Feel good story of the day: Mother chooses life…and death

joiceFrom the New York Post comes the story of a mother suddenly diagnosed with cancer found herself pregnant and faced with a choice.  Elizabeth Joyce was told she couldn’t get pregnant, then she did.  She had to decide whether to undergo cancer treatment and abort, or forgo treatment in order to give her child life.

 

(NYPost) — A New York City mom made the ultimate sacrifice — giving up her own life so her baby girl could live.

Doctors told cancer patient Elizabeth Joice that she would never get pregnant, so when she did last year, it was something of a miracle.

But joy quickly turned to heartbreak for Elizabeth and her husband Max when doctors presented her with an impossible challenge: terminate the pregnancy and begin treatment — or put her life in danger.

It didn’t take Elizabeth long to reach her decision.

“Having a kid was one of the most important things in the world to her,” Max told The Post. “She said, ‘If we terminate the pregnancy and it turns out I can’t have a baby [later], I’ll be devastated. She knew this might be her only chance.”

Elizabeth and Max were together for two years in September 2010, when an MRI showed that what doctors thought was a herniated disc was actually a tumor.

[…]

[She] endured four rounds of chemotherapy, a surgery and even more chemo to make sure the tumor was eradicated.

She was declared cancer-free for three years but still longed to have a baby, even though doctors told her it was impossible.

Undeterred, the couple moved from the Upper East Side to Roosevelt Island in June 2013 to prepare to raise a family. Within a few days, Liz discovered she was pregnant.

[…]

Doctors removed the mass, but because she was pregnant, Elizabeth couldn’t undergo full-body MRI scans and her oncologist couldn’t see whether the cancer was growing.

The baby was due March 4, but the doctors could no longer wait. In January, a surgeon performed a C-section and beautiful baby Lily was born.

Elizabeth’s health quickly declined as her cancer spread. Tumors invaded her right lung, heart and abdomen “We said our goodbyes,” Max said. “It was like something out of a movie. We sat there and cried. We tried to tell stories, talk about all the great things.”

“Liz came home five days after Lily was born,” Max said. “That one night at home was all we had.”

Elizabeth died on March 9 in her hospital bed with Max by her side.

Comments

  1. Heartwarming and heartbreaking, all in one.

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