Robyn Benson was just over five months pregnant when, after complaining of a headache shortly after Christmas, she collapsed. Her husband Dylan had gone out to buy Tylenol; when he came home, he found her on the bathroom floor, unconscious but still breathing.
Doctors determined that she had suffered a cerebral hemorrhage, and the woman was declared brain dead the following day.
The 32-year-old woman has been kept her on life support in a British Columbia hospital since her collapse. Doctors intend to try to keep her alive for around seven more weeks, at which point they will perform a Caesarian section.
Her fetus will then be around 34 weeks old, and will have a higher chance of survival outside of the womb. After the baby is born, Robyn will be taken off of life support.
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But for her husband, Dylan, what this means is that the day his baby son will be born will also be the same day that he will lose his wife.
“My head and my heart are constantly playing this chess match and it’s so painful,” he said.
For him, the joy and excitement of meeting his new son, whom he plans to name Iver Cohen Benson, will be paired with the knowledge “that the day or the day after he is born will be the day that I have to say goodbye to Robyn.”
Benson, who works for an IT company, has received support from friends and family throughout Victoria. As he is not only preparing for the birth of a child bus also for the funeral of his wife, Benson has had to take time off work, which has only added financial issues to his growing list of uncertainties.
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Rod Phillips, director of marketing and buying at Vancouver Island’s Liquor Plus stores and a friend of the Bensons, has begun an in-store fundraiser to support the family.
“It’s one of the toughest things I can imagine ever having to go through,” Phillips said. “So any help that we can provide as Liquor Plus or as a community is money well spent.”
Benson himself also began a fundraiser on the YouCaring.com, with a goal of raising $36,000 to help him cover the costs of taking time off work and raising a child. So far, hundreds of people have contributed to these campaigns, and Benson’s goal has already been met; any additional donated funds could go towards covering funeral costs.
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