A mother and daughter have touched millions of hearts on TikTok after one immediately made the trip to see the other who just received a cancer diagnosis.
Maria Karpinska, 88, traveled over six hours to see her daughter, Elizabeth Pawlak, 64, who had recently learned she had stomach cancer.
The moment when Karpinska walked through the hospital room door was captured on video by her granddaughter, Estera Pawlak (daughter of Elizabeth Pawlak).
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“Motherhood is so powerful, Estera Pawlak captioned the footage, which was viewed over 4.8 million views times on TikTok.
Elizabeth Pawlak was first diagnosed in early January, but the news was initially kept from Karpinska so she wouldn’t worry, Estera Pawlak told Fox News Digital.
She needed surgery to remove the cancer, but her blood levels were too low, and as a Jehovah’s Witness, she was unable to accept a blood transfusion, Estera Pawlak said of her mother.
For over 10 weeks Elizabeth Pawlak, she was moving to different hospitals hoping to find a doctor who would take on her case and develop a proper course of treatment. Soon after, her diagnosis was taking a turn for the worse, and were told she only had “days to live.”
Due to her health status, on April 10, Estera Pawlak and her siblings, Luke and Emily, who all live in Scotland, made their way to Poland to see their mother.
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Estera Pawlak sent a photo of her mother and siblings to her aunt, who had taken over the care of Karpinska before Elizabeth Pawlak’s initial diagnosis.
“My auntie burst out crying in front of my grandma,” Estera Pawlak shared.
While most of the family knew about Elizabeth Pawlak’s diagnosis, her own mother, Karpinska, was still in the dark.
“As soon as she found out, she was like, ‘I need to go and see her,’” Estera Pawlak shared of what her grandmother, Karpinska, said.
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Karpinska traveled over six hours with the intention of surprising Elizabeth Pawlak at the hospital.
“You just never, ever stop being a mom. You just always want to look after your kids.”
“My mom was still quite drowsy, but she hugged [my grandmother] and said, ‘I was not expecting you,’” Estera Pawlak recalled.
TikTok users appeared to be moved by the video showing mother and daughter embracing.
“Motherhood is seriously the most beautiful and pure thing in the world,” one user commented.
“So sweet. Our babies will always be our babies,” another added.
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“That is sooo precious, we always need our mommy no matter how old we are,” another shared.
Estera Pawlak echoed that sentiment.
“I know, as a mom now, I would be there for my baby no matter what age,” Estera Pawlak told Fox News Digital.
“It’s just powerful that [my grandmother has] six children, and she wants to be there for them all.”
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Estera Pawlak said her mother and grandmother have always been close and have deeply cared for one another.
“I honestly [didn’t] think I would be spending my next Mother’s Day with my mom.”
When Elizabeth Pawlak lost her first child at 20-years-old, Karpinska helped her get through the loss. Elizabeth then relocated to Poland from Scotland in order to care for Karpinska as she aged.
In that short video, Estera Pawlak got to see her grandmother take care of her mother, she said.
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“A mom is always a mom,” Estera Pawlak shared.
“You just never, ever stop being a mom,” she continued. “You just always want to look after your kids.”
The day before Karpinska came and surprised Elizabeth Pawlak, Elizabeth finally received the drug they had been asking physicians to administer in order to help improve her blood levels.
She has since been discharged from the hospital after seeing improvement in her blood levels and is in communication with an oncologist to schedule surgery.
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Estera Pawlak feels as though she has won the “lottery” now that there is improvement in her mother’s cancer journey.
“I honestly [didn’t] think I would be spending my next Mother’s Day with my mom,” Estera Pawlak noted.
Estera knows her mother’s health journey will be a difficult one, but is grateful for her positive spirit and perseverance, she said.