It is not up to us to determine how long will we be alive. All we wish is for the people we love to be by our side when the last moments arrive. The story of Aldi and Emile Fabricius stirs a similar feeling.
The couple from Western Cape had no bounds of happiness when they learned that they were pregnant with their second child. However, only a year ago from then, father Emile was diagnosed with the esophagus and gastric cancer. Since he wasn’t responding to chemotherapy, Emile had to undergo a seven-hour long operation to remove his cancer along with his stomach.
Though it wasn’t a smooth path to recovery, after the pregnancy announcement about a year-and -a-half later, he was back in his good health.
The duo already had a 5-year old son Dyllan. Aldi became pregnant again after suffering from ectopic pregnancy some time back and this was a pure moment of joy for the family.
However, Emile’s health was deteriorating as he started experienced spasms and reflux. He had a tear in his esophagus from intense spasms. When Aldi was 34 weeks into her pregnancy, Emile was admitted to the hospital. Due to the tear, the fluids leaked through the esophagus over one of his lungs. He was unable to eat and was being fed through the feeding tube.
Unfortunately, his cancer had returned. This time it had come in the region where his stomach was and had even spread to the pancreas. Emile lost 10 kilograms within 2 weeks—his body was failing him.
Aldi would visit him every day at the hospital and Emile would simply caress her belly in dismay. He asked the doctors if they could speed up his treatment so that he could survive till the birth of their daughter.
The Final Decision
It was an extremely tough time for Aldi, who was then 38 weeks into her pregnancy and realized the time was running out for them. She wanted Emile to be there for their daughter’s birth. Her amniotic fluid level was also lowering. She consulted her own health expert as well Emile’s doctors and came upon a decision to have a scheduled c-section for the new dad to witness the birth of their child.
Little Angel Lara was born healthy, weighing 3.8 kilograms. The doctors arranged the delivery in such a way that Emile was present in the labor room to watch his daughter’s birth as well as continue his treatment besides Aldi while she recovered from her cesarean.
The family also captured the much-cherished memories through a newborn and family photoshoot in the hospital itself. The mother and daughter were discharged. Emile came home 2 days later.
Sadly, the doctors could not prevent the lymph leak in his esophagus and the chemotherapy couldn’t be done at that point. However, the father was happy being at home and was spending lots of time with his daughter Lara. She would always fall asleep in her daddy’s arms. Even though Emile was struggling with his own condition—the pain and medication, he would insist on bottle-feeding Lara in the evening.
Aldi was caring for three people—their son and daughter and Emile, by herself. Her mother was there to help her from the beginning. She would feed her daughter and care for her son, after which she would feed and clean Emile once every three hours.
Aldi once heard Emile apologize to their daughter Lara for not being able to take care of her and her brother. It was heartbreaking for the family, but they were together.
Emile had to be immediately admitted to the hospital when he complained of excruciating pain. It was three weeks after their daughter’s birth. Aldi was there at the hospital wit him on Wednesday and said she would bring the kids along to the hospital on Friday.
When she arrived after 2 says, Aldi saw an oxygen mask on her husband’s face. Sadly, it was too late by then.
Aldi’s father and mother were there to support her through the terrible loss. Dyllan was too young to understand what was happening around, his granddad explained to him what had happened. When he went to see his dad for the last time—he could no longer hold himself and cried his heart out.
The family grieved the loss of Emile. However, he was a lucky dad who got to spend some time his lovely daughter Lara in the last few days of his life.