At 8:18 a.m., Susan Anne Catherine, named for her mother and a grandmother, was born via Caesarean section. A pediatric cardiologist in the delivery room determined that her heart function was good. The family was allowed to see the girl before she was rushed to the neonatal intensive-care unit.
Dr. Tilden-Archer, who was also present at the birth, said the 13-inch girl let out “a very sweet cry.”
“She fought me when I tried to establish an airway,” the doctor said. “She was very vigorous and still is. We are ecstatic … that she appears to be healthy.”
Because the placenta was cancer-free, chances were good that the child had not contacted melanoma from her mother. Of the 19 known cases of melanoma in a pregnant woman, five have been transmitted to the child, Dr. McManus said.
Still, it will be six months to a year before the family will know whether the baby is cancer-free, he added.
He praised the family for their tenacity and called Mrs. Torres “a remarkable woman.”
“I hope they take solace in the fact that her giving her life for the birth of this baby is the best one can do for another human being,” he said.
Justin Torres said the newborn looked like her blond, curly-haired 2-year-old brother, Peter.
“It was a wonderful day to see her,” he said of the birth. “When I saw her in the intensive-care unit, she gave a nice kick.
“But we knew what was coming next. This morning was very difficult, so there hasn’t been a lot of time to celebrate the baby.”
But, he added, “Children are always to be fought for, even if life requires — as it did of Susan — the last full measure of devotion.”