What are the odds? Pregnancy leads to life-saving diagnosis for Pemberville woman

Katie Siebenaller

        Every pregnancy is different, and this couldn’t be truer for one Pemberville mother.
        In March of this year, Heather Haynes went in for her eight-week prenatal appointment, expecting it to be routine like it was with her now 1-year-old son, Grayson. It was determined that Haynes was overdue for a pap smear, and being simple enough, it was taken care of at her appointment.
        The pap results appeared abnormal. A few days after that prenatal appointment, Haynes was diagnosed with neuroendocrine carcinoma of the cervix, the rarest form of cervical cancer.
        “I was kind of like shell-shocked because I got the final diagnosis on [a] Friday and got the port on [that] next Tuesday and started chemo on Wednesday,” Haynes said, “It was kind of like ‘Holy smokes, what is happening?’”
        “It was devastating,” she said.
        Terminating the pregnancy was not an option in Haynes’ mind. She was determined to fight, so the medical team working with her at ProMedica Bay Park Hospital swiftly crafted a treatment plan to keep her and her baby alive. During her pregnancy, Haynes received six rounds of chemotherapy.
        “It was like ‘Okay, let’s do this.’ I’m going to fight for my life, I’m going to fight for my baby’s life, and we’re going to make it,” she said.
        As part of her treatment plan, Haynes had a C-section and immediate total hysterectomy.
        Ashton David Haynes was born Aug. 14, 2019. He spent three weeks in the NICU for some help learning how to eat — a result of his premature birth — but otherwise is in perfect health.
        “He’s chunking up and sleeping good,” Haynes says of Ashton. “He’s doing really well.”
        Haynes’ older son is enjoying being a big brother. “Grayson loves life,” Haynes chuckles.
        After her son’s birth, Haynes received two more rounds of chemotherapy to finish up her treatment.
        “As of right now, I am officially done with treatment,” she said. “I had a PET scan on Monday, and it was clear, so for now we’re done.”
        Through the kindness of others, Haynes husband, Jordan, was also able to take time off during her pregnancy and chemo treatments to offer the support she needed. “I’m so grateful for my family,” Haynes said. “Not only my immediate family, but my sisters and my church family. They were there every step of the way, encouraging.”
        Every year, Bay Park Hospital invites a special patient to light the Christmas tree in their main lobby. This year, the staff knew right away who to pick.
        On Wednesday, Dec. 4, Haynes and her family were invited to light the Bay Park tree. The hospital also surprised the family with gifts for each of the Haynes boys and for Haynes and her husband, and provided refreshments for all in attendance.
        “I would say if it wasn’t for the fact of getting chemo and having cancer, it was one of the best experiences,” Haynes says of her time at Bay Park Hospital. “I mean, they have made it — all the nurses — they made it fun. We had fun; we joked. Everyone here, the staff has been amazing and so warm and helpful. I will truly miss seeing them when I’m not coming here every week.”
        For those who’d like to help the Haynes family, a cousin of Haynes’ husband set up a GoFundMe page for donations. Visit www.gofundme.com/f/trczw7-the-haynes-family for more info.


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