By Lauren Fruen
A FIRST time mum’s life has been “saved” by her newborn baby son after her cancer was spotted during his birth.
Cortney Quigley gave birth to little Jace last week but blood tests taken during labour showed that her red blood cells were extremely low and she had zero white blood cells.
Further tests revealed that the 25-year-old has acute myeloid leukemia and the new mum was dealt the devastating blow that she would need to have chemotherapy immediately.
Cortney is now at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics after being airlifted from Fort Dodge, Iowa while newborn Jace stays with her immediate family.
She expects to be in the hospital receiving treatment for at least a month.
But despite the shocking news Cortney and her partner Josh Quail have said they are thankful for her early diagnosis due to her pregnancy.
Mum-of-one Cortney said: “It is scary to think if I hadn’t been pregnant what might have happened. It could have been fatal.
“Jace has given us hope. He may have just saved my life.
“I went into labour at five in the morning. Everything seemed normal and they took my bloods.
“It was when they got the results from that that realised my hemoglobin was extremely low.
“Doctors said it was so low they didn’t understand how I was still talking. They said it was so low I should be unconscious.
“By this point I was five centimetres dilated and I continued with the labour but they flew me to a specialist unit and gave me a blood transfusion.
“They then told me I had leukemia. It was absolutely devastating to hear that.
“Everything until that point had seemed to be going so well.
“For me the worst thing has not being able to see my baby. I want to be enjoying my time as a new mum.
“We just wanted to be able to be with our son and to take him home.”
Fiancé Josh, 25, has been by her bed side since her shocking diagnosis.
He added: “This is a real bittersweet moment for us. It should be the happiest moment of out lives.
“But we are also so thankful it was spotted. It may not have been if it weren’t for Jace.
“It has been extremely hard for Cortney. She hadn’t really had any symptoms until the blood test showed a low red blood count.
“It was such a shock for us. But her prognosis is not the worst it can be and we are hopeful she will make a recovery.
“The hardest part for Cortney has not being able to be with her son. This is our first child. We just want to be a family together.
“This should be the happiest time for us. Instead we are now dealing with this devastating news. It has certainly not been easy.
“But there is hope and we are trying to stay positive.
“Jace is now doing really well. He is eating and is healthy. He comes in to visit his mum.
“Right now she is showing tremendous courage and faith. She has a real can do attitude.”
The couple are now raising money for relocation and medical costs. To help visit (mandatory link) https://www.youcaring.com/cortneyquigley-1120890.