Sunday 11 December 2016

Heartbreak of cancer-stricken mum who traded her life for that of her new baby girl

Independent.ie reporters

Published 18/10/2011 | 14:00

Baby Dottie Mae. Photo: Facebook
Baby Dottie Mae. Photo: Facebook
Stacie Crimm, refused chemotherapy so that her unborn baby Dottie Mae could survive. Photo: Dudleyfuneralhomes.com

NEWLY pregnant Stacie Crumm made the only decision she could when she discovered she had cancer – she put her baby’s life before her own.

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The 41-year-old from Oklahoma, who had been told by doctors that she would never have a baby, was thrilled to discover last March that she was expecting.



She even did five pregnancy tests to prove it was true, according to a report in the Oklahoman newspaper.



However her joy was short lived when severe headaches and double vision turned out to be cancer. Last July a CT scan revealed that it was in her head and neck.



Her brother Ray Philips told the newspaper that she then had to choose between her life and her baby’s life. She decided against taking the potentially lifesaving chemotherapy in the hope that she would hold a healthy baby in her arms.



In August the single mum collapsed at home and was rushed to hospital where doctors discovered the tumour had begun to wrap itself around her brain stem.



At noon on August 16 the baby’s heart began to drop and Ms Crimm’s heart stopped 90 minutes later. She was resuscitated and Dottie Mae was born by caesarean section weighing just 2lb 1 ounce.



She managed to get off the ventilator, but was not able to sign her birth certificate so the father is not named on it.



“The cancer was such that it had crossed one of her eyes and it had destroyed the muscle behind her eye. It paralyzed her throat. When she did talk, she was hard to understand. As far as her mind, she was there,” Ray Phillips told The Oklahoman.



As she was dying nurses took Dottie Mae from the Intensive Care Unit in a special capsule to bring her to meet her mother.



Mr Philips described how they carefully lifted the tiny baby onto her mother’s chest and she smiled at the baby who lay in her arms for the first and last time. Three days later Stacie Crimms died.



Dottie has now reached 5lb and has been allowed to leave the OU Medical Centre in Oklahoma city to live with her uncle Ray, his wife Jennifer and their four children.



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