Health

Mom Dies After Giving Up Cancer Treatment To Save Baby (Photos)

| by Michael Doherty
A person holding a baby's head.A person holding a baby's head.

A Michigan woman who ended her cancer treatment in order to have her baby has died.

Mother of five Carrie DeKlyen discovered she was pregnant shortly after she was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, according to Newser. The mom learned that in order to complete her cancer treatment, she would have to terminate her pregnancy.

"She didn't want to do that," said Carrie's sister-in-law, Sonya Nelson, according to People.

"The doctor said: 'If you don't terminate this baby, Carrie, you will die,'" said Carrie's husband, Nick DeKlyen. "But it was Carrie's decision and I said: 'What do you want to do?' She said: 'We're keeping it.'"

On Sept. 6, Carrie gave birth to the baby, Life Lynn DeKlyen. Life was born premature, at just 24 weeks and 5 days, and Nick said that she is doing "as well as could be expected," reports MLive. Nick said Life, born at 1 pound, 4 ounces, was "almost breathing on her own."

"She's going to be fine," said the dad, according to The Associated Press. "She's going to be here [in the neonatal intensive care unit] for 4 or 5 months, but we expect her to be a healthy baby ... The doctor said the timing [of the birth] couldn't have been more perfect."

Carrie is reported to have died on Sept. 9, a few days after Life was born. Nick said that some of his last words to his wife were "I'll see you in heaven."

"We stayed by her until she took her last breath," he added. "It's in God's hands now."

Nick said his family has a strong Christian faith.

"My wife loves the Lord and she loves her children more than anything," said the dad. "It's painful. But this is what she wanted. She wanted to protect this child."

Carrie's story sparked an outpouring of support from friends and social media users online.

"Carrie, we love you and will miss you, but your legacy will live on," said a Facebook post from a group called Cure 4 Carrie after her death. "You have touched so many lives and your love for Jesus was evident in the way you lived your life. Because of our faith we know we will see you again! We love you!"

The post also included a quote from the Bible: "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for a friend."

A GoFundMe page to support the family has received over $123,000 of its $150,000 goal.

Sources: Newser, People, MLive, The Associated Press via Newser, GoFundMe / Featured Image: JlHopGood/Flickr / Embedded Images: GoFundMe via Newser, DeKlyen Family via People

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