Even as he hopes for a medical miracle, Jason Torres is facing a mounting battle of another kind.
Torres' wife, Susan, 26, is carrying the couple's second child, but has deadly melanoma, which caused a stroke last month when it spread to her brain.
The stroke left Susan brain-dead but, in what's thought to be a medical first, Jason has her on life support, hoping she can carry the baby long enough for her to give birth.
As Susan lies hospitalized, medical bills are piling up, Jason told The Early Show co-anchor Julie Chen Friday, and a huge chunk of them won't be covered by insurance.
"Insurance will cover about two-thirds of it," he said. "And then, the rest, the last third, would have to be paid by us. Which would probably be somewhere in the range of $300,000 to $400,000.
"And obviously, you know, being a normal 20-something, I don't really have $400,000 lying around.
"So, my friends started a fund. And it's susantorresfund.org, to try to get donations to pay for some of the medical expenses.
"But, it's just money."
Torres says Susan has had melanoma since she was a teenager. She had no problems for many years, then, early last month, she started complaining of nausea.
"It seemed like perfectly normal pregnancy-type things," Jason told Chen. "And then, a few days before we came to the hospital, she started feeling a little worse, and we started looking around and talking to doctors and trying to figure out what was the problem. But unfortunately, we were a little too late."
Susan was sent home, he says, and "was lying in bed, and I was trying to help her eat some food. And we were talking. And just right after our conversation, she just stopped, and stopped breathing. And so I called 911 and did CPR and came to the hospital."
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