This News 11 Special Report aired Monday night on News 11 at 11. Be sure to watch the video, too, which we'll post on Tuesday morning.
For 10 months, Teresa Allgier's family has been praying for a medical miracle. Diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer in February, she was at the hospital getting prepped for mastectomy surgery when the doctor came in with some unexpected news.
"I had my IV all ready to go and they told me I can't have surgery today because I'm pregnant," Allgiers says. "I was scared. Did it mean my life or my baby's life? Did it mean I had to choose between my baby and myself? All those things went through my mind."
Doctors told Allgiers she either had to end the pregnancy or wait 12 weeks to treat her breast cancer so she didn't put the baby at risk. But she had a husband and four other kids who depended on her. Was she putting them at risk of losing their mom?
"I would look at my kids and I would wonder, Am I gonna make it there for the graduation? Am I gonna be there for my 7-year-old daughter to grow up and watch her get married? How much more time do I have? Am I gonna be here for all the rest of it? It was very scary."
Even with so much to lose, Allgiers just couldn't bring herself to end the pregnancy. And when she found out she was having twins, she prayed for a miracle. She believes she found that miracle in Dr. Iman Mohamed.
"She was holding on to those kids and I said, 'I'll support whatever decision. We've done this many times before. I'm confident we can do it again and you'll be okay,' and she was just amazing, amazing," Mohamed says.
The doctor did extensive research to find a chemotherapy that would kill the cancer and not hurt the babies.
"You're looking at a mom, two babies, family at home, too. You don't want to compromise her survival because she has a family at home, and you don't want to compromise and change her quality of life by having babies with developmental problems," Mohamed says.
Allgiers took care of her family, went to regular chemotherapy treatments and continued working as a nurse's aide throughout her second trimester -- amazing everyone who knew her.
"The summer was pretty rough, going through the chemo was tiresome, losing my hair was horrible. It was no fun to have cancer," Allgiers says. Yet, through the treatments, Allgiers kept her eyes on the prize: two new babies depending on her to get well.
When she was in labor, Allgiers looked to her family for strength and thought, Will the babies be OK? Less than an hour later, Allgiers had a new son and daughter. Bradley and Braylynn were placed in the Neonatal ICU.
Despite a few complications, Allgiers knows she got her miracle. When she looks at her twins, she sees they are survivors -- just like their mom.
"Their breathing's good, now it's time to get them to eat good," Allgiers says. Two weeks later, Braylynn's been released from the hospital, but Bradley's still recovering.
With no health insurance and medical bills mounting, friends organize a fundraiser to help pay expenses. That's where another miracle happened: A father of twins who heard about the fundraiser on News 11 dreamt he won $100 in the lottery to give to Allgiers, so he bought a ticket.
"He said unfortunately I didn't win $100. He said I won more than that. He pulled out the lottery ticket and handed me a ticket for $5,200 and gave it to Brad and I and walked out," Allgiers says.
Yes, miracles sometimes come in the smallest of packages. And Allgiers knows many times they come exactly when you need them most.
"I've been doing a lot of praying. I think God gave them to me for a reason: to make me focus on something besides the negative. They're amazing. They've gotten me through a lot of hard times, that's for sure," Allgiers says about her new babies.
Posted by KO
730 North Summit Street