Photographs are often said to tell a story, and this is a story to needs to be shared. Its one that should be heard. You don’t have to be religious to be touched by this, you just have to appreciate human life, love, a husband’s love for his wife, a mother’s love for her child, and the possibility that there is a silver lining in even the worst things in this world. Sandrine’s life was saved by the baby she would never have dreamed of letting go of…
Please read and share this story, because everyone can be inspired by the strength of this family.
In Sandrine’s own words…
In July 2012, after 2.5 years of marriage, we learned that we were pregnant.
The first trimester was extremely difficult for me. We thought I was having pregnancy symptoms, but I continued to lose weight. I lost my appetite and suffered from body aches and pains well into the second trimester. I knew something was deathly wrong but decided within myself that I would hold on as long as I could to give my baby a fighting chance. I had no glow, could barely walk or carry my person.
One day in early February 2013, I woke up at Monmouth Medical Center only to learn that I was diagnosed with lymphoma/leukemia (HTLV 1), a very rare form of cancer. My husband had rushed me to the emergency room and was given this information on our third anniversary while I remained sedated. I also underwent an emergency c-section during that same week at a premature 29 weeks and 5 days of pregnancy to give my baby a chance at life and enable me to be treated and fight. I also had renal failure, DVT, a broken clavicle and more. I learned all of this after waking up from the week of sedation. I was sacrificing my body for my baby and my baby made us privy to all the hidden medical issues I had.
During pregnancy I lost 30lbs and went down to a painful 95lbs.
Arya was born just over 2 lbs in the OR after tough deliberation and decision making on the part of my husband and the specialists.
I was in the hospital for a month and a day. Arya was in NICU a month and half. Odell was with us everyday at the hospital taking care of both of us when I couldn’t. I had to wait for 10 days to see her but got daily updates about her progress from Odell who was now popular with the nurses. I am super blessed to have him as a husband.
I continued chemo therapy as an outpatient. Arya, expected to have challenges, has been a bundle of perfection. In early pregnancy testing she was said to be at very high risk for developmental disabilities such as Down Syndrome. Odell and I decided that we were keeping the baby. We believed we wouldn’t get more than we could bear and now she is our greatest gift… Even letting us sleep at night. She is developing excellently and is 12 lbs now.
With lymphoma in remission, 5 non-familial bone marrow donors were found after 6 cycles of chemo and now I begin the process for the bone marrow transplant at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.
Nothing short of a miracle. Even the blood types match. Only God can be responsible for these happenings. I don’t know who my donor is but I thank him/her before I accept that gift. I also encourage everyone who can to consider donating. Be a vessel for miracles.
I am reportedly the third person in the world to have been diagnosed with HTLV1, be pregnant and survive. Now I embark on the bone marrow transplant.
“To God be the glory.” You can quote me on that.