Health

After Stillbirth, Mom Learns She Has Cancer (Photos)

| by Sheena Vasani
A person wearing a hospital wristband.A person wearing a hospital wristband.

One pregnant Canadian mother learned she had cancer in the most heartbreaking way.

In June 2016, Loan Woll, 31, was thrilled to learn she was pregnant again after having only just recently experienced a miscarriage, the Daily Mail reports.

But months later, her hopes would be dashed again in the most tragic way one can imagine.

Woll found out she had stage 4 cancer only after she gave birth to her stillborn son, Finnick.

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It was the undetected non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which caused a growing stomach tumor that bled out into her belly for months, that ended up claiming the newborn's life.

A few months into her pregnancy, Woll had unusually low hemoglobin levels, in the high 50s.

"At the hospital they couldn’t believe that I was stood up, let alone going into work every day with such low hemoglobin levels," she recalled, reports The Sun. "Most people would have been lethargic and probably confined to bed with it. Yet I had walked in the room and I felt fine."

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Doctors assumed then Woll was just suffering from pregnancy-related anemia and didn't make a fuss over it until a few months later, when all realized something had gone terribly wrong.

In January 2017, Woll was 34 weeks pregnant when she began throwing up blood.

"I just felt horrendous," Woll said. "Suddenly, it came over me and I grabbed the bin where I threw up massive blood clots. It was horrific -- like something out of a movie. I was throwing up so much blood that I felt like I could be dying but all I could think about was my unborn baby."

A few hours later, doctors could no longer detect the baby's heartbeat. By the time Woll gave birth, the baby was dead.

"I was in so much shock I didn’t know what to do," recalls Woll. "He was perfect in every way and we're so thankful to have met him. There are few words to describe the devastating loss of a child. I held on to Benjamin and we cried and cried. Nothing could have prepared me for what had happened."

Things only went from bad to worse when, a few days later, doctors told her she had cancer.

While the condition claimed the child's life, Woll's treatment so far has been successful. Although they are waiting on laboratory results to confirm it, doctors say there is no sign of cancer.

Now Woll is trying her hardest to rebuild her life by raising funds for cancer patients and parents of stillborn babies.

In three months, she has raised more than $60,000 for a variety of charities.

"Our hope is that, down the road, we might encounter someone we can really help," Woll explained.

Sources: Daily Mail, The Sun / Photo credit: Thirteen Of Clubs/Flickr, loanwoll/Instagram via Daily Mail

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