Abigail Jones was only born on August 6, but already the pint-sized cutie has made her mark on the world for her strength. Diagnosed in utero as having a fatal brain tumor as well as Down syndrome, Abigail’s parents were told that the chances she would live were not just slim, they were nonexistent. Now, her parents can breathe a sigh of relief as those words have been retracted — baby Abigail will live.
Last month, Erika Jones, 31, and her husband, Stephen Jones, 35, posted stunning shots of their little angel and caught the hearts of all those who heard the story. After being told that in addition to the tumor being deadly with the risk of operation outweighing the likely benefits, the Jones’ were also informed that chemotherapy would also cause the death of their infant due to her age. The family made a decision that weighed heavily on them, but it was one they thought was for the best. Abigail was removed from the infant hospice and taken home to be with her family, which includes a 2-year-old big sister, Audrey. It was an act they were recommended to do to comfort their daughter while dreading what they thought would be the inevitable moment that she passed away.
Even before she was born, the Jones’ had begun planning for Abigail’s funeral. The family decided to carry Abigail to full term regardless of her Down syndrome and fatal cancerous tumor diagnosis. Her father, Stephen, says one of the hardest things was looking at their beautiful baby girl and waiting for the moment that she would take her last breath. They put their lives on pause and chose to spend every moment they could enjoying Abigail’s presence.
— ABC News (@ABC) October 13, 2015
Abigail got her own Facebook page, Abigail’s Joy, and here they posted updates about the baby girl with the “fatal” tumor, and their story caught the attention a professional photographer. Mary Huszcza, of 8.08 Photography, took several stunning images that spread across social media.
One thing that had always stuck with the parents of baby Abigail Jones was that despite the cancerous tumor diagnosis, the infant always seemed hearty and full of life. ABC News reported that as she continued to grow, her parents hopes grew as well. They hoped that perhaps the diagnosis may not be as dire as first announced. Abigail continued to grow and thrive, and her family could not help but doubt the dire diagnosis.
“She is the chillest baby ever. She just loves to be held. She watches your face, tracks it with her eyes. She’s had her feeding tube removed and is gaining weight.”
Erika turned to social media for help and was thankfully pointed to Boston Children’s Hospital by a mom who had been in a similar situation before. The doctors here were finally able to give the family a different impression than those that they had previously received for the infant. They contacted Boston Children’s Hospital, and after being sent the MRI for Abigail, Dr. Alan R. Cohen, neurosurgeon-in-chief at the hospital, said that he and his colleagues had doubts about the diagnosis and thought that the tumor might not be malignant. He spoke to Erika over the phone and urged her to carry the baby, get some further scans, and not to accept the death sentence that was given to their thriving daughter. The family traveled to Boston Children’s Hospital last week.
“We repeated an MRI, which again made me suspicious that the tumor was not, in fact, malignant. We operated on Abigail through a left frontoparietal craniotomy and removed the tumor, which, in fact, was benign.”
The neurosurgeon said that he sincerely does not believe that the tumor will return. The entire left hemisphere of Abigail’s brain was removed, and she is as happy and healthy as ever.
— Steve Saleeba (@SteveSaleeba) October 13, 2015
The Boston Herald wrote that it took a six-hour surgery to remove Abigail’s tumor, but it was more than worth it. The sad beginning to Abigail’s life was wiped away by the happiest of endings. Erika took to Abigail’s Facebook page to share the wonderful news.
“Praising Him this morning! So consumed with joy. Can’t hardly breathe looking at this beautiful girl. My girl. I get to keep you!! I can’t wait to see your story unfold. To tell you how you are a living testimony of healing. Amazing. Overwhelmed!”
[Image via Abigail’s Joy Facebook]