Louisiana resident Kandace Smith is the latest hero when it comes to putting the birth and care of her own children ahead of herself — as she, while suffering from cystic fibrosis, rejected abortion to have triplets.
Because they didn’t believe she would survive, doctors told Smith she should have an abortion — destroying the lives of her three unborn children to save her own. because of the pressure a pregnancy puts on already-embattled lungs dealing with the medical condition, Smith’s physicians told her they worried about her own life as a result of the high-risk pregnancy situation.
But Smith refused and went ahead to give birth to her three children, in what some reports say is a medical first. Ultimately Smith carried the children for 28 weeks before her lungs began failing and doctors delivered the children at Tulane-Lakeside Hospital.
“I couldn’t believe that I was actually pregnant, and when the scan showed there were three heartbeats I nearly passed out,” Smith told the London Daily Mail newspaper in a new interview. “I didn’t actually believe it was possible – and there were three babies in my womb.”
“I’ve always had such a problem putting on any weight, I only weigh just over six stone, and I didn’t think I could actually fall pregnant,” she added. “When I discovered I was pregnant, I was in shock anyway. But a week later a scan showed I was pregnant with twins, and then another scan later showed it was triplets. We had only just got used to the fact that we were having twins, so to be told that it was actually triplets was even more shocking.”
About the suggested abortion, Smith told the newspaper, “They told me that to have a termination would be better as it would make sure that I survived. But I was determined. I knew that it was going to be difficult and risky for me, but I wanted to take that risk. I had never thought it was possible that I could ever be a mum, so I wanted to have that chance.”
Obstetrician Gabriella Pridjian, from Tulane-Lakeside Hospital, told the Daily Mail doctor gave Smith medication to ensure the babies were not delivered too prematurely, but they eventually decided to do a Caesarian section at 28 weeks.
“My breathing got worse and worse and eventually it got so bad that they didn’t think I was going to make it. So even though the babies were tiny, they needed to deliver them,”
Smith told the Daily Mail. I was so worried about them because they were being born so early. I just had to pray that they would all survive.’
The three identical girls are named Brooklyn, Savannah and Dakota and the couple, Steven and Kandace, were able to bring the babies home in January of this year following the birth last October. none of the babies needed breathing assistance following the birth and, although they are all carrier of the gene for cystic fibrosis, none of them have the condition.
“It has been the hardest fight of my life – but it has been worth every second. I would have died for my girls if I’d had to,” Smith concluded.