As 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