A Sister's Story of Hope and Courage
Almost four years ago,
my sister telephoned to tell me she was expecting
her fifth child. She was very happy about it and
in good health. Shortly afterwards, she phoned me, this
time in great anguish and asking for prayer. She
had just had a pre-natal test to reassure herself that
eveything was alright, but instead was told that there
was a chromosome defect and that there was a 1:200
chance that her child might not come to term. It
could die in the womb or shortly after birth.Some time
later, my sister phoned again with more bad news. Her
third child began vomiting and developed high fever a
few days before Christmas. At first, the doctor believed
it was an ordinary virus, but it persisted and
when she began to have difficulties walking, she
was sent to hospital for further examination. She
was diagnosed with cancer. She had a 25cm tumour
on one kidney and shadows on her lungs. It was necesary
to commence chemotherapy straight away and remove the
kidney. Although the cancer was aggressive, recovery
rates were said to be good, and she was an otherwise
strong and healthy six year old. Her sixth birthday
was spent in hospital.
Thankfully she has a loving and supportive husband.
He took the news of the chrosome defect more calmly
and said they should put it in God´s hands. They
never considered an abortion: it was simply not an option
My sister came through her pregnancy and brought
their child to birth while struggling with the cancer
of their six year old daughter. They saw her through
her chemotherapy and an operation to remove her kidney,
while looking looking after their three other children.
Thankfully, they received great spiritual support and
concrete help from family, friends, neighbours and the
medical profession, as well as people whom they didn´t
know. They were often touched by their kind and generous
gestures. It was a very hard time, but their daughter
recovered and the child in my sister´s womb
- a boy - was born completley healthy. He entered the
world, weighing more than four kilos! In April
2007, my niece was said to be in
remission. She won´t get the "all clear"
until 5 years after treatment ceased and will then
be monitored very closely throughout her teens for late
effects. She is a happy, active child and, in July 2006,
was strong enough to act as flower-girl at her
uncle´s wedding. Her little brother is now
a robust two year old.I am proud of my sister and
her husband. They have taught me something
about courage, perseverence, faith and love. I am also
happy to say that all they have been through has enriched
their marriage, deepened their love and helped them
value each other and each moment together as a family.
Knowing something of my sister´s anguish,
I think of the parents who receive frightening news
such as she did; the suffering they go through; and
the many babies that are aborted because of such diagnosis.
Thank you for your work and your support for parents
facing such challenging and anguishing news. It is my
hope that this story will be a source of courage, hope
and strength to many.
to Misdiagnosis Stories
-The support, information and encouragement provided by the PPFL parents is not meant to take the place of medical advice by a medical professional. Any specific questions about care should be directed to a health care professional familiar with the situation.