Mom dies after refusing cancer treatment to save baby’s life
It’s a situation no woman should have to face: choosing between your own life and that of your unborn child. But that’s exactly the impossible choice one British woman had to make.
PHOTO: Facebook/Natasha Trafford

Tasha Trafford, from Swansea in Wales, was 16 weeks pregnant when she refused to have an abortion and cancer treatment that would have saved her life. She died in November last year, after getting to spend 11 months with her healthy baby boy.

Tasha, who was 33 when she died, had been diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma in 2012, shortly after her wedding in Thailand. She underwent chemotherapy and radiation and after two years there was good news: She was in remission.

She’d frozen three embryos before starting her cancer treatment and when she received the good news, she had one implanted and became pregnant.

Then came the shocking news 16 weeks into her pregnancy: The cancer was back. She had to make the impossible choice between receiving life-saving treatment – but for this she would have had to abort her child – or refusing treatment and giving birth to her son.

Tasha, a registered nurse, opted to refuse treatment in the hopes of having a healthy baby. “Doing anything that would harm my unborn baby would be unthinkable,” she said at the time.

Her son, Cooper, was born shortly before Christmas in 2015. Sadly, Tasha didn’t live to see his first birthday as she died in November 2016. “She had him for 11 months,” said her dad, Dai Gallivan.

Dai, from Clydach, Swansea, was set to climb Kilimanjaro for the British charity Tenovus Cancer Care. But about a month before Tasha died he decided to send his son David instead because Tasha’s condition had deteriorated so badly.

“I knew I couldn’t go,” Dai says. “I knew in my heart of hearts if I was away, then Tasha wouldn’t be here when I got back.”

David was at the airport, waiting for his flight, when his dad phoned him two hours before departure to tell him that his sister had died. He went ahead with the mission to climb Kilimanjaro – for his sister.

This year, Dai is planning to follow suit in memory of his daughter. “It’s going to be a good event and my son wants me to do it because he wants me to share the same experience as him.”


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