‘I Beat Cancer for the Miracle Twins’ Says Courageous Speaker Celebrating First Mother’s Day
Today Samantha Stokes is celebrating her first Mother’s Day with her miracle twins Lana and Lara. While she was battling breast cancer, two girls were waiting for her – in the freezer. In a race against time before she started grueling chemotherapy, doctors managed to freeze the embryos to help her fulfill her dream of becoming a mom.
For almost three years, while Samantha battled the disease, they remained in the refrigerator.
But once she finished treatment, one embryo was thawed and placed in her uterus. That’s when she had the most
Scans showed that the embryo had split in two, creating identical twins.
Samantha, who has battled cancer twice, gave birth to Lana and Lara last August.
The 35-year-old university lecturer, who lives with her programmer husband Garrick, 47, in Southampton, said:
the ultrasound doctor did a scan and told us he was seeing two heartbeats, we couldn’t believe it.
“Surviving cancer and then having your miracle daughters is the most amazing feeling ever.”
Samantha was first diagnosed with thyroid cancer when she was 28 and recently completed her degree.
She said, “I’m tired, but I’ve traveled a lot and just finished my master’s, so I thought I was just tired.
“I went to the doctors and they did blood tests. It was a shock for me when they told me it was cancer.”
She had surgery to remove her thyroid and thought she had put her battle behind her. But four years later, she discovered a tumor in her breast.
Samantha said, “After the scan and biopsy, they told me it was breast cancer.”
The couple wanted to start a family, but chemotherapy could potentially render her infertile, so there was a short time when doctors suggested she freeze the embryos.
Samantha said: “Fortunately, we had a couple of weeks that coincided with my cycle, and the doctors were able to extract my eggs, fertilize them and put them in the freezer.”
Samantha had a year of chemotherapy that ended in August 2020 and completed her IVF treatment last January.
It worked the first time.
She said, “I couldn’t believe it when they told me I was pregnant with identical twins.”
But the worry didn’t end, as after a scan at 33 weeks, doctors suspected twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome.
A rare and life-threatening condition occurs when blood flow between babies is interrupted. The doctors decided to deliver the girls in the afternoon.
Samantha said: “Meeting them was the most incredible moment. These little girls were waiting for me in the freezer while I was battling cancer, and now we are a family.”
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