‘My children aren’t ready to lose their mummy’: Woman, 31, is battling terminal lung cancer while her 3lb newborn recovers in intensive care after doctors were forced to deliver him 11 weeks early
- Leanne Barrett, 31, was diagnosed with stage four cancer when pregnant
- Her condition deteriorated as doctors say she was unresponsive to treatment
- Husband, Jamie Barrett, 35, from Wiltshire, has raised £30,000 in two days
A father has told how his children ‘aren’t ready to lose their mummy’ who is battling terminal lung cancer.
Leanne Barrett, 31, was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in October when she was pregnant with the couple’s second child.
Leanne and Jamie Barrett, from Rollestone, Wiltshire, who have been together for ten years, decided against the option of an abortion.
However, as Mrs Barrett’s condition deteriorated, doctors were forced to deliver the baby 11 weeks prematurely.
Beau Hudson Barrett was born via Caesarean section on November 8, weighing just 2lb 13oz, and remains in intensive care.
But since the birth of her son, Mrs Barrett’s cancer has progressed and spread rapidly to her liver, bones and brain.
Mr Barrett told MailOnline: ‘It’s been torture. There are so many emotions.
‘It shouldn’t be happening at this time of your life, when you’re bringing a new child into the world.’
Mrs Barrett, 31, was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer when pregnant with her son, Beau Hudson Barrett. He was born via Caesarean section 11 weeks early
‘It’s been torture’: Mr Barrett describes the past week as his newborn boy Beau remains in intensive care, and his wife’s cancer spreads
Mrs Barrett’s husband, Jamie Barrett, 35, has raised £30,000 in two days, worried that his daughter, India-Lily, and newborn son will lose their mother
A JustGiving page set up by Mr Barrett has already reached more than £30,000 in just two days.
He said: ‘We’ve got to fight this and that’s what we’re going to do.
‘I’m not ready to lose my wife and my kids aren’t ready to lose their mummy.’
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Mrs Barrett was diagnosed after a growth ‘the size of a pea’ grew into a five-centimetre mass on her left lung.
Mr Barrett said: ‘As the cancer has been missed for so long, we have been told that Leanne’s condition is now terminal. Doctors have advised that it can be treated, but it can’t be cured.’
The couple, who have a four-year-old daughter called India-Lily, were given the option of an abortion to focus on Mrs Barrett’s health.
However, they decided to have their baby boy after losing his unborn twin before the 12-week scan.
Doctors had already offered a variety of biopsy options to try to get to the bottom of what caused the growth, but some of these could have threatened her pregnancy.
Mrs Barrett had to endure a series of agonising investigative procedures, including chest drains and blood thinning injections, with minimal pain relief to minimise the effect on her unborn baby.
As she got more ill, doctors concluded the growth hormones caused by Mrs Barrett’s pregnancy were likely to be causing a lack of response to treatment.
They decided to deliver baby Beau prematurely, and he remains in neo-natal intensive care.
Mr Barrett said: ‘He’s doing well, he’s fighting and he’s improved day by day.’
‘We go to see our baby every day. She [Mrs Barrett] held him last week skin to skin for the first time, six days after he was born.
‘It was emotional and a big relief for everyone seeing that moment.’
He said he’s trying to hide the tragic events from his daughter.
‘She knows that her mummy’s been poorly but she thinks that it’s just to do with the pregnancy’, he said.
Speaking of Mrs Barrett, he said: ‘What she’d love more than anything else in this world is to see her babies grow up and to be able to say that she’s beating cancer.’
Mr and Mrs Barrett, from Wiltshire, have been together for ten years and married in 2016, when Mrs Barrett began to develop a ‘pimple’ on her nose, which continued to grow
Mrs Barrett developed what looked like a ‘pimple’ on her nose shortly after she married Mr Barrett in 2016.
It continued to grow, and doctors said this was likely a symptom of an auto-immune disease called Sarcoidosis and sent her for a series of CT scans and X-rays.
Further scans on her chest showed that Leanne had a mass of enlarged lymphnodes in her chest, which later tests showed were benign.
But in July 2017, Leanne began to complain of having chest pains and trouble breathing, which is when doctors found the five-centimetre mass on her lung.
Mrs Barrett decided to visit a specialist lung doctor at the Nuffield Health Centre in Derby in August. In October, she was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer ‘by chance’.
Mr Barrett said: ‘I know not everyone has the option of private healthcare but I dread to think where we would be now without having had that second opinion.’
Mr Barrett said he had been told that Leanne’s is the first case in the region where the cancer is known to have spread so quickly.
He decided to start a JustGiving page not just to raise money for her treatment, but to raise awareness of her case.
Mrs Barrett has started a new treatment last Thursday which will‘keep her comfortable’, and hopefully slow down the growth of the disease.
However, Mr Barrett wanted to consider all options, including homeopathic remedies and therapies, dietary options and alternative therapies.
He said: ‘It’s for additional things to help alongside the treatment. Some people recommend certain diets or retreats in Mexico or Germany.
‘We hope for someone to get in touch and say “this is going to prolong your wife’s life”.’
‘From a personal point of view, I didn’t want to have any regrets. I didn’t want to think that I could have done more after the worst case scenario.
Mrs Barrett had a daughter, India-Lily in 2014. Her husband said: ‘What she’d love more than anything else in this world is to see her babies grow up and to be able to say that she’s beating cancer’
Mrs Barrett, pictured with her daughter, had always been very active, enjoying running, swimming and gym classes, and had never smoked
He said: ‘It was something that I considered long and hard.
‘We both had hard-working jobs and we lived a comfortable life, but now we’re not working and we need that extra treatment and to spread awareness of her story.
‘Hopefully there is someone else out there who might be able to help us.’
Mr Barrett said his wife had always been very active, enjoying running, swimming and gym classes, and had never smoked.
He said: ‘You always think it’s never going to happen to you, but no-one should be naive enough to think that.’
Mr Barrett, who is the captain of Gresley FC, hoped to get the page shared by some high profile names, but did not expect the overwhelming response they got.
In less than 24 hours, they had smashed through their initial £15,000 target and by Tuesday they were heading rapidly towards a revised target of £50,000, with more than 1,000 people having contributed.
‘We can’t thank people enough,’ said Mr Barrett. ‘People have been incredible. There’s a lot of people supporting us and everyone’s been so generous.’
‘Yes we want to prolong her life but ultimately we want to defy the odds, we’re praying for her every day and we’re remaining positive that she can and will beat this’, he said.
‘I’d just say to everyone go and get checked out and be persistent, always get a second opinion.’
Anyone hoping to donate can do so on the JustGiving page
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