Heidi Loughlin sacrificed her life and health so that her unborn baby girl could have a chance at life.
Tragically, her baby, Ally Louise Smith, died on Saturday after living eight days outside the womb, according to The Express. Ally weighed 2 pounds, 5 ounces when she was born on Dec. 11 – 12 weeks premature.
When doctors diagnosed the British mother with an aggressive form of breast cancer, they suggested that she have an abortion before starting cancer treatment. She refused the abortion and treatment both, in a risky but selfless move to save her unborn daughter.
After doctors watched Loughlin’s cancer progressed, they encouraged her to give birth early so that she could begin cancer treatments. They warned that she could die otherwise.
Louglin agreed hesitantly. She said she was “really scared” about the risks of giving birth prematurely to her daughter. On Dec. 11, Ally came out of the womb “crying and kicking,” her mother said.
“She was absolutely fantastic when she came out – that was an instant relief to me,” the mother-of-three said.
In a heartbreaking turn of events, Ally died just eight days later. Reports do not indicate why the newborn died. A heartbroken Louglin announced the tragic news about her daughter’s death on her blog.
She wrote a poem dedicated to her baby girl:
“Yesterday afternoon our hearts broke in two.
“For we had to say goodbye to you. Our love for you is a beautiful haze,
“Even though you lived for 8 short days We kissed you, we cuddled you, we tickled your feet,
“And I know again one day we’ll meet. Today brought a rainbow, the lightest of hue,
“And I wondered if it was sent from you? Our beautiful daughter Ally Louise,
“I whisper your name and it drifts on the breeze. The pain in my body and heart and my soul,
“Feels it will consume me and leave me un-whole. Your brothers will honour you in all that they do,
“We forever have three children, not just two, I will try to heal for you, and my body unfurl.
“You’ll be always beside me our beautiful girl.”
The 32-year-old mother and police officer discovered symptoms of breast cancer in February when she was breastfeeding her son Tait. But doctors thought Loughlin had mastitis. They gave her antibiotics and sent her home, according to the report.
“(The doctor) ran through a breast cancer checklist and I said there was zero cancer in my family, I never smoked or drank, and I lived a health lifestyle.,” Loughlin told the news outlet.
Then the symptoms worsened: Her nipples inverted and her skin developed an “orange-peel look,” she said. She was three months pregnant at the time.
In September, Loughlin returned to the doctor’s office where they diagnosed her with inflammatory breast cancer, a rare and aggressive disease – and asked if she wanted to have an abortion.
The mother insisted on preserving her unborn child’s life – though she has no guarantee that she herself will get better.
Loughlin began undergoing a milder form of chemotherapy and taking the hormone drug, Herceptin, until she gave birth. When doctors discovered the treatments were not working, they encouraged Louglin to give birth early so that she could begin more aggressive treatment.