A US mum is starting the new year fighting for her life just a month after giving birth to quadruplets.
A year of highs and lows
Last year was a tumultuous one for Kayla Gaytan, who was married then diagnosed with cancer in January, went into remission in May and then found out she was pregnant with quadruplets in June.
By the time she reached 28 weeks in her pregnancy, doctors confirmed the cancer was back.
At 30 weeks pregnant on December 30, all four babies were delivered via C-section so Kayla could begin treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Her husband Charles set up a GoFundMe page, where he explained the rollercoaster ride Kayla, he and their two older children had been on the past 12 months.
Despite the many battles, he says they still feel “very blessed”.
“We’ve been extremely fortunate in our lives, however we appreciate any help as we have a long journey ahead,” he wrote.
Shock and surprise
Kayla told TODAY she was first diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease, a cancer of the lymph system, just before her 29th birthday and a week after marrying Charles.
She had been complaining of a persistent itch to doctors but the cancer went misdiagnosed for a year-and-a-half.
After enduring five months of chemotherapy and infusions, she was given the all clear but told the chances of her falling pregnant again were slim.
However, the pair, who already had two children, were shocked to find out just a month after Kayla’s remission that they were expecting not just one but four babies.
“There were four healthy heart beats. It’s truly a miracle,” Kayla told TODAY.
Worst fears confirmed
Kayla had planned to carry the babies until at least 34 weeks but began noticing symptoms her cancer may have returned.
After a biopsy confirmed her worst fears, Charles says they moved the delivery date forward.
“It’s been characterized as refractory disease so a stem cell transplant followed by 16 months of chemotherapy is needed,” he wrote.
“With a heavy heart, we along with our medical team decided to deliver the babies by C Section at 30 weeks as Kayla needs to begin treatment right away.”
The quadruplets Charles, Michael, Victoria, and Lillian were born on December 30 and remain in the NICU at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.
Ready to fight
Kayla is now preparing to fight the odds, which give her a 50 per cent chance of surviving the next five years.
“It’s a little overwhelming, I’m not going to lie. Honestly, I just take it day by day,” Kayla told TODAY.
“Hopefully, I can beat those odds.
“It would be so easy for me to go sit in a corner and cry all the time and be upset that all this is happening.
“But I think of my amazing family that I have and the support I have around me and that really helps me get through every day.”