Skip to comments.Tragic end for woman who said no to cancer treatment to save her unborn son
Posted on 05/17/2007 8:28:31 AM PDT by Rutles4Ever
WHEN Anna Radosz, a mother to be, was diagnosed with a potentially fatal form of skin cancer, her first thoughts were for her unborn child.
Six months into the pregnancy, she was told a course of chemotherapy would be needed to successfully tackle the malignant melanoma.
But the 27-year-old refused the potentially life-saving treatment to protect her baby, and she gave birth to a healthy son, Oscar, last November.
But that selfless sacrifice has cost Ms Radosz her life.
Her partner, Daniel Smajdor, 26, was at her bedside when she died in a Polish hospital. He was said last night to be inconsolable with grief.
The couple had been full of hope for the future when Ms Radosz, an agricultural science graduate, left her native Poland to start a new life with Mr Smajdor in Scotland two years ago.
A qualified heavy-goods driver, he had originally worked with the bus company First Aberdeen before taking on a new job as a delivery driver.
A year before Ms Radosz's move to Scotland, a mole on one of her arms had been diagnosed as a malignant melanoma and removed. But last summer, when she was six months pregnant, spots returned to various parts of her neck, throat and arms.
Doctors at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary told the devastated couple that the cancer had returned. She was told she would need chemotherapy to fight the disease, but because of her fears for the life of her unborn baby, she refused the treatment.
Oscar was delivered prematurely in the 36th week of her pregnancy to enable her to begin chemotherapy as quickly as possible.
However, tests carried out after the birth revealed that the disease had spread into both her lungs. They also showed the presence of a brain tumour.
Ms Radosz, of Seamount Court, Aberdeen, was told conventional treatment offered her only a 10 per cent prospect of survival, but she discovered that pioneering gene therapy at Boston's world famous Brigham and Women's Hospital could give her a chance of seeing her baby growing up.
She pledged then: "I'll move heaven and earth to get more time with my precious baby. I could have a year, maybe six months or even less, but I'll do anything to live to be a mother to my baby. "
In a touching personal appeal in Szkocka, the magazine for Poles in Scotland, she told of her diagnosis, Oscar's birth and the deterioration in her condition.
"Recently a new hope has appeared. Unfortunately, the treatment is very expensive and I can't afford it. This is my last chance of a possible recovery or at least prolonged life. The cancer is spreading fast, therefore I am asking for help urgently. I would like to enjoy a family life for a little longer, watching my baby son grow."
Her tragic story touched the hearts of hundreds of people in her adopted home and her native Poland, and within weeks more than £30,000 had been raised towards the estimated £80,000 cost of her treatment in the United States.
The couple's prayers were then answered when the authorities at the American hospital agreed to take her case.
But last week, days before she was due to fly to Boston, she became seriously ill during a visit to relatives in Poland.
She was rushed to hospital and slipped into a coma, from which she never recovered. Mr Smajdor flew to Poland with his baby son and was at her bedside when she died last Friday.
Wayne Martin, their neighbour and friend in Aberdeen, said yesterday: "It came as a bit of a shock, because we thought she was going to make it to America. She was determined everything was going to work out."
He went on: "Daniel has been really upset but is trying to pull himself together for the sake of their son. Everyone is devastated. Daniel said he's now trying to put his life back together, but it's going to be hard for him. This is not the ending any of us wanted."
8,000 CASES A YEAR - BUT SURVIVAL RATE IS GOOD
MORE than 8,100 cases of malignant melanoma are diagnosed in the UK every year - accounting for 3 per cent of all cancers.
In 2005, the disease caused 1,818 deaths in Britain, including 158 in Scotland. Nationally, it is the seventh most common cancer in women and the tenth most common in men.
People who are very fair skinned, particularly those with fair or red hair, are more at risk of developing melanoma.
According to Cancer Research UK, if melanoma is diagnosed early, the survival statistics are very good and most stage 1 and stage 2 melanomas can be cured. A spokesman said: "In comparison to other types of cancers that are diagnosed in the later stages, the figures are still fairly good.
"For women in these later stages of the disease, just over five out of ten will be alive five years later. For men, just over four out of ten will be alive five years later.
"Overall, people from higher social classes tend to have a better prognosis. This may be because they are more likely to see a doctor about their melanoma at an earlier stage, but we don't really know the reason for sure."
Last updated: 17-May-07 01:00 BST
Take that, Gang of 18 (cowards!)
Divine motherly heroism. God Bless her and her child.
She did the right thing, something the DUmmies will never understand.
This woman was a TRUE parent and human being.
The quintessential definition of a guardian angel (and of an ultimate sacrifice)...for her unborn baby...may she rest in peace.
Oscar was delivered prematurely in the 36th week of her pregnancy
tests carried out after the birth revealed that the disease had spread into both her lungs. They also showed the presence of a brain tumour.
It seems likely that there was little hope for her to survive in any case. The melanoma didn't spread to her lungs and brain just during the two months she continued carrying the baby.
God bless her for doing the right thing!
May God Bless Anna’s family. What an incredible woman...
Why wouldn’t the cancer spread to her unborn child?
My thought. I’m not an oncologist, but it seems there wasn’t that much wasted time.
I can’t imagine how this poor woman lay awake nights, knowing there was a tumor in her body that would kill her, and she couldn’t do anything about it that wouldn’t harm her child.
This is a good example to show people that an unborn child is not just a growth in a woman, but a completely seperate person developing inside of a woman.
No greater love..........
God will reward her.
If she’s Catholic, there’s a good chance the Church will open up a cause for sainthood.
On a sidenote, I understand there is an effort to have an investigation opened for Teri Schiavo.
Please post any news you may find in the future, about this. And as a very great favor, I would appreciate a ping...
Couldn't have said it any better myself! The protection the placenta provides for the unborn is a great example of Divine design.
I fail to understand how this is “tragic”. Heroic, yes-—selfless, yes-—tragic, no. God rest her.
This is heroic.
There’s already a women who made a similar choice who’s been put forth for sainthood. I can’t remember her name, but it was several decades ago.