A young mum who stunned doctors by giving birth to a healthy baby despite having cervical cancer is preparing to get married – after being told she has just weeks to live.
Annie Marston, 25, said it was a ‘miracle’ she conceived after a 6cm-long malignant tumour was found covering almost her entire cervix when she was eight months pregnant.
Despite the aggressive cancer, Annie beat the odds to give birth to 5lb 3oz son Wyatt on December 20 last year.
Weeks after the birth she started gruelling chemotherapy but earlier this month she was told she had just weeks to live after the cancer spread to her liver.
The pretty former sales rep and her fiancé Scott Benton, 29, are now in a race against time to have their dream wedding.
Annie, from Walsall, West Mids., says: “It’s a vile situation to be in and I know I don’t have long left but I consider myself very lucky to have found the love of my life and have a beautiful baby.”
Annie had a completely healthy pregnancy but was rushed to hospital last December when she started bleeding while working in Warrington, Cheshire.
She went to see a doctor and a biopsy revealed she had a 6cm malignant tumour in her cervix.
Doctors gave Annie steroids to help her baby’s lungs to develop for eight days before performing a caesarean.
Following the birth Annie underwent several rounds of intense chemotherapy but on July 1 doctors told her the cancer had spread to her liver and gave her weeks to live.
After the devastating prognosis, Annie and Scott, a HGV driver, have brought their wedding forward and are planning to tie the knot on August 7.
Annie added: “There are a lot of silver linings.
“A lot of people never get to meet the love of their life, or have a baby. I am very lucky in lots of ways.
“I fell pregnant last spring and me and Scott were absolutely over the moon. I loved pregnancy, and didn’t have any morning sickness or anything.
“The doctors told me I should have never got pregnant because the tumour was completely covering my cervix.
“If I had gone into labour naturally both me and my baby would have died.
“It was a really crazy moment when we realised that our son was a miracle.
“When I was told my first reaction was, ‘what’s going to happen with my baby?’
“I couldn’t focus on the cancer, I was thinking about my son’s well being.
“He had been lying next to a tumour for eight months and I was worried it could harm him.
“It was really hectic in the delivery room, with all these different teams of people ready on hand.
“But he came out healthy, kicking and screaming.
“We knew that he would be our only child so I persuaded the doctors to let me have a local anaesthetic so Scott could be there with me.”
Before she gave birth, Annie visited a local hospital while working in Warrington, Cheshire, in December after she began to bleed.
Doctors failed to locate the source of the bleeding so Scott took her to Walsall Manor Hospital, West Mids., for more tests.
In April she began radiotherapy treatment and Brachytherapy at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham to directly target the cancer.
The treatment seemed positive at first, but on July 1 the mum was told the small-cell cervical cancer had spread to her liver.
Like all women, she had been offered her first smear test at 25, but couldn’t attend because she was pregnant.
In another cruel twist, her mum Lisa, 54, has worked as a cervical screener for the NHS for 25 years and was devastated not to have spotted any signs of the disease.
Annie added: “It was heartbreaking but there was no way of knowing. I didn’t have any of the symptoms, so no one could have picked up on it.
“The chemotherapy was really painful. My hair started to fall out in big clumps and so did my eyelashes. It really hurt.
“But one night I decided to let Scott shave it all off in the kitchen. We had a glass of wine and had a laugh about it.
“I’d had everything taken away from me, so it felt better to take control of something and decide I was going to be bald.”
On Christmas Eve last year, the couple and Wyatt were allowed home to celebrate their first – and almost certainly their last – Christmas together as a family.
Now they want to celebrate one last special occasion by tying the knot at Baron’s Court Hotel in Walsall on August 7.
The couple are now desperately appealing for help from people to pay for their special day.
In addition to paying for the venue, they want to hire a photographer, DJ or band, decorations, and a make-up artist.
They also want to enjoy a honeymoon – a family holiday to Center Parcs with their baby boy.
Annie, who is a huge Ed Sheeran fan, added: “I want to spend time doing normal things with my family.
“I want to take Wyatt swimming, which I haven’t been able to do, and to take him to feed the ducks.
“I also want to take him to the zoo, even though he’s only seven-months-old.
“Before I got pregnant we had got engaged, but our marriage had put on hold because we wanted to buy a house and have our baby. But after the diagnosis I said to Scott, ‘I want to be a family, I want to be a Benton, I want us all to have the same name.”
“It is also a real comfort to my family and gives them something other than the cancer to focus on.
“I want to be well enough for my wedding to have my first dance with Scott, and to eat my meal and enjoy it.
“Now we just want to make memories and lots of family pictures for Wyatt when he is grown up.”
Scott added: “Annie is just amazing. I feel very lucky to have met her and I want to give her a very special wedding day.
“She has an incredible positive energy and I can’t wait to get married to her.”
Best-friend Laura White, 28, from Solihull, West Mids., has set up a charity drive to fund Annie and Scott’s wedding, with volunteers providing the cake, venue, dress and bouquet.
Yesterday, Laura said: “Annie is the most incredible person I know.
“I will be devastated if I am unable to fulfil my promise to give her the most magical day of her life that her family can treasure as a memory for years to come.”
Anyone wishing to donate to the couple’s dream wedding can visit www.gofundme.com/annie-scottwedding