A cancer survivor has welcomed his “miracle baby” after his partner found out she was unexpectedly pregnant - just DAYS before chemotherapy left him infertile.
Simon Thompson, 32, found out he was going to be a dad the day before he was admitted to hospital with what turned out to be stage 4 Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
His girlfriend Maxine Campbell, 22, and Simon believe their surprise baby was ‘fate’ - after chemotherapy - which left Simon unable to have children - began just weeks later.
The sales assistant endured months of chemotherapy and radiotherapy whilst Maxine’s bump grew - but despite being unwell he attended every appointment and scan.
Maxine was 37 weeks’ pregnant when Simon was given the good news that he is cancer-free.
Baby Mateo was born two weeks ago and is now home in Margate, Kent, with his adoring parents.
Proud Simon said: “Having your first child is supposed to be a happy and exciting time in any couples lives and we feel that was robbed from us.
“While most mums and dads to be are excited picking out the nursery theme and buying babygrows, our impending arrival was almost the last thing on our minds.
“We were driving back and forth to hospital appointments and I was having chemotherapy and worrying about whether I was going to be around to see Maxine give birth.
“Maxine was terrified she was going to lose me and that our son would grow up without a dad.
“But having her and the baby to focus on while I was battling cancer willed me to beat the disease and get better for their sake.
“We know we’ll probably never be able to have any more children as the chemotherapy has made me infertile.
“But despite it all, we feel incredibly blessed to have our miracle, surprise baby after all we’ve been through.”
Maxine, a former nanny, said: “It’s been the toughest but the happiest year of our lives.
“I am so relieved Simon is much better and Mateo being born marks a new chapter for us.”
Simon started to feel unwell in June 2017 after suffering from numbness in his face and severe toothache, before a lump the size of a golf ball appeared inside his mouth.
He visited the dentist and his GP and was even referred to the optician over the swelling. He was initially told it was a dental abscess and was given antibiotics.
He ignored his symptoms, dosing up on painkillers and using numbing gel for a few months, before Maxine dragged him to hospital.
“The pain become so severe, I just had to get some help,” he said.
“I assumed it was just a dental abscess and that it would go away naturally, but after months of agony I had no choice but to go to hospital.”
Doctors in A&E warned it could be serious and a consultant had him admitted straight away, telling the couple it could be cancer, on December 18 last year.
Maxine had only discovered she was three weeks pregnant the day before - and told him that day.
“Even though I heard the ‘C’ word I didn’t think it would be that,” he said.
Simon’s consultant confirmed that he had stage 4 Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma on January 2 and he started a course of chemotherapy just one week later.
He had 11 rounds of chemotherapy and 15 radiotherapy sessions.
He added: “I wanted to look after Maxine and be there for her whilst she was pregnant, but it ended up being the other way around.
“She had to drive me to all of my hospital appointments and look after me when I was at home.
“Luckily her pregnancy was smooth-sailing.’ The couple discovered they were expecting a little boy at a 16-week scan.
“It should have been a very happy and exciting moment, but every milestone was bittersweet,’ Simon said.
“We’d be on cloud nine one minute and then seconds later remember what we were dealing with and it would bring us back down to earth with a thud.
“I just was desperate to be there. I was determined to see Maxine give birth and watch my little boy grow up.
“The chances of me surviving cancer were 60% which sounds positive, but 4 in 10 people succumb to the disease so I knew I had to throw everything I had at it.
“Maxine and the baby kept me strong.”
After eight months, Simon was told he was cancer-free - on the same day Maxine turned 37 weeks pregnant.
He will be monitored for five years before he can officially be considered in remission.
Maxine and Simon welcomed their son, Mateo Ian, on 17th August at 6.46pm after 40 hours labour and a c-section.
He was in specialist care for ten days and needed medication for fluid on the lungs and breathing problems.
He said: “We weren’t even allowed to hold him for the first 48 hours.
“Looking at him in his incubator, hooked up to machines and covered in wires was so hard.
“It reminded me of everything I’d just been through and being pumped with chemo.
“I told him he was strong like his daddy and that he’d pull through.”