KILLAWOG, NY (CBS Local) – A mother in New York delayed her cancer treatment until her baby could be born. When the baby was born, she received the devastating news that the infant’s heart stopped multiple times. Ariana Williams is fighting to survive after suffering from brain damage following her premature birth.
Andrea Cole of Killawog was diagnosed with breast cancer six weeks before giving birth to Ariana. To avoid harming the child, Cole delayed chemotherapy until she delivered the child.
“This was supposed to be the happiest time of my life and now I didn’t even know if I was going to be here for my daughter,” Cole said, via the Daily Mail. “But I knew I couldn’t stress because that would place stress on her. I denied chemo because I couldn’t take that risk.”
Fearing that her condition may become incurable, doctors waited until Cole was 32 weeks pregnant before inducing labor. Ariana was just under three pounds when she was born on March 9. Cole was reportedly able to start her cancer treatment 10 days later.
Cole’s sacrifice seemed to pay off and the family was released from the NICU in April, however, the child’s condition quickly deteriorated and her heart stopped on April 12.
“They managed to get her heart going again and she was rushed to the PICU. Then she began to code on and off for six hours,” the mother added. The lack of oxygen to Ariana’s brain has unfortunately left the baby with an unknown amount of brain damage. “I’ve done my own research and with brain injuries, it can take up to a year to see the extent of the damage,” the mother claims.
The family is continuing to hope for the best as both mother and daughter are receiving treatment at Golisano Children’s Hospital in New York. The hospital reportedly made it possible for Cole to continue treatment without having to leave her daughter’s side.