Brianna Rawlings, a 19-year-old woman from Sydney, Australia, passed away after she delayed cancer treatment during pregnancy for the sake of her unborn son’s safety. Unfortunately, the child died within 12 days of birth. But her sacrifice wasn’t in vain because she said that the short time she spent with her child was the “best 12 days” of her life. Tragically, her life was also cut short as she succumbed to her illness within a few months.
According to Brianna's Go Fund Me page started by her family, she was diagnosed with NK-cell leukaemia, a rare and highly-aggressive cancer with high mortality rates. She had been suffering from extreme pain and fevers in 2018, which was later diagnosed as symptoms of cancer. But by this time, Bree was already pregnant and undergoing chemotherapy was impossible at that time because it could have harmed the foetus.
She was given two options – either to continue treatment or to carry the pregnancy to full term at the cost of her wellness. In a selfless act of motherly love, Bree went with the second choice, since she wanted her son to have a shot at life, even if it meant cutting her chances of survival by half. Daughter Suffering from Leukaemia Died After being Given HIV-Infected Blood during Transfusion, Alleges Kerala Couple.
"I was very happy and excited to be a mother - all I've ever wanted to have is a family. I was also scared of what the world had in store for me," she told The Daily Mail in an earlier interview.
The young mother was only 17 weeks into the pregnancy when she was diagnosed. But a blood infection she contracted during the pregnancy made the doctors rush in for an emergency C-section three months before the delivery date. Although the child didn’t survive, Brianna told The Mail that the days spent with her son, whom she named Kyden, were the best ones of her life.
“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 told the publication.
But despite enduring such a devastating loss, Brianna showed signs of improvement in the days that followed. The doctors advised her family to go for a $3,000 drug trail to save her life, after the prospects of a bone marrow transplant from her younger brother wasn’t considered a viable option.
The family decided to start a Go Fund Me page after the teen mom’s story caught public attention and they were overwhelmed by responses from people who wanted to donate for the expensive treatment.
Tragically, Brianna passed away on December 29, 2018, after only two rounds of the treatment. Her sister Kourt Rawlings disclosed the news on her Go Fund Me page saying: “Our Beautiful Brianna reached the end of her journey with us here on earth and was finally reunited with her Baby Bear Kyden.
"We are absolutely broken but at the same time at peace knowing she is no longer in pain, no longer in pieces and unsure of what news was to come next.
"We love you more than the stars beautiful girl, fly high and please guide those who are unsure of how to be on this earth without your contagious smile."
What is NK-Cell Leukaemia?
Aggressive natural killer (NK) cell leukaemia is a type of blood cancer which causes the abnormal growth of the NK cells of the immune system, responsible for warding off infections. The disease spreads rapidly, has a poor prognosis and a very low survival rate.
What Are The Symptoms?
Symptoms of NK-cell leukaemia include weight loss, swollen lymph nodes, fatigue, high fever, enlarged spleen, liver dysfunctions, blood coagulation disorder and reduced mature blood cells.