Woman gives birth to quadruplets while fighting cancer

A premature newborn holds onto an adult's fingers. (Jennifer Polixenni Brankin/Getty Images)

A premature newborn holds onto an adult's fingers. (Jennifer Polixenni Brankin/Getty Images)

A Tennessee woman and her husband are counting four new blessings in the New Year.

Kayla Gaytan gave birth Friday to quadruplets at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. What makes the births of Lillian, Victoria, Michael and Charles even more special for Gaytan and her husband, Sgt. Charles Gaytan, is that they arrived about a month after the couple found out that Kayla Gaytan’s Hodgkin’s lymphoma had returned.

The couple told WKRN-TV in Nashville that Kayla Gaytan, who was first diagnosed about a year ago, was in remission when they found out she was pregnant. She had just finished five months of chemotherapy when she learned the news.

Charles Gaytan, a soldier stationed at Fort Campbell, recalled getting the news from his wife.

"She called me on the phone, and we're in a Humvee and I kind of couldn't really hear her," Charles Gaytan told the news station. "It was truly some of the best news I've gotten in my life."

Kayla Gaytan said her pregnancy, achieved without the use of fertility drugs, was going smoothly with no complications until last month, when she started having symptoms again. A biopsy confirmed that the lymphoma was back.

"You think you've beat it the first time," she told WKRN-TV. "When it comes back, you're just wondering, why get pregnant with these four babies and then, you know, something like this happens."

She was 30 weeks pregnant when the babies were delivered, the news station reported. Despite the biggest of the four weighing only 3 pounds, 2 ounces, all are healthy.

They will remain in the neonatal intensive care unit for the next six weeks. Their mother will start chemotherapy again in two weeks.

The Gaytans told WKRN-TV that doctors have given Kayla Gaytan a 50 percent chance of surviving the next five years.

“We know that (God has) got to have a different plan up there for us, and surely everything’s going to work out in the end,” Kayla Gaytan said.

Many people have shared the story on social media, offering up their encouragement and prayers for the Gaytans and their babies.