(KCAL/CNN) — A California mother made the ultimate sacrifice for her baby when she refused lifesaving treatment for cancer.
You often hear mothers say they want to stop time when they have a new baby.
But for 24-year old Ashley Bridges, time is running out.
When Bridges was 10 weeks pregnant with now two-month old Paisley, she was diagnosed with bone cancer. Her doctors recommended she start chemotherapy immediately, but she would have to terminate her pregnancy.
“There’s no way I could kill a healthy baby because I’m sick,” Bridges said.
At eight months pregnant, the young mom, who also has a son from a previous relationship, learned that delaying chemo had allowed the cancer to spread.
“And that’s basically when they told me that it was terminal,” Bridges said.
She was told she needed to deliver Paisley immediately so she could start treatment.
Even with multiple rounds of chemotherapy, she was given less than a year to live.
“I felt like I tried so hard to keep Paisley safe and, you know, do the minimum to keep her healthy, and the thought that I’m not going to see her grow up is really hard.”
The reality of the situation isn’t lost on her six-year-old son Braden.
“His exact words were, ‘If you pass away, I want to come with you.'”
Friends and family take turns helping Bridges care for Paisley during the day. Her fiancé, who is in the military, takes the night shift.
None of them has second-guessed her decision to place her daughter’s life above her own.
Bridges herself has no regrets and insists she still believes everything happens for a reason.
“Maybe I’m not supposed to be here and she is,” she said.