Baby Arabella - our life-saver

A young mum's life was saved by her baby daughter, when doctors discovered that she had cervical cancer just days before she returned to work.

Thursday, 24th March 2016, 12:06 pm
Updated Thursday, 24th March 2016, 12:48 pm
Sam Hubbard with her husband Andrew and Arabella

Sam Hubbard was just finishing her maternity leave when doctors diagnosed her with stage 2b cervical cancer.

But after being given the all-clear by the doctors Sam has now been inspired by the experience to take up a new business venture - running the Bedford franchise of a firm which sells nearly new baby and children’s clothes to other mums.

Midwife Sam, 27, told the Citizen: “Like any other woman I had my routine smear test three years ago at the age of 25, and I was given the all-clear.

The family today

“My husband and I had got married in 2012, we started trying for a baby two years later, and I fell pregnant pretty much straight away. Arabella was born in April 2015, and everything seemed perfect.

“I had no problems during pregnancy, which was even more amazing when I look back and realise that I also had a tumour growing in me at the same time.”

It was just days before Sam was due to go back to work at Peterborough Hospital in October that she spoke to a consultant there about a few health concerns she’d had. On her advice she saw her GP who made an emergency referral, and two weeks later Sam had her cancer diagnosis.

“The only reason I knew to get checked out was because I’d had Arabella,” says Sam. “If it wasn’t for having her I probably wouldn’t have seen a doctor at all.

The family today

“My next smear test isn’t due until next month, and by the time that had come around it could have been too late.”

Sam admits her treatment for cancer was a gruelling experience. As well as five-and-a-half weeks of chemotherapy and radiotherapy she also underwent a radical hysterectomy on Christmas Eve, meaning she spent Arabella’s first Christmas in hospital.

But Sam paid tribute to her friends, family, and her husband Andrew who is a former reporter on the Times & Citizen.

She said: “The treatment was absolutely knackering, going back and forth to hospital, being sick, and missing out on time with Arabella. But for her it meant more time with her grandparents and being spoilt rotten which she loved.

“All of this has made me appreciate the important things in life, like making memories, enjoying life, and being with the people you love.

“Our friends and family have all pulled together. I couldn’t have done it without them. And Andrew has been so strong.”

Sam added: “I’m so glad that nothing came up about the tumour during my pregnancy - it would have been a game-changer. Instead I got to breastfeed for eight months which was really important to me, I looked after Arabella myself, and had the most amazing time of my life.

“But if I’d known I had cancer, everything would have been different.”

And the experience has now inspired Sam’s new business venture.

She said: “I can’t have more children now. I’ve come to terms with that, but I don’t know how it will affect me when I am back working as a midwife.

“But we saw about mum2mum market on Dragon’s Den and I just thought ‘I could do that’, so I’ve bought the Bedford franchise and will be doing that as my own business too.

“Apart from being a part-time job it will mean helping other mums, bringing them together, and it will mean I can spend more time with Arabella.”

The first mum2mum market nearly new sale takes place at St Cuthbert’s Hall, Bedford, on Sunday, April 24 from 1.30-3.30pm.

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