Breast Cancer and a Heart Defect Don’t Keep Mom and Baby Down
In September of 2013, Riki Graves was feeling pretty good about her life. The 38-year-old mother was pregnant with her second child and she was in great health. However, when she started seeing a new doctor, she learned that what she thought was a harmless lump in her breast was actually cancerous. To make things worse, her 20-week ultrasound revealed that the baby had congenital heart disease.
Doctors agreed that Graves should fight the disease using radiation treatment. According to the New York Daily News, the stage 1 cancer had not spread, meaning they didn’t have to perform a mastectomy. Graves went ahead with the treatment.
Eventually, it was time for the baby to be born. Doctors performed a C-section a month before the child’s due date. They immediately had to put the little girl on life support and place her name on a waiting list for a heart transplant. Her survival statistics were looking grim – 15 to 20 percent of people waiting for new hearts pass away before getting one. However, a donor came through. Doctors were able to give the baby a new heart, which her body accepted.
“We just feel so blessed that we got to have this baby, and she’s precious. She’s our little miracle,” Graves told the source.
The baby, named Julianne, has continued improving, and mom is now breast cancer-free.