Woman with dying wish to hold newborn baby passes away
Published Wednesday, December 30, 2015 6:00PM PST
Last Updated Wednesday, December 30, 2015 6:51PM PST
The courageous young woman whose dying wish was to live long enough to hold her newborn baby has died, five days after her Christmas dream was fulfilled.
Breanne Smaaslet, 22, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, the same cancer Terry Fox had, four years ago when she was just 18 years old.
Doctors never expected her to live as long as she did, but Smaaslet had a reason to keep fighting – the tiny boy growing inside her, baby Salvatore, or Sal, which translates to saviour.
“I can’t wait to see him, I always wanted to be a mom,” Smaaslet told CTV News just days before Christmas.
Her wish to hold her son before she died was fulfilled on Christmas Day, when tiny baby Sal was born weighing just 1.9 pounds.
“She got to hold him and see him and we're so happy that she was able to do that,” Smaaslet’s aunt Rose Horan-Pachota said on Boxing Day. “She was very happy to see him…[and] we are very, very happy that Breanne was able to get her Christmas wish.”
The fact that the young woman became pregnant in the first place was something of a miracle. After her diagnosis, Smaaslet underwent surgery to remove a tumour from her leg, but it failed to stop her cancer from growing.
With her condition continuing to deteriorate, the last thing she was looking for was a relationship. Yet somehow, love found her. She met a man, Adam, who would eventually become her husband.
It wasn’t planned, but she became pregnant, and the couple got married in September. Tragically, Adam would not live to meet their son – he passed away suddenly last month.
Smaaslet knew she wouldn’t live long enough to raise her son, but was determined to stay alive as long as she could to give Sal the best chance at life.
“It just makes me upset that I can't actually be a mom, but I know my baby will be in great hands when the time comes,” she said before Christmas. “It’s time to be strong for our little boy.”
Smaaslet passed away around 6 a.m. Wednesday morning at Surrey Memorial Hospital, her family by her side.
Now baby Sal is being cared for by Smaaslet’s family. The infant is currently in the neonatal intensive care unit, but his great-aunt says Sal is doing “very well.”
GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family take care of the baby, and has already raised more than $13,000. To donate, click here.
With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Michele Brunoro