Missouri woman who refused cancer treatment to save baby’s life dies

Missouri woman who refused cancer treatment to save baby's life dies

Photo c/o Emily Lucarz/PEOPLE

A Missouri woman who refused to receive treatment for advanced-stage cancer in order to save her unborn baby’s life died Tuesday, three days after the child was born.

On November 4, 2015, Cara Combs discovered she had Stage 4 melanoma; at the time, she was 23 weeks pregnant with her fourth child. Doctors suggested that she have her baby as soon as possible, but in order to give the child a higher chance of survival, she decided to wait it out and hold off on her cancer treatment. According to Cara’s husband Roy Combs, she delayed her treatment in order to deliver her baby at 28 weeks. The baby, Shaylin Combs, was born on December 5, just three days before Cara had passed on.

“Heaven gained a new angel this morning,” said Combs family friend and photographer Emily Lucarz in a Facebook post. “Cara was an amazing wife, mother, daughter and sister. She sacrificed everything so her new little one could live on.”

Lucarz added in a separate Facebook post that Combs was willing to fight her cancer after giving birth, and didn’t have any idea there would be unrelated complications that would require her to remain in intensive care. “Cara ended up needing a liver transplant, but because of her cancer, she was not a candidate,” she added. “Her giving baby Shaylin a chance at life, was the MOST SELFLESS thing she could have done.”

The photo above shows one of the last, if not the last family pictures of the Combs family, taken days before Cara gave birth to Shaylin.