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19-year-old Mom and Baby Both Die After She Delayed Her Cancer Treatment to Save Son

It’s a choice that no woman should ever have to make, least of all someone so young. The choice between your own future and that of your unborn child. Choosing the immediate start of cancer treatment on an aggressive intruder threatening your life. Or instead allowing another life – a cherished life – to flourish inside of you. It’s knowing that even after you’ve made your choice, it might be the wrong one. And it’s the heart-wrenching understanding that you can’t know which is the right choice. This was what 19-year-old Brianna Rawlings of Sydney, Australia was faced with. Still, the best days of her life were yet to come.×280&!2&btvi=1&fsb=1&dtd=377

Bittersweet Ride

At just 17 -weeks pregnant, Brianna was diagnosed with an aggressive form of blood cancer. Both of the choices were horrifying. Forego cancer treatment, allowing the disease to run unchecked until the pregnancy was far enough along that she could deliver, or terminate the pregnancy and begin aggressive chemotherapy immediately. It’s times like these that you have little choice but to follow your own broken heart, so that’s what she did.

Brianna chose to delay treatment, in the hope that her unborn son would have a chance to grow just a little more. Once he was born, he’d be strong enough to move past this, and she’d catch up with him soon after. At almost 3 months before the due date, Brianna’s condition had worsened such that it became necessary to deliver the baby via emergency c-section. Baby Kyden made his debut, and it filled Brianna’s broken heart with joy.×280&!3&btvi=2&fsb=1&dtd=1189

He would only be a part of her world for 12 days, before losing the battle of his short life to a stomach infection. Speaking about the magical time she shared with her sweet baby, Brianna said “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!” (1)

True Love Is Selfless

Brianna would soon lose her own battle, making everything about this story heartbreaking, except for her seemingly indomitable spirit. She wanted life for her son, more than she wanted life for herself. They had less than 2 weeks together, but they were the best of her short life. She was sick with a disease that would ultimately take her from this earth, and because of the choice she made, she knew the likelihood of that was high. Nonetheless, 12 of the best days of her life were had, under those conditions, because they also included Kyden.

baby feet

Though this story has two sad endings, it is also filled to the brim with the selfless love of a mother. Brianna’s sister Kourt said it best in one of their GoFundMe updates:

“She was given two very raw and heartbreaking decisions, her selfless and caring side shining through—without hesitation, chose to halve her own chances of survival in order to give her son a fighting chance.” 

All she got out of the decision was 12 days, but they were the best of her life, and that really counts for something.

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