Joy as Ricki Graves and daughter Juliana BOTH defy odds to survive
- Riki Graves was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was eight weeks pregnant with her daughter Juliana
- The couple faced another devastating blow when at their 20-week scan they found out their unborn baby had serious heart defects and might not survive
- Juliana was delivered via C-section on April 9
- Doctors discovered her heart was too weak to withstand life-saving surgery
- She was placed on the heart transplant waiting list on April 21
- Five days later her father Chris received a call – they had found an organ
- Both mother and daughter survived their ordeals despite the odds
A mother diagnosed with breast cancer while pregnant and her daughter born with life-threatening heart defects have both survived – despite the medical odds stacked against them.
Riki Graves was eight weeks pregnant, when on her 38th birthday, doctors told her a lump she had found in her breast was cancerous.
Reeling from her diagnosis, the mother-of-two was dealt a devastating blow at her 20-week scan – her daughter would be born with a heart defect.
Doctors warned Mrs Graves and her husband Chris their unborn child might not even survive pregnancy.
When Riki Graves was eight weeks pregnant, doctors dealt her the devastating diagnosis – a lump she had found in her breast was cancerous. Then at her 20-week scan the 38-year-old was told her unborn daughter Juliana had serious heart defects and might not survive the pregnancy
But on April 9 Juliana, left with her mother and right, now, was delivered by C-section at hospital in Texas
Immediately doctors whisked the newborn off to examine her, but told Mrs Graves and her husband Chris, that their daughter’s heart was too malformed and weak to withstand the operation she needed. Juliana was placed on the heart transplant list when she was just days old
But on April 9, a month before her due date, tiny Juliana was delivered by C-section.
Recalling the moment she learned of her daughter’s condition, Mrs Graves told abc.com she was sobbing so hard she could barely make it home.
As soon as she heard her daughter’s heartbeat, the 38-year-old knew there was something wrong.
Instead of hearing a strong beat, as she had with her first child, Juliana’s heartbeat sounded ‘squishy’.
She said: ‘She was safe as long as she was inside me because my heart could pump for her, but her heart was getting worse and worse.’
Mrs Graves was told as soon as her daughter was born, surgeons would have to whisk the newborn off to the operating theatre.
Meanwhile the 38-year-old was set to undergo radiation therapy, following a lumpectomy while she was pregnant.
But when Juliana arrived, specialist Dr William Dreyer who co-ordinates cardiac transplants at Texas Children’s Hospital, examined the newborn, only to conclude her heart was inoperable, having been too malformed and weak to withstand the surgery.
The couple kept hoping for a new heart, but doctors had warned them it was unlikely a suitable organ would be found in time. On April 26, five days after Juliana joined the transplant list, her father Chris received a phone call at 4.30am – an organ had been found
Mrs Graves added: ‘That was basically him telling you your baby’s not going to survive in a nice way. ‘We were devastated’
Juliana was added to the heart transplant waiting list on April 21.
But medics were realistic, telling Mrs Graves it was unlikely a new heart would be found in time to save her new daughter.
‘There were days when I just sat down and cried by her bedside,’ Mrs Graves said.
‘We didn’t think we were going to get a heart. I would just tell her to fight for us and be strong. We were doing everything we can and that we loved her.’
At 4.30am on April 26, Mrs Graves’s husband’s phone rang – there daughter was getting her heart.
‘I was floored,’ she added. ‘I was laughing and crying at the same time.’
Source Article from http://www.dailymail.co.ukhttp://health.superflacos.com/blog/2014/07/22/joy-as-ricki-graves-and-daughter-juliana-both-defy-odds-to-survive/Healthbreast cancer,heart defects,heart transplant,Juliana,Mrs Graves,Ricki Graves,Riki Graves