Dramatic Twin Birth at Tarragindi Exit Leads to Mum’s Cancer Discovery

In 2022, a Brisbane mum gave birth to premature twins in an ambulance at the Tarragindi exit of the Pacific Motorway, only to be diagnosed with endometrial cancer days later while her newborns fought for life in hospital.

Tara Bishop, 33, from Sunnybank Hills, was being rushed to Mater Mothers’ Hospital in October 2022 when her labour progressed rapidly. The ambulance crew had to pull over at the Tarragindi exit, where Evelyn and Harvey were born two months early.

“What was supposed to be a happy time of our lives very quickly turned into an emotional rollercoaster,” Ms Bishop said.

Cancer Diagnosis Shock

Just 11 days after the twins’ dramatic birth, while they were still in the Neonatal Critical Care Unit (NCCU), Ms Bishop received devastating news.

“I was in a state of shock, dealing with the twins coming so early and then the diagnosis,” she explained. Routine pathology tests on her placenta had detected endometrial cancer.

Photo Credit: Tara Bishop Tarragindi

Dr Naven Chetty, a gynaecological oncologist at Mater Private Hospital Brisbane, described the case as rare. 

“It is extremely rare for a patient to be diagnosed with this type of cancer during pregnancy,” he said.

Treatment and Recovery

Ms Bishop underwent a hysterectomy and removal of her fallopian tubes. Dr Chetty stated, “Given her low stage and low grade cancer, we would expect a cure.”

The couple is sharing their story during Uterine Cancer Awareness Month this June. Endometrial cancer is the most common gynaecological cancer in Australia, claiming around 550 lives annually.

Dr Chetty urged women to seek medical attention if they experience:

– Any bleeding in post-menopausal women

– Persistent or abnormal bleeding in younger women

Family’s Positive Outlook

Despite the challenging start, Ms Bishop remains optimistic. “When I look at my babies today I believe they are my little lifesavers,” she said.

The twins, now almost two, are thriving. “At no point would you look at the twins and know they were born two months’ premature,” Ms Bishop added, highlighting the resilience of her family through this extraordinary journey.

Published 24-June-2024