At age 41, Stacie Crimm was thrilled to to be pregnant, but tragically she was soon diagnosed with neck cancer. She faced the hardest decision of her life, undergo chemotherapy to save her life, or refuse chemotherapy to save her child's life (video below).
Grimm refused the chemotherapy and survived long enough to deliver a 2-pound, 1 ounce baby girl named Dottie Mae, who had to be rushed into an incubator. Her brother Ray Phillips said: “This baby was everything she had in this world. My sister was dying right there. She was gasping. The human body fights death.”
“The cancer was such that it had crossed one of her eyes and it had destroyed the muscle behind her eye. It paralyzed her throat. When she did talk, she was hard to understand. As far as her mind, she was there."
Crimm often fell unconscious and hadn't been able to sign Dottie's birth certificate or name the father, so Phillips gained guardianship because she frequently told him that she wanted him and his wife to raise the baby with the four children they already had.
On Sept. 8, Crimm stopped breathing and once again was resuscitated. Hospital doctors and nurses warned the family that she was dying.
“Her heart had stopped. She quit breathing. She was technically dead, and then they brought her back,” said Phillips. But she had not yet held the baby whose life she had chosen above her own.
When his sister finally regained consciousness, nurses wheeled Dottie Mae down the hallway to her mother moments later. Nurses carefully lifted the baby from the incubator and placed the infant on her mother's chest.
Mother and child gazed into each other's eyes for several minutes. Crimm smiled at the baby who at last lay in her arms. Stacie Crimm died three days later.
Last week, Ray Phillips fulfilled his last promise to his sister. Healthy, 5-pound Dottie Mae went home to live with Ray and Jennifer Phillips and her four new siblings.
For more information and news about cancer and treatments, please go to cancertreatment.net.