May her noble act one day help eliminate a rare genetic disease that occurs in one out of every 6,000 pregnancies.

Pregnancy is a joyous occasion for many expectant mothers out there, bringing a new addition to their family and creating new life and happiness in our world.

But the world collapsed around expectant Thai mother Puu Kanokrat and her Singaporean husband Eugene Wee when doctors told her that her five-month-old unborn baby had Trisomy 18, otherwise known as Edwards syndrome.

▼ Kanokrat and her husband at a hospital in Thailand.

The rare genetic disease affects one out of every 6,000 pregnancies and stems from the fetus having an extra chromosome that severely impedes cell functions. This leads to multiple physical abnormalities and mental disabilities, often resulting in stillbirths.

▼ Those that do survive beyond the first year will be unable to live like normal kids do.

As if having a fetus with Trisomy 18 was not enough, professors at Chiangmai University also appealed to Kanokrat, asking her to let them perform detailed scans in order to study the disease. She complied with their requests, as such scientific research could one day lead to treatment or elimination of the rare condition.

She chose to be studied for four hours as medical students gathered around her treating the baby as a specimen. “It was painful for her. Hearing them discuss about her own child’s brain, the enlarged heart, the missing arms, the face, the lack of organs,” described Wee in his Facebook page.

▼ It is utterly mind-blowing how she can endure so much.

Exhausted and heartbroken, she was then approached with another request: that her stillborn fetus be kept by the university for scientific studies. After much discussion between the couple, Kanokrat told her husband, “If my child needs to die, then it should not have to be in vain.”

And so it came to be that one courageous woman suffered 33 hours of excruciating labor, opting out of surgery in order to keep the fetus as intact as possible, knowing full well that it would be whisked away as soon as it was delivered.

The room was quiet when the fetus was delivered, but Kanokrat’s noble decision to help other children out there will forever ring loud in everyone’s ears.

Source: Facebook/Eugene Wee via Next Shark
Top image: Facebook/Eugene Wee
Insert images: Facebook/Eugene Wee, Pakutaso (1, 2)