A pregnant woman, Nguyen Thi Thu Hien diagnosed with stage-three breast cancer willingly accepted death so that her baby could live. Hien from Duc Pho District in Quang Ngai Province rejected chemotherapy which would have saved her life but would have equally cost the life of her unborn baby. She opted for death so her unborn child could live.
Hien and her husband, Nguyen Tan Thanh got married 18 years ago but weren’t able to conceive. The young couple later left their hometown in search of treatment for their infertility in the central coastal city of Quy Nhon.
Hien and Thanh gave up after multiple failed in-vitro fertilization attempts they could scarcely afford.
The good and bad news came after Hien slipped while delivering noodles to diners where she worked and was immediately admitted in the hospital. Bad news was that doctors diagnosed her with stage-three breast cancer and the good news was she her pregnancy confirmation 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. But she declined instead begged to save her baby, even if it meant death on her part.
Hien became paralyzed after the sixth month of her pregnancy and at 8 months, afraid that she might not make it as she was becoming weaker by the day, the sacrificing mother asked to have her baby delivered through C-section.
The child who weighed only 1.8 kilograms was born; Hien’s happiness knew no bound. After she recovered from the hour-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” stated the grieved mother.