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article imageMother's life saved by son who kicked tumour while still in womb

By Christopher Bates     Dec 21, 2011 in Health
Petersfield - In a truly remarkable story, Layla Stephen – a 36-year-old mother from Petersfield, Hampshire – had her life saved by her unborn son, Hadley, who miraculously pushed a cancerous tumor into her appendix when moving around in her womb.
Layla had no idea she had a cancerous tumor in her appendix, but began to feel stomach pains just a few weeks after Hadley’s birth in August 2008, according to ParentDish.
Once tested, doctors informed Layla that she was suffering from an extremely rare form of cancer.
In a fantastic turnaround, the cancer has now been successfully treated and Layla is able to enjoy the festive season with Hadley and her husband Andrew, a 38-year-old builder, as reported by the Spanish language Globo news site.
"It is only thanks to Hadley that I'm alive today,” Layla said in joy, according to ParentDish.
"When the cancer was discovered it had spread all around my body. I had tumours in my appendix, stomach, liver and neck. If it had been left much longer, I wouldn't be here today.”
Layla and Andrew wedded in 2003, and immediately attempted to start a family. When nothing came of their efforts, they visited a local General Practitioner (GP) who advised fertility treatment.
Layla, who works as a business development manager, discovered she was pregnant in November 2007, before her son Hadley entered the world in August 2008.
The birth, which took place at St Mary’s Hospital in Portsmouth, went smoothly, although it was just eight weeks later when Layla began to feel excruciating pains in her stomach.
"I'd suffered from stomach pains intermittently for several years and I'd been to the doctors on a regular basis who gave me strong painkillers each time,” Layla added, according to ParentDish.
“But this time, the pain was stronger and I couldn't keep any food down at all. My family thought I was becoming anorexic as I lost three stone in a matter of weeks.”
Layla had several scans at the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth, which found that she had a tumour in her appendix.
Following further tests at the same hospital, it was discovered that Layla had neuroendocrine tumours which had spread around her body.
"The doctors thought that it had been pushed into my intestine because I was carrying Hadley in my womb," explained Layla, ParentDish writes.
“He had been moving around inside me and the movement had pushed the tumor into the intestine.”
Due to the fact that the cancer had spread so much, doctors informed Layla that she had only years to live.
After four operations over the course of ten months, Layla was told that the tumours had disappeared, aside from two in her stomach and one in her liver.
"When I was first diagnosed I had multiple tumours all around my body, and the treatment has worked better than the doctors had hoped,” Layla told the Daily Mail.
"The cancer is in my system so it can only be managed, but the doctors are really pleased with my progress. They have told me that I no longer have just a few years left to live. I don't have a death sentence hanging over me anymore."
Layla is now fundraising for Planets – a charity which raises awareness of pancreas, liver and endocrine tumours.
“I defied all the odds to still be alive today, and it’s all thanks to Hadley. We refused to give up hope of having a baby and I'm so glad that we persevered, as being pregnant did save my life.
"All my family and friends keep saying to me thank goodness I fell pregnant when I did. If Hadley hadn't dislodged the tumour whilst he was in the womb, then they would have spread anymore and it may have been too late to save me.
"I feel like I've been given a second chance at life - and it's all thanks to my son," the Daily Mail reported Layla as saying.
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