Australian 18-year-old Brianna Rawlings was 17 weeks pregnant with her baby boy when she was diagnosed with leukemia, an aggressive form of cancer that affects white blood cells.
The strong chemotherapy she needed to treat the illness could harm her baby, which left her with a choice, her family wrote on GoFundMe:
She was given 2 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 with as much time as possible – womb side.
Rawlings opted to only be treated with “soft chemotherapy,” a less aggressive form of treatment, and planned to deliver her son at 28 weeks.
However, plans changed when the mom-to-be contracted an infection, according to the GoFundMe page.
She had to undergo an emergency C-section and welcomed baby Kyden at 26 weeks. Rawlings was thrilled.
The mom wrote on Facebook:
Nothing makes me happier than watching my son grow bigger and stronger!
Sadly, he only survived 12 days in the NICU. Her family said:
For 12 whole days this beautiful little miracle graced his mum and dad with his presence. 12 short but magical and treasured days, before tragically; growing his angel wings and leaving such devastated and broken parents behind.
After his passing, Rawlings underwent more aggressive treatments for her cancer, including more intense chemotherapy.
She was ready to receive a bone marrow transplant when her cancer got the “upper hand.”
And just months after the loss of her son, Rawlings lost her battle with cancer. Her GoFundMe read:
29th Dec around 9pm – surrounded by many broken hearts – Our Beautiful Brianna reached the end of her journey with us here on earth and was finally reunited with her Baby Bear Kyden.
We are absolutely broken but at the same time at peace knowing she is no longer in pain, no longer in pieces and unsure of what news was to come next.
Rawlings had just turned 19 a few days before she passed away.
Despite the heartbreaking news, the family said they are thankful for the time they had with their “angel” and her son.
The family said they will soon close the GoFundMe and use the funds raised for her funeral.