Kat Geltch with her daughter Kayla. Photo: Alistair Brightman
Kat Geltch with her daughter Kayla. Photo: Alistair Brightman

‘She shouldn’t have survived’: Cancer fight miracle

LESS than two years ago, Katrina Geltch was planning her daughter's funeral.

Kayla had been diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour which Katrina believed would prove terminal, was unable to walk and had little quality of life.

Such was her despair for her daughter, Katrina, who had opposed euthanasia her whole life, changed her views.

As she watched her daughter suffer, she longed to be able to give her release from the pain of living.

Now, Kayla has just celebrated Christmas with her family.

After undergoing surgery, she is cancer-free - although her family knows it could return at any time.

The 22-year-old, who also lived with autism, was able to start walking again and despite having mobility challenges because of the medication she took during her palliative care, she has reclaimed some quality of life, smiling and relaxing with her family again.

Katrina said it had been a long road back from the day her daughter was given two weeks to live.

"No one survives this type of cancer," she said.

The cancerous tumour had formed within a benign tumour, which was removed before it could spread, Katrina said.

"That protected the brain from the cancer," she said.

"The future is still uncertain but she shouldn't have survived this long, no one lives this long.

"She's still with us."

This year, Christmas meant a lot to Kayla and her family.

"This Christmas is really special," Katrina said.

"We still have her here.

"We've always kept a positive outlook for her."

Katrina knew in her heart Kayla was gravely ill, even before her diagnosis.

She shaved her head the day before Kayla had surgery.

Now she shaves it every year on the anniversary.