By Ann Rowland
U.S. Army Infantry Sergeant Brandon Hinman is living his worst nightmare at a time when he should be the happiest. Brandon and his wife, Jenna, were expecting twins on March 3 when Jenna went into premature labor. The babies were delivered by C-section and Jenna got to see her babies before they were transferred to a nearby hospital.
Jenna began having breathing difficulties and coughing up blood and was transferred to the same hospital as her babies where she placed on a ventilator. Within days doctors discovered tumors and lesions throughout her body. She was diagnosed with Stage 3 choriocarcinoma, a cancer that starts in the placenta.
Jenna, 26, was placed in a medically induced coma and is in “critical but stable” condition at a Crouse Hospital in Syracuse, N. Y. Sgt. Hinman, 30, who is stationed at Ft. Drum, told ABC News “The twins are doing well and don’t have breathing tubes anymore. Both are feeding and right where they need to be at 30 weeks.”
The Stage 3 cancer had invaded Jenna’s lungs however it has not spread to her brain. Dr. David Landsberg, Chief of Medicine for Crouse Hospital told ABC News that the caner itself is a “curable tumor”.
Jenna is being treated with ECMO therapy that uses a pump to circulate blood through an artificial lung back into the bloodstream. According to Lansberg, Jenna’s condition would be “100% fatal.” There is a danger in leaving Jenna on ECMO for too long and they hope to get her off this therapy within days. “The chemo will be the real cure,” Landsberg told ABC News.
“We’re hanging in there. We are just taking it day to day, but we are starting to get some positive results and are pretty happy about that. The chemo is starting to have an effect,” Brandon told ABC News.
Dr. Landsberg woke Jenna Hinman up briefly so her husband could reassure her about the babies. “He pushed back the sedation for 30 seconds and had me to talk to her to make sure Jenna was still there. She nodded slightly. So yeah, I believe she was there,” Sgt. Hinman told ABCNews.
Jenna’s friends have set up a Facebook page “Prayers for Jenna” and it already hasover 80,000 likes. Another Facebook page Fundraiser for Jenna Hinman is donation proceeds from the sale of jewelry to help the family. The Hinman Fund on GoFundMe has raised over $100,000 in the past week.
“It’s supposed to be the greatest time of her life and it turns into the biggest nightmare,” Sgt. Hinman told Yahoo.
“He is an amazing young man,” Landsberg said of Brandon Hinman. “The dignity with which he conducts himself — the whole family — it’s so compelling.”