A Melbourne mother whose life took a devastating turn when she was diagnosed with terminal cancer just after giving birth to her newborn baby has died.
Taylor Johnston, 29, died last Monday, about four months after giving birth to her first child, Billie Mae.
Taylor, from Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, was told 10 days after Billie’s birth that she was suspected of having cervical cancer.
This diagnosis was later upgraded to terminal bone marrow cancer. She died on September 18, according to the family’s GoFundMe page.
“Our beloved Taylor has earned her angel wings and is now watching over us,” the crowdfunding update reads.
New mum Taylor Johnston (pictured here with daughter Billie Mae), 29, tragically died months after discovering she had cancer.
Taylor had only recently married her husband, Jesse, in 2022, and struggled through two rounds of IVF before becoming pregnant.
Tributes poured in from those close to her, remembering Taylor as a brilliant and unique young woman.
“Another beautiful soul taken far too soon. Rest in peace, Taylor Johnston, your everlasting smile, infectious energy and kind spirit will live on,” one said.
“Such terrible and heartbreaking news.”
Another said: “My beautiful, beautiful Tay, you were the sun, you were everything at once.”
“You had a lightness that no one will ever replace. My heart breaks for your little girl and the man of your dreams. My heart is broken.
A third said: “My heart is so heavy. Tay, my beautiful best friend. The sunshine in our lives, I am truly at a loss for words.
“This world is so cruel to take you, but I know you can sleep peacefully now. I love you. I will miss you every day.
The Rye Netball club, for which Ms Johnston played, also released a brief statement on the tragic death.
“Rye Football Netball Club is heartbroken to learn of the passing of one of our most loved netballers, Taylor Johnston, after a short but courageous battle with cancer,” the tribute read.
“Taylor was loved by everyone she met and shared the yard or dance floor with her.”
“A fiery and determined defender on the pitch and a Rye player for seven years. It was Taylor’s kind and positive personality that made her the ultimate teammate and friend.
“Together we will always remember and honor Taylor and the remarkable impact she had on everyone who was lucky enough to meet her. She was the life of the party, always kind and her laugh was contagious.
Ms Johnston gave birth to her daughter and firstborn, Billie Mae, in May, leading to the discovery of a cancerous tumor.
Tributes have poured in for Mrs Johnston (pictured with her husband Jesse), who is remembered for her “infectious energy and kind spirit”.
Ms Johnston had spent years battling fertility issues with her husband Jesse and the couple eventually turned to IVF treatment – which was successful.
On May 19, after a marathon 25 hours of labor, she finally gave birth to her miracle baby, Billie Mae.
But during the “scary” ordeal, which ended in an emergency C-section and the loss of 1.7 liters of blood, midwives discovered a polyp in her cervix.
The couple’s joy at the birth of their daughter was short-lived when test results ten days later revealed it was a cervical tumor.
The devastating diagnosis would only get worse with a series of MRI and PET scans, showing the disease had also spread to his bone marrow.
“Not just any cancer, it’s potentially terminal,” Lani Dorning, Mr. Johnston’s sister, wrote in the GoFundMe page she created for the struggling young Victorian family.
“Their world stopped. Broken, heartbroken, shattered, numb. Air is sucked from your lungs. You can’t breathe.
Mr Johnston was unable to return to work as a carpenter as he cared for his newborn baby and his wife underwent debilitating treatment.
“She is unable to have her baby by her side at night while she undergoes chemotherapy,” Ms Dorning said.
“Every mother’s worst nightmare. Just to hold her overnight. To feel it.. To feel it. The unknown.’
Due to the severity of his case, lengthy tests to determine the origin of the cancer were abandoned in favor of immediate chemotherapy.
The GoFundMe to support Jesse and Billie Mae is available here.