"I felt like a ticking time bomb": Pregnant mum, 21, risked her life by refusing treatment for lung cancer to save unborn baby
Daniella Jackson had never smoked a cigarette but was told she had a slow-growing tumour in her left lung when she was five months pregnant
Against all odds: Daniella Jackson gave birth to healthy baby girl Rennae despite being advised to have an abortion to save her own life
Mum Daniella Jackson was faced with the agonising choice of having an operation that would save her from cancer or keeping the baby she was carrying.
Doctors said it was urgent that a growing tumour in her left lung was removed but that was not an option while Daniella, 21, was pregnant.
She was due to give birth to her second baby in four months. By then it might be too late so she was asked to consider an abortion to save her life.
For Daniella there was only one answer. She said: "I was determined to have my baby. I felt such a close bond with her. I couldn't let her go."
Her decision meant the rest of her pregnancy felt like a desperate race against time as the cancer grew.
She recalled: "I felt like a ticking time bomb and I had nightmares about dying in labour."
Every day she was having asthma attacks and coughing fits.
Daniella said: "I was getting attacks and I couldn't lie down on my left-hand side because it hurt so much. I thought it was the end for
me and my baby. It was a bad time. My head was all over the place. I just shut down and tried to get through it as best as I could."
Proud: Daniella after giving birth to the baby she put her own life at risk to have
Then in January she gave birth to a premature but healthy 6lb 3oz baby daughter named Rennae Bartle.
A month later mum was well enough to have the operation, which involved removing half of her lung.
Daniella has never smoked a cigarette. She first went to see a doctor complaining of breathing problems in 2010 and was diagnosed with asthma.
But after a CT scan a 4cm tumour was discovered. The cancer was a genetic type found usually in people over 60. Consultant Antonio Martin-Ucar, a surgeon at Nottingham University Hospital, said: "We had to make the difficult decision to remove Daniella's tumour only once she'd had her baby."
Now 22 and cancer free, the full-time mum is recovering at the home she shares in Aspley, Nottingham, with Rennae's dad Andrew Bartle, also 22.
Daniella, who has a child Darnelle, four, from a previous relationship, beamed at her four-month-old and said: "I'm so thankful I have a future with my children and I'm surviving."
She is keen to help save the lives of others by raising awareness after the NHS's Be Clear On Lung Cancer campaign was launched last week.
"People need to know this isn't just an old person's disease," said Daniella.
"I had kept fit and never smoked. My world fell apart when I got this."
Dr Chris Kenny, Notts public health director, said: "Earlier diagnosis can save lives. If you've had a cough for three weeks or more, make an appointment today."