Teen mum sacrifices life for son

A young mother from Idaho, USA has made the ultimate sacrifice, foregoing chemotherapy treatment to give birth to a healthy baby son.

Jenni Lake, 17, died just 12 days after giving birth to her son due to tumours in her brain and spine, the Associated Press reported.

Her family found out the fatal result her decision to reject radiation therapy to give birth to her son a day after he was born.

Jenni's mother, Dana Phillips, remembers the words her daughter told the nurse when she was admitted into hospital.

"She told the nurse, 'I'm done, I did what I was supposed to. My baby is going to get here safe", Mrs Phillips said.

Jenni spent six days in hospital, and then six days at home, before she died in her family's ranch-style home.

She never made it to celebrate her 18th birthday.

The first signs of Jenni's deadly tumours were migraines which started while she was studying at Pocatello High School.

After an MRI scan, a small mass was found on the right sign of her brain. A second scan soon after found the mass was bigger than first thought.

On October 15, 2010, Jenni had a biopsy which revealed that she had stage three astrocytoma.

Jenni's case was rare, according to her doctors, because she had three tumours in her brain and spine and the cancer had spread without symptoms.

Jenni's young son
Jenni's young son

With treatment, the prognosis was that she would have 30 per cent chance of survival of more than two years, her parents were told.

"Jenni just flat out asked them if she was going to die," said her father, Mike Lake, 43.

Mr Lake was impressed by his daughter's ability to handle the heartbreaking news.

"She didn't break down and cry or anything," he said.

Jenni "got upset" when she was told she might not be able to have kids, her mother, Mrs Phillips, said.

Doctors told the young teen, who always wanted to be a mother, that the chemotherapy treatment would most likely leave her sterile.

"We were told that she couldn't get pregnant, so we didn't worry about it," Jenni's 19-year-old boyfriend, Nathan Wittman, said.

The pair had started dating just a few weeks before her terrible diagnosis.

But in May 2011, after she became ill and went to the emergency room with Nathan, she discovered she was pregnant.

Her family found her in tears when she came home from the hospital.

"We could hear Jenni just bawling in her room," said her sister, Kaisee.

Jenni had decided to keep the baby before she saw her doctor two days after finding out she was pregnant.

"He told us that if she's pregnant, she can't continue the treatments," Mrs Phillips said. "So she would either have to terminate the pregnancy and continue the treatments, or stop the treatments, knowing that it could continue to grow again.'"

She stopped her treatments, with the family believing that once the child was born she would be able to resume treatment.

"I guess we were just hoping that after she had the baby, she could go back on the chemotherapy and get better," her mother said.

But she never got the chance to try, growing weaker and losing her vision as the disease took its course.

Jenni's father revealed her final words to her son after she was placed beside her for one last time.

"I can kind of see him," she said.

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