Faced with the knowledge that only chemotherapy would save her from terminal neck cancer, newly-pregnant Stacie Crimm made the ultimate sacrifice.
The 41-year-old, who had been told by doctors she would never be able to conceive a child, decided to refuse the treatment so her unborn daughter could live instead.
Stacie was able to survive for five months before being forced to deliver Dottie Mae, weighing just 2lbs 1oz, by Caesarean section - and even managed to hold her on one occasion before succumbing to the disease three days later.
'This baby was everything she had in this world,' Stacie's brother Ray Phillips told the Oklahoman.
'You're not going to believe this,' the mother-to-be had told him in a mixture of laughter and tears, according to The Oklahoman.
But over the next days and weeks, as she shopped for all the things her baby would need, a serious worry began to gnaw at Stacie. She was having severe headaches and double vision, while tremors struck every inch of her body.
She began to tell Ray of her growing concerns. 'I'm worried about this baby,' she said in one text, according to the Oklahoman. 'I hope I live long enough to have this baby,' said another message. 'Bubba, if anything happens to me, you take this child.'
Stacie was no longer with the father of the baby and would have raised her daughter as a single mother if she survived.
At her family's encouragement, Stacie visited a number of doctors and in July, a CT scan revealed that she had head and neck cancer.
She had to do what no would-be mother should have to - choose between her life and that of her baby's. It was an easy decision.
Ray told the Oklahoman that his sister waived the potentially lifesaving chemotherapy in the hope that she would eventually hold a healthy baby in her arms.
Then on August 16, Stacie collapsed at her home in Ryan, Oklahoma and was rushed to OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City.
Two days later the baby's heart rate plummeted, then Stacie's heart stopped. Code Blue was issued. Doctors and nurses rushed to her aid and decided a C-section was the baby's only chance.
Dottie Mae arrived into the world weighing less than a third of an average newborn. She was swiftly taken to neonatal intensive care, while her mother was placed in intensive care in another building.
'Sister was dying right there. She was gasping,' Ray told the Oklahoman. 'The human body fights death.'
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