ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The newborn baby of a Michigan mother who refused recommendations that she abort her unborn child in the midst of a battle with an aggressive form of brain cancer, and instead decided to forgo treatment in order to save her baby, has now died just two weeks after her mother passed into eternity.
“It is with great sadness and a absolutely broken heart that I tell you Life Lynn passed away last night,” the Cure 4 Carrie page posted to social media on Thursday. “Carrie is now rocking her baby girl. I have no explanation of why this happened, but I do know Jesus loves us and someday we will know why. The grief we feel is almost unbearable; please be praying for our family.”
As previously reported, Carrie DeKlyen, a mother of five, was diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme in April and was accepted for a clinic trial at the University of Michigan. However, in meeting with doctors at the facility, she was informed that she was pregnant and would need to obtain an abortion in order to proceed.
“The doctor said, ‘If you don’t terminate this baby, Carrie, you will die,’” her husband Nick recalled to People Magazine. “But it was Carrie’s decision, and I said ‘What do you want to do?’ She said, ‘We’re keeping it.’
DeKlyen had two brain surgeries to remove the tumor, but it returned both times. In July, DeKlyen suffered a stroke and never regained consciousness. Family and friends hoped that she would stay alive long enough for her baby to be safely delivered.
On Sept. 6, doctors performed a Cesarean section on DeKlyen, delivering her daughter, named Life, at a gestation of 24 weeks, 5 days. She weighed 1 pound, 4 ounces.
At first, it was reported that the baby was doing as good as could be expected, but earlier this week, the Cure 4 Carrie page noted that Life had taken a turn for the worse and was struggling with low blood pressure and low oxygen levels. Skin-to-skin contact from her father seemed to help, but on Wednesday evening, Life died.
The baby was buried the following day next to her mother. The family characterized the burial as being “extremely hard.”
Nick DeKlyen is now caring for the couple’s five other children: Elijah, 18, Isaiah, 16, Nevaeh, 11, Leila, 4, and Jez, 2.
“Our deepest sympathies go to the DeKlyen family during this time of sorrow,” University of Michigan Hospital said in a statement. “Our team is saddened by the losses of Carrie and Life, and we hope their friends and family can find comfort and peace from their memories.”