“If you don’t terminate this baby, Carrie, you will die.”
Those were the words doctors told the pregnant and terminally-ill mother of 5, Carrie DeKlyen, according to her husband, but it turns out she wasn’t afraid of death. She was afraid of her unborn baby losing a chance at life.
Doctors presented Carrie with two choices—but for Carrie, the decision was obvious.
“She chose to have the baby. That’s what she wanted, and I supported her,” said her husband Nick DeKlyen.
Carrie DeKlyen, 37, was pregnant with her 6th child when she was diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive type of cancer that begins in the brain, this past April.
When doctors told the Michigan mother that they could prolong her life with experimental clinical trials or chemotherapy, but they would have to terminate her unborn child as a result, Carrie refused.
She wanted to save her baby.
“The doctor said if you don’t terminate this baby, Carrie, you will die,” said her husband Nick DeKlyen. “But it was Carrie’s decision and I said, ‘What do you want to do?’ She said, ‘We’re keeping it.’”
Carrie fought hard to prolong her life long enough to deliver her baby safely, despite her terminal illness. Even after suffering a stroke, having two tumors removed—only for them to grow back again, she fell into a coma in July. But the courageous mother’s body didn’t give up.
At just 24 weeks and 5 days, Carrie brought Life Lynn DeKlyen into the world on Wednesday evening September 6, at 5:20pm, while still in a coma.
She was named Life Lynn after her mother, Carrie Lynn. And despite only weighing 1 lb and 4 oz, Life is “doing great” and the doctors are “very pleased” with the baby’s progress, according to Cure 4 Carrie, a Facebook page created by the DeKlyen family.
The following morning as family gathered at the hospital to both celebrate and welcome the birth of a new life, they also prepared to say their goodbyes.
On Thursday morning, Carrie was taken off life support, and her family is “very comfortable she is in God’s hands until he calls her home.”
The DeKlyens have five other children together–Elijah, 18, Isaiah, 16, Nevaeh, 11, Lelia, 4, and Jez, 2. Her husband talked about how his wife is a fun and wonderful mother.
“She’s the kind of mom that wants to be with her kids all the time, building forts in the backyard, taking the kids on walks to the park and making them special lunches.”
“I’m going to really miss those moments,” he added.
Although it is a tragedy to lose your wife, she made a conscious sacrifice, and Nick knows that. The husband and father of now six children plans on sharing the story of their mother’s grace with the children.
“I will tell her how amazing her mother was,” he said. “I will tell her of the great sacrifice that her mom made for her. My kids have been so lucky to call her Mom.”
Nick knows she made the right choice. He said, “She had the baby, and now it’s time to go home. She’s going to heaven. She’s going to be healed.”
UPDATE: Carrie DeKlyen passed away at 37 years old on Saturday, September 9— just 3 days after delivering her newborn daughter, Life Lynn DeKlyen. Her husband Nick DeKlyen said Carrie was surrounded by family. Nick told the Associated Press that one of the last things he said to his wife “I’ll see you in Heaven.”