A terrible choice

A few thoughts on the heart-wrenching sacrifice made in this article about Elizabeth Joice by Kate Briquelet of the New York Post.

How must it feel, to cradle your newborn daughter and know your time with her is running out, because cancer ravages your body?

I look at the photo of Elizabeth Joice with her precious Lily, shortly after giving birth, and wonder what was going through this mother’s mind.

Having a child was one of the most important things in the world for Elizabeth, so perhaps it’s not such a surprise that she gave up her own life so her baby daughter could live.

It’s a remarkable story of sacrifice, and poses the inevitable question: Could you do it?  Faced with the choice, between your life or your child’s, what would you do?

Doctors told cancer stricken Elizabeth she would never get pregnant, but she did, last year.  But continuing with the pregnancy would put her life in danger.

Husband Max, who proposed to Elizabeth the day they found out her cancer was terminal, said his wife was never in any doubt that she wanted to have her child.  Baby Lily was born in January this year and soon after, with the cancer raging, it was time for goodbyes.

“Liz came home five days after Lily was born,” Max says. “That one night at home was all we had.”  Elizabeth died on March 9 in her hospital bed with Max by her side.

These stories are heartbreaking, but what an amazing gift this woman has given her daughter – the gift of life.  Nothing could better demonstrate a mother’s selfless love for her child.