A woman in Michigan who passed on the chance to extend her life in order to give birth to her baby died early Saturday, according to her husband.
Nick DeKlyen stated that his wife, Carrie, had passed away surrounded by family at the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor, where she had likewise delivered her sixth child, ABC News reports. Among her last words were, “I’ll see you in Heaven.”
“We stayed by her until she took her last breath. It’s in God’s hands now,” Nick said.
Doctors took off Carrie’s feeding and breathing tubes on Thursday, the day after she gave birth to daughter Life Lynn DeKlyen. Carrie had opted not to undergo chemotherapy for her brain cancer, since it would mean having to end her pregnancy.
Life Lynn was born prematurely, at just 24 weeks and five days, weighing 1 pound, four ounces (567 grams). Her father says the baby is doing better than expected in the neonatal intensive care unit, where she has been gaining weight and is now “almost breathing on her own.”
Nick said, “She’s going to be fine. She’s going to be here for 4 or 5 months, but we expect her to be a healthy baby…The doctor just said the timing (of the birth) couldn’t have been more perfect.”
The couple, who hail from Wyoming in Michigan, have five other children ranging from two to 18 years old. Nick stated that the family remains firm in their Christian faith. “My wife loves the Lord and she loves her children more than anything,” he said.
It’s painful. But this is what she wanted. She wanted to protect this child.
Carrie was diagnosed with the cancer in April, which started out as headaches that soon progressed to vomiting. An initial scan showed a mass in her brain, and doctors told her she had glioblastoma, one of the most aggressive forms of cancer. The tumor was removed in April, but a month later, the cancer had returned, at the same time Carrie found out she was pregnant, The Washington Post reports.
On the Facebook page Cure 4 Carrie, the family shared a Bible verse, which reads, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”