AIIMS catholic nurse dies of cancer for delivering eighth child
New Delhi: The senior nursing officer at AIIMS, New Delhi, gave up her life for the conviction. Sapna Tracy, 43, chose to deliver her eighth baby even after medical recommendations of terminating the same.
She delivered the baby in 2015, and 2017 cancer took her life. She died on Monday in Thrissur, Kerala because she delayed her cancer treatment.
Sapna Tracy was the mother of eight children, and all are under the age of 15. His husband Joju who is 50 years old, also supported his wife’s stand. Meanwhile, the couple was an active member of Jesus Youth, and Catholic Charismatic Renewal movements in their adulthood and Joju had also served as a social worker under the Church in the national Capital.
Therefore, the couple was promoting large families and was involved in the pro-life movement of the church. In this action, people oppose abortions. So, this is the only reason, Sapna ignored doctor’s recommendation of terminating the pregnancy. The couple also gets honoured for having the large family by Kerala Catholic Church diocese in Faridabad.
She was so convicted towards the pro-life movement that when doctors told her that she would make her seven children orphan by not taking the treatment, she replied: “Only I can give birth to the child who is growing in my womb.” She was diagnosed with breast cancer when Sapna was three months pregnant with the eighth child. Medical experts advised her to abort the child and told her to undergo surgery. Even her friends and relatives also suggested the same. Still, she was determined to her decision of bringing the new life in the world.
The doctors wanted to begin chemotherapy and radiation therapy, but she denied and said she would start the treatment after giving birth to the child. When she was six months pregnant, she went under mastectomy, the breast removal process. Then after few months of delivery, she underwent chemo and radiation therapy. Joju stated that her wife has great belief we should not end a life even if it risks our own life. He took her whole family to Kerala earlier this year.
Sapna came to know that cancer had reached to the lungs about a year ago. Her neighbours used to say that Sapna was a wonderful woman as she was raising her eight children with her own family. Joju said that he supports her wife’s belief as they consider life valuable and they do not have any right to end it. They believe that population drives development. He even adds that if Sapna has been healthy, then they have gone for the ninth kid.
Fr Paul Madassery is the secretary of Kerala Catholic Bishops Council’s Family Commission; he said that Sapna’s judgment was right and the Church supported her pro-life stand. He further added “We encourage responsible parenthood. If a couple is fit and can raise more children, there is nothing wrong in going for seven or eight or more children. When someone can raise more children, they should beget more.”
Joju was counselling his children and preparing them for their mother’s death. He says that his children have realised that their mother would go one day. The nice people around them will take care of them. His children are persons with hope, and there is no room of hopelessness for them.
The Catholic Church took the headship in family planning in Kerala around the 1960s and 1970s. The Catholics are recognized as politically potent, financially sound, educate. These people create the state’s 19 percent Christian population.
Also, the early decision of family planning in Catholics of Kerala is used to get linked to their prosperity. In fact, the church also motivates the family to raise more children. The movement to the west is the reason of less number of kids as working women do not give birth to many children after getting married at the older age and setting the career.