We have already written about Dana Scatton, 17, who was diagnosed with an incurable brain tumor and given months to live – while being pregnant. Well, she has now given birth to a healthy baby girl. The four-pound six-ounce baby came one month premature after the mom underwent several rounds of radiation treatment to halt the spread of the tumor.
Diagnosed with incurable DIPG while seven months pregnant, Dana was given three months to live. The plan was to deliver early before starting treatment so that she could live for the first nine months of her daughter's life. But the cancer was affecting Dana's motor functions and the treatment was started earlier, which prompted an emergency c-section. Baby Aries Marie was born on January 4th, and she already breathes and eats on her own.
"The battle has already been won," Dana said of the birth. The early treatment of her cancer could have extended her life by six months. The radiation is meant to stop symptoms like difficulty breathing, sleeping and swallowing from becoming worse. Dana has regained the ability to move her left leg and arm already.
Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), Diana's cancer, starts in the brain stem - the part that controls breathing, heart rate, nerves and muscles - where it's inoperable, and a biopsy cannot be obtained. Usually, it appears in patients between 5 and 10 years old. Diana noticed the first symptoms at the end of November, when started she having difficulty speaking. After that, it became harder to swallow and to walk. She even lost control of her legs on the school bus once.
"I thought it could be the way the baby was sitting on nerves," Dana told the press. Two weeks after the symptoms, she told her doctor about that during a routine visit to check the baby. The next day, Dana was in the ER, where received a cat scan and MRI, which found the large tumor at the base of her brain.
The doctors delivered diagnosis within hours. Dana's first thought was:"Is my baby going to be okay?" Her mother Lenore, 51, thought: "Am I going to lose my baby?" The radiation treatment wasn't started immediately because of the pregnancy. However, without the treatments, doctors were giving Dana only three months to live.
Meanwhile, baby Aries seems healthy. "'She’s got super strength just like her mama!" said a post on Facebook. "I can't do as much for myself anymore, like not being able to put my pants on without probably falling," Dana, who used to be quite active, said. However, she remains hopeful: "I'm not going to go by what they say, I'm expecting a miracle." Dana's brother JJ had made a GoFundMe for her medical expenses, with people from around the world and place like Germany and Ukraine reaching out.
"I just want to be a wonderful mother," says Dana.