacy will live on in her daughter forever.

What would you do if you were faced with a decision like Sarah's?


Image via Family O'Abé/Flickr

pregnancy health, baby health, birth stories


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nonmember avatar Darlene

No question in my mind. I would go for treatment. My other children need me.

Judith K Littles

How selflless and brave of Sarah. this is a very sad story. I don't think many people would have done what she did. I hope her child grows up knowing how much her Mom loved her. There was a teenaged girl who made this same choice. The teen's name was Jenni Lake. Here is a link to her story 

gibso... gibsons2006

When I was expecting my first child (my sweet son Daniel), my husband actually had this conversation-- if there was ever a question of whether to save my life or the life of my child.  We both have agreed without question that it was the life of my child that would ALWAYS trump my own life!  In fact, we thought that was almost a decision we would have to make as I had a very traumatic and dangerous deliver of my DS.  However, the Lord was gracious and we both are super! :)  We need more mothers like this Sarah!!!

SwePea SwePea

It's my personal choice to always pick the life of my child over my own. It's my duty as a mother. Plus, I already got to live mine. My children would carry on and I have a very supportive family that would take care of them happily.

nonmember avatar Em

Sarah is a brave, strong woman and a great mom. That being said, I don't think it would have been wrong for her to choose getting herself healthy (via chemo) over her unborn baby. I'm sure there have been women who have made this decision with a lot of thought, and I think they are brave too. It's a personal choice.Probably not a popular one, but a valid one nevertheless.
Up until I delievered each of my children I knew that, should an emergency arise, my doctor would save ME, his patient. I was informed of this directly. His obligation was to me first.

Samantha Wortham

What a women!. I was in tears reading this. So sad and inspiring. I would also choose the life of my children over my own hands down. I would not choose the life of my fetus ove mine own though. My other babies need me and until a certain gestational age I don't see it as a baby, personally, and would not die for it. But other people are free to choose according to their beliefs and I applaud this women for following her heart.

I wish this women and her child all the hapiness their life can bring for how ever long it lasts.

calim... calimom73

I think the choice would be much harder if you already had other kids like Darlene mentioned above but if it was my only child my husband and I would have to decide together as ultimately I would be leaving him as a single dad right from the start. 

Weeev... Weeevilbum

I would choose my children's lives over my own but I don't see anything selfless and brave about choosing a fetus over your own, you're leaving a newborn baby motherless.

nikol... nikolita87

My husband and I have heard of stories like this. We both agreed that it's best for me to live. Of course it's not an easy decision to make, but we figure we would hope that the treatment would work and later we might be able to try getting pregnant again. We already have a 5 year old son, and he needs his mama.

femal... femaleMIKE

This sounds like the cancer is aggressive. Most likely she wouldn't have made it even if she chose treatment.

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