Fort Drum mom breathing on her own as she continues to fight cancer

Brandon and Jenna Hinman

The wife of a Fort Drum soldier, who remains hospitalized as she battles a rare pregnancy cancer is now breathing on her own, and one of her daughters will be able to go home this weekend.

Jenna Hinman is now strong enough to survive without the help of the Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation or ECMO machine, which helps pump blood and oxygen back into the lungs.

According to the "Prayers for Jenna" Facebook page, the oxygenation part of the machine was turned off last weekend, but was still pumping Jenna's blood.

Jenna's lungs were slowly starting to breathe on their own.

On Monday, doctors at Crouse Hospital decided to turn off the machine completely, ready to trust Jenna and her lungs.

The 26-year-old Port Bryan woman proved them right; Though she was slightly uncomfortable, her body showed it was ready to breathe naturally.

Tuesday morning, doctors surgically removed the ECMO from her body, signifying a significant step toward recovery.

Though she is heavily medicated because of the surgery, she will soon be able to spend some time with her newborn daughters when she is awake and aware.

In March, Jenna gave birth to Kinleigh and Azlynn 30 weeks into her pregnancy, through an emergency C-section. That's when doctors learned Jenna was suffering from a very rare cancer, Choriocarinoma, which forms in the placenta. She was in a medically induced coma for nearly one month.

The girls weighed just three pounds each when they were born. There was concern the cancer had spread to them as well, but so far no cancerous cells have been detected.

Jenna's cancer count, meanwhile, is the lowest itâ??s been since she was diagnosed. According to an update on the "Prayers" Facebook page, Jenna's treatment team is very happy with all of her numbers. Doctors say her white blood cell count, platelets, blood gas, vitals, blood pressure, and oxygen count all look promising.

Her husband, Brandon Hinman, who has been a fixture at Jenna's side and the girls, spoke to our Jim Kenyon last week.

"Giving back will always be a much bigger part of my life after this because this will knock you to your knees and gives you a perspective to what matters in life," he said when speaking about the cancer that's put his family to the test.

As of Monday, Kinleigh weighs 4.3 pounds, and Azlynn weighs 5 pounds.

On Tuesday -- the same day the breathing machine was surgically removed from her mother -- Kinleigh was transferred to room air. Doctors say she will be the first Hinman to go home this weekend.

Azlynn, meanwhile, is also doing well, but doctors say she needs a little more time to adjust to life outside the womb before she is able to go home.

The most recent update to the Facebook page posted Tuesday afternoon, expresses volumes of gratitude to the online community -- which has brought well wishes from across the country, even as far away as England, Israel and Australia -- for its love and support.

"If you are reading this, YOU have contributed to this amazing miracle in progress," the update reads.