Nineteen-year-old Brianna Rawlings from Sydney, Australia, chose to forgo intense chemotherapy treatments so that her son, Kyden, would have a chance to make it through her pregnancy. But tragically, both her life and his were cut drastically short.
About four months into her pregnancy, doctors told Brianna that she would have to make a difficult decision thanks to a heart-breaking diagnosis.
According to the The Daily Mail, Brianna had been experiencing unusual symptoms during the beginning of her pregnancy. For someone who was only a few months along, the then 18-year-old was bedridden and felt excruciating pain. She went to her doctor, who decided to run some tests to get to the bottom of what was making her so sick.
“Test after test finally revealed an infection somewhere in my body,” the mom-to-be told reporters. “The doctors didn’t allow me to leave until they found the reason behind the pain and sickness. They checked my heart and all other organs but came up empty so they suggested a bone marrow biopsy.”
Thats how doctors discovered that Brianna had aggressive NK-cell leukemia, a disease that would cause Brianna’s bone marrow to no longer be able to create healthy blood cells.
“After it was explained to me, I was very surprised and angry as I didn’t expect it to be this serious, I just thought it was just morning sickness,” she explained. Unfortunately that wouldn’t be the only bad news that the pregnant mom would have to hear that day. Doctors also told her that there were two options about how she could go forward with her treatment. She could terminate her pregnancy and increase her chances of survival or she could forgo treatment to give her son a better chance of making it to term.
They decided to perform an emergency C-section on Brianna, 3 months before baby Kyden was due.The boy was born in September, alive and able to breathe on his own. In a Facebook post Brianna shared after her son’s birth, the mom expressed how thrilled she was to see him grow and thrive. “Nothing makes me happier than watching my son grow bigger and stronger!” she wrote.
Unfortunately, this “beautiful little miracle” would be short-lived. After only 12 days, Kyden died while being treated in the hospital for a stomach infection, according to The Daily Mail. That tragedy never dampered the love that Brianna had for her son.
“Those 12 days I was able to spend with my baby boy Kyden, holding him, counting his toes and fingers and talking to him like I would when he was in my tummy. They were just so special, they were the best 12 days of my life!” she said. “This infection took his precious life and our son grew his wings.”
Despite still grieving, Brianna’s family had to deal with tragedy for the second time when she finally succumbed to her illness in December.