WILDOMAR (CBSLA.com) — An Inland Empire mother made the ultimate sacrifice for her newborn daughter when she refused lifesaving treatment for bone cancer.
Ashley Bridges was 10 weeks pregnant when she learned of her diagnosis. Although doctors recommended she start chemotherapy immediately, it would have required her to terminate her pregnancy.
“There’s no way I could kill a healthy baby because I’m sick,” Bridges told CBS2’s Kristine Lazar. During her third trimester, at eight months, Bridges was told that delaying treatment had allowed the cancer to spread.
“That’s basically when they told me that it was terminal,” she said.
Bridges was told she needed to deliver Paisley immediately so she could start treatment.
Even with multiple rounds of chemotherapy, she was given less than a year to live.
“I felt like I tried so hard to keep Paisley safe and do the minimum [treatment] to keep her healthy. The thought that I’m not going to see her grow up is really hard,” a tearful Bridges said.
The 24-year-old Bridges also has a 6-year-old son from a previous relationship.
“His exact words were, ‘If you pass away, I want to come with you,’ ” she recalled.
As Lazar reports, friends and family have been helping Bridges take care of Paisley during the day. Her fiance, who is in the military, takes the night shift. None of them has second-guessed her decision.
“She’s a real-life superhero, to be honest with you,” said Jessica, Bridges’ sister.
Bridges, too, has no regrets.
“Maybe I’m not supposed to be here and she is,” Bridges said of Paisley.