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The Globe and Mail

Woman induces labour early so dying sister can meet baby

Paula Holmes asked doctors to induce baby Scarlet three weeks early, as daughter Katy, 10, bravely battled for survival. Picture of Katy Holmes (10) with four week old sister Scarlet. Pic from MEN Syndication Mitchell Henry House Hollinwood Avenue Chadderton Oldham OL9 8EF

Manchester Evening News Syndicat/Manchester Evening News Syndication

A pregnant British woman induced her labour so that another daughter, 10 years old and dying of cancer, could meet the latest addition to the family.

Katy Holmes was diagnosed with a fatal brain tumour in October as her parents were expecting the baby. Her father David described the disease as "the worst and most aggressive type of brain tumour there is."

As Katy's condition worsened, her parents made the call to induce. Paula Holmes had doctors deliver Scarlet three weeks early so that Katy could meet her baby sister.

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"The realization that I was pregnant and that Katy might not get to see the baby was terrifying," Ms. Holmes said.

"Katy loves Scarlet, and seems to have a special way with her. All we have to do is put Scarlet in her arms and she starts smiling."

Doctors reportedly agreed to induce "without hesitation," but that hasn't prevented some readers from questioning the move, since prematurity can come with complications.

The family has also decided against telling Katy that her condition is terminal. She was given between six and nine months to live, this after her eagle-eyed mother insisted on an MRI when the usually cheerful girl complained of migraines and stopped smiling at school.

Family, friends and fellow students have been fundraising with non-uniform days, bingo nights and cake stalls for Katy's wish list, which includes a husky dog sleigh ride and seeing The Lion King in London.

Three times, doctors have told the family to say their goodbyes, but the little girl pulled through each time.

What do you make of the family's decision to keep their daughter in the dark about her condition?

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