Pregnant Cancer Patient With 50% Chance of Survival Gives Birth to Healthy QUADRUPLETS
- Kayla Gaytan, 29, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in January 2016
- It was just a week after she got married to soldier Sgt Charles Gaytan
- She was given the all-clear in June 2016 but told she couldn’t have more kids
- A month later the Tennessee-based mom-of-2 naturally conceived quadruplets
- But at 30 weeks her cancer came back, she now has 50% chance of living 5 years
- She had an immediate c-section to save the 2 girls and 2 boys
- Victoria, Lillian, Charles and Michael, each between 2lbs and 3lbs, are healthy
- Now Kayla is undergoing 16 months of chemo and stem cell transplant
A pregnant cancer patient with 50 percent chance of survival has delivered quadruplets.
Kayla Gaytan, 29, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, cancer of the blood, a week after getting married to her sweetheart Sgt Charles Gaytan in January 2016.
After five months of chemotherapy the mother-of-two was given the all-clear but told she would probably not be able to have more children.
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Then, a month later, found out she was pregnant – with naturally-conceived quadruplets.
It seemed to be the perfect news for the family, who live near Fort Campbell army base in Tennessee where Charles is a soldier.
But 30 weeks into the pregnancy Kayla started to notice the same breathlessness she had experienced before.
As she suspected, a biopsy confirmed her cancer had come back. This time, her doctor gave her a 50 percent chance of living five years.
It meant Kayla needed an immediate cesarean section – to save the babies and begin her own life-saving treatment.
And so, on December 30, Victoria, Lillian, Charles and Michael were born at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, each weighing between 2lbs 8oz and 3lbs 2oz.
It was exciting. It was nerve-wracking. But to see them when they all came out and to hear them crying, that was really exciting,’ Kayla, who already has two children Ethan and Harper told WKRN.
‘I just kept trying to tell myself that I could do it.’
‘My original goal to make was 34 weeks because I figured if I could beat cancer, surely I could make it to 34 weeks with quads.
The babies are recovering in the NICU, where they will likely remain until mid-February.
By that point, Kayla will have had stem cell treatment and started her next course of chemotherapy, which is expected to last until mid-2018.
It means their incredible joy is tinged with fear.
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Hodgkin’s lymphoma is cancer of the B lymphocytes – a type of white blood cell found in the lymphatic system.
Clear fluid called lymph flows through the lymphatic vessels and contains infection-fighting white blood cells known as lymphocytes.
The most common symptom is a painless swelling in a gland, most commonly in the neck, armpit or groin.
In lymphoma, these lymphocytes start to multiply abnormally and begin to collect in certain parts of the lymphatic system, such as the lymph nodes.
The cancer is most common in 15 to 35-year-olds and the over 50s. More men than women are affected.
It is one of the most easily treatable forms of cancer – almost all young people with Hodgkin’s lymphoma will be cured. For older people, the cure rate is about 80 per cent.
But the disease becomes more lethal during relapse.
Some patients, like Kayla, have a return of lymphoma cells in their bone marrow.
It means standard treatment likely won’t be enough.
‘You think you’ve beat it the first time,’ Kayla said.
‘When it comes back, you’re just wondering “why get pregnant with these four babies and then something like this happens?”‘
Charles added: ‘She’d worked really hard to [fight] it the first time, and to come back and have to go through it all again, it breaks my heart.’