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Vietnamese mom turns down cancer treatment to save unborn baby

Thursday, July 21, 2016, 18:30 GMT+7

A pregnant woman in central Vietnam diagnosed with stage-three breast cancer has rejected chemotherapy which would have meant giving up her unborn baby and accepted death so her child could live.

Nguyen Thi Thu Hien, a woman living in Duc Pho District in Quang Ngai Province, got married to her current husband, Nguyen Tan Thanh, 18 years ago.

The young couple later left their hometown in search of treatment for their infertility in the central coastal city of Quy Nhon, where they made a living by selling street noodles.

Life was hard for Hien and Thanh, as they could barely afford the hospital bills for multiple unsuccessful in vitro fertilization attempts.

Tragedy struck when Hien was admitted to hospital after she slipped while delivering noodles to diners.

As fate would have it, doctors diagnosed the woman with stage-three breast cancer and announced her pregnancy during that same hospital admission.

Hien’s only hope of saving her life was to have her breasts removed and to give up her unborn baby and undergo chemotherapy.

Ignoring advice from her family and doctors, Hien begged to save her baby, even if it meant death on her part.

Before each of her three breast-removing operations, Hien would unfailingly promise her husband that she would live to see their child.

Waking up from the recurrent agonizing pains that would leave Hien passing out, the sacrificing mother would touch her belly to feel the faint heartbeat of her child.

Hien became paralyzed after the sixth month of her pregnancy, and all her everyday routines have since required assistance from her family members.

As Hien felt that she was becoming weaker day by day, she asked to have her baby delivered through C-section within the eight month of pregnancy, and a child weighing a mere 1.8 kilograms was born in the utmost happiness of the mother.

Recovering from the hours-long operation, the first thing Hien did was fumble for her baby, saying in tears, “I do want to live like everybody else, but I can’t lose my child, for I wouldn’t be able to live if I did.”

“The only thing I regret is not being able to breastfeed my baby, as my breasts have already been removed,” Hien said.


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