On Oct. 19, 2016, Paradiso posted about her experience having a “late-term abortion” at 23 weeks. Since then, the post has gone viral, with over 100,000 shares.
In February 2016, Paradiso was 18 weeks pregnant with her daughter Omara when doctors discovered a mass on the baby’s neck during a routine ultrasound.
“We wanted her no matter what,” Paradiso said, so they planned to wait until Omara was viable at 27 weeks to deliver her surgically so doctors could operate on the tumor, which ensured the best chance of survival.
“We had to have her delivered early by an EXIT procedure, which is basically like a larger and riskier C-section, because her tumor was so massive that at 27 weeks she would be too big to deliver vaginally,” Paradiso said.
Along with the EXIT procedure necessary to save Omara’s life, Paradiso said she faced the risk of infertility with the procedure but was willing to go through with it if it meant Omara could survive.
Three weeks later, Paradiso got an MRI that confirmed their worst fears: The tumor had tripled in size and was growing into her head, chest, lungs, and eyes. It was inoperable.
After Paradiso and her husband went to two other hospitals for more opinions, they sought out experts at the nation’s top children’s hospital, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) for an MRI.
“We still had hope, they said they saw one or two cases per year of this and showed us a little girl with the same tumor as Omara who survived until viability and spent her first year in the NICU but now lives a somewhat normal life,” Paradiso said.
However, doctors learned from the MRI that Omara’s case was far worse, and the tumor was growing inside her brain as well. “It was aggressive lymphangioma, and it was three times the size of her head by now and they were 99% sure it was fatal,” Paradiso said.