30-Year-Old Father-To-Be Dies Of Rare Cancer Just 3 Weeks After First ER Visit!

This is absolutely heartbreaking…

When Matthew and Graziella “Gracie” Robertson found out they were expecting their first child together shortly after tying the knot in September 2021, the pair were ecstatic. As Gracie told People:

“The second I got the positive test, Matthew was out there looking at little baby shoes and baby clothes. He was so, so excited to be a dad.”

However, what was supposed to be one of the happiest times of a couple’s life soon became a tragic nightmare. In May, Matthew started feeling tired all the time and experiencing some back pain – but Gracie told the outlet it “was all easily explained away” at the time:

“We would go on trips, and he was building things for the baby. So of course you’re going to be tired, and of course your back’s going to hurt.”

Still, he decided to get checked out just in case during an annual physical. When blood work came back, it revealed he had elevated liver enzymes and an elevated white blood cell count. Despite the counts being higher, though, Gracie said she and Matthew “didn’t think too much into it and neither did his doctor,” adding:

“His doctor said, ‘It’s probably nothing, but let’s get the blood work redrawn.’”

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But when the new test results came in, they showed an even higher count for his liver enzymes and white blood cells. Still, the doctor was not worried about it:

“He said, ‘If you start having a fever or if you start feeling sick, go to the emergency room.”

Following the visit, Matthew continued to get worse, experiencing night sweats and growing increasingly more exhausted. Things eventually took a turn for the worse one morning when he woke up and knew something was not right. As Gracie remembered, he immediately stated that he needed to “go to the ER” as soon as possible. At the hospital, Matthew got a CAT scan and an abdominal ultrasound, which revealed several lesions on his liver, spleen, and back:

“The doctors were like, ‘We think it’s cancer, and you need to do something about this.’”

Since the doctors believe there also could be lesions on his pancreas, they had the couple head to a pancreatic cancer specialist. There, Matthew underwent a blood marker test and ruled out pancreatic cancer, leading the specialist to believe he might have lymphoma instead. Recommending a liver biopsy, Matthew then got one done the next day. The twosome anxiously awaited the next round of results all while Matthew was growing weaker and weaker. Gracie said:

“He couldn’t sleep, he couldn’t eat and he felt super bloated. He couldn’t do anything.”

To cheer him up, Gracie took him to find out the sex of their baby:

“He was getting really depressed, so I said, ‘You know what? Let’s just have some good news just us, and we’ll find out the gender of the baby.’ We found out on our own, just us two, about our little girl. He was so excited because the whole time anybody would ask, he would say, ’60 percent I want a girl, 40 percent I want a boy.’ But he would tell me secretly that he really, really wanted a girl. He was so excited about being a girl dad.”

Their joy over the experience was short-lived, though. Three weeks after their first visit to the hospital, she ended up taking him back to the ER on May 31 as Matthew’s condition declined to the point where he was not “drinking or eating anything.” Gracie recalled:

“When we got there, he was immediately rushed into the ICU for acute renal failure. They put him on a round of hemodialysis, which is just three or four hours of just heavy duty dialysis. Then they switched him to CRT dialysis, which is a continuous and slower method of dialysis.”

Since the results from the liver biopsy weren’t in yet, the doctors at the hospital were unsure of how to diagnose him at first:

“He would get better and then get worse — it was really a rollercoaster. Doctors didn’t even think he was going to make it through that first night. But he did, and he fought so hard.”

And while Gracie expressed that she “didn’t lose hope,” Matthew was eventually intubated, and his body just couldn’t take anymore:

“The doctors were taking every extreme life saving measure they could — they even shocked him four times because of his blood pressure dropping — but they said his liver had become more tumor than liver. His body was just being beaten up.”

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The biopsy results soon came back, finally revealing what he had been suffering from for weeks. It turned out that he had a rare cancer affecting the blood vessels in his body called epithelioid angiosarcoma. Dr. Charles A. Forscher, MD, medical director of Cedars Sinai Los Angeles’ Sarcoma Program explained to People:

“Sarcoma means fleshy growth, and angio means blood vessels. So an angiosarcoma is a malignant tumor, or cancer, that’s trying to be a blood vessel, but it’s malignant, so it’s not doing it right.”

He explains that angiosarcomas can begin in the liver, spleen, heart, breasts and bone and often “occur without a known predisposing entity,” – meaning it can “be very difficult to diagnose.” The type of cancer is also “extraordinarily rare,” according to Dr. Forcher:

“Sarcomas make up one percent of tumors in people. There are about 15,000 soft tissue sarcomas a year in the United States, and angiosarcomas are maybe around two or three percent of that.”

While chemotherapy drugs can be used to treat angiosarcomas, Dr. Forscher noted that it is, unfortunately, a “short-lived” solution:

“These tumors can be highly aggressive. The ones that are in the organs tend to not do well.”

So with those details in mind, doctors suggested taking Matthew off the ventilator. Gracie ultimately agreed:

“I was in bed laying with him as he took his last breath. I said, ‘Thank you so much for fighting so hard. All the doctors are so impressed with you. You put up a hell of a fight. You can relax now.’ I hope that comforted him.”

Sadly, Matthew died on June 6 at the age of 30 – just five weeks before his baby girl’s due date. The momma expressed to People how she is just upset her little one will never have Matthew with her each day, and he won’t ever get the chance to be a dad:

“I feel sad that she won’t get to have her dad the way that she deserves. I’m sad that he doesn’t get to be the girl dad that he was so excited about being. I know she’ll bring so much joy and happiness into our family during this time of heartache, but it’s bittersweet because he should be here.”

Looking back on her time with Matthew, she found that they were essentially each other soulmates, saying:

“It’s very common after someone passes that all of a sudden they turn into a saint. But you really couldn’t say anything bad about Matthew. I keep saying this, but you see couples on social media and you think, ‘What are they really like? No one’s that perfect.’ But we were that perfect.”

Gracie continued:

“Even if we were angry at each other, we would be laughing and kissing within a couple of minutes. He had this thing where if we started a discussion, and we felt it getting tense, he would make us touch our feet together. How do you get mad when someone’s tickling your feet with their toes? We really were that sickeningly perfect, in love couple on social media and behind closed doors.”

Oh, our heart…

We cannot imagine how painful this must be for her — especially having to go through something as traumatic as this while pregnant. To honor her late husband, Gracie shared with the outlet that she plans on giving their little girl the initials MJR:

“His big thing was his initials: MJR. He had everything monogrammed MJR, so I knew I wanted a J middle name.”

Although Matthew has passed away, she said “we are going to make sure that she knows every single detail about her dad”:

“He was truly incredible.”

Many others seem to think so as well. A GoFundMe created for Gracie and her baby girl has nearly $140,000 in donations.

“I’m so grateful for my family support and the outpouring of love and support from family, friends and strangers. It means so much. It’s hard in this moment because I just want him back, and there’s nothing that anybody can do or say that will take that pain away, but it’s nice knowing how much he impacted so many people’s lives.”

Our hearts just breaks for Gracie and her little one. We will be sending them so much love and light during this difficult time.

[Image via GoFundMe]