Giving Rachel the gift of time with her baby
A shock cancer diagnosis at five months pregnant left first-time mum Rachel fearing for her unborn child. Thanks to donations, her surgeon Ben ensured she could enjoy precious moments with baby Phoenix.
Rachel Bailey was over the moon when she found out that she was pregnant, but her world turned upside down when she was diagnosed with a rare kidney cancer at 21 weeks.
Receiving a cancer diagnosis is always worrying, but the team at Guy’s Cancer understood that receiving this news when you’re carrying a child can be devastating. “I was scared that I was going to lose my baby, or that she was going to be really premature,” Rachel explained.
Luckily, tests suggested that the cancer was slow-growing, and Rachel’s surgeon, Ben Challacombe, reassured her that with the support of her dedicated team of midwives, she could continue with her pregnancy before having the tumour removed.
Rachel was overjoyed when a healthy little girl, Phoenix – who she affectionately calls Fi – arrived at 38 weeks. But, with her surgery scheduled for just two weeks later, the prospect of being separated from her tiny baby was unbearable.
I started to get upset and panicky. I was worried about having a two-week-old baby left at home. What if I don’t wake up from this?
Ben and the midwives were really fighting my corner. I didn't feel like I was alone.