- Aug 10, 2004
Another kind of twist to the life support discussion.
Susan Torres is in a race to the death -- a race that will decide whether cancer claims her life before she gives birth.
But Ms. Torres will never know how the race ends.
On May 7, the 26-year-old vaccine researcher from Arlington, Virginia, 15 weeks pregnant with her second child, collapsed from a stroke brought on by undiagnosed melanoma.
She suffered serious brain damage and will never regain consciousness, but the cancer is spreading quickly.
Now Ms. Torres' family is hoping she will live long enough on life support to deliver the baby -- her last act of love, says her husband, Jason Torres.
Ms. Torres is now almost 20 weeks pregnant. Her husband hopes she and the baby can hold on to at least 25 weeks, or even 27 weeks, which would give the baby a better chance for survival and good health.
The case is an unusual one, but it didn't attract any attention until two weeks ago, when Mr. Torres' brother, Justin, wrote an opinion piece about the politics of abortion for the Dallas Morning News.
In it, he outlined the story of his sister-in-law's collapse, and noted how the doctors and the family wondered -- just for a moment -- if they were doing the right thing.
Only for a moment, Jason Torres reiterated last night.
"Of course there's another option. But we're not going to take it," he said. "You're not going to let your child go."