A Michigan woman who sacrificed her life for her unborn baby died on Saturday, just three days after her baby girl was born.
Carrie DeKlyen, 37, of Wyoming, Michigan, was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a terminal brain cancer, in April. Not long after that, she and her husband, Nick, discovered that they were pregnant with their sixth child, a baby girl.
WOOD TV reports Carrie refused to participate in a clinical trial that could have prolonged her life because doctors said she would have had to abort her unborn baby. Earlier this summer, she had a stroke and suffered major brain damage; she was in a coma and unresponsive when she gave birth to her baby girl.
On Wednesday, doctors delivered her daughter, Life Lynn, weighing 1 pound, 4 ounces. Her family said Carrie never had the chance to meet her baby girl.
“It was kind of bittersweet because my wife’s not awake. She’s going to pass away,” her husband, Nick, said. “After that, I went to the surgeon and said my wife had enough. She’s gone through so much pain these last five months.”
He said Life Lynn is doing well, and Carrie is now in heaven, the Associated Press reports. He said doctors removed Carrie’s life support on Thursday, and they stayed by her side until she died. She was 37.
“My wife loves the Lord and she loves her children more than anything,” Nick said Friday. “It’s painful, but this is what she wanted. She wanted to protect this child.”
He told the Washington Post: “I sat by her the whole time. I kind of held her hand and kissing her, telling her that she did good. I told her, ‘I love you, and I’ll see you in heaven.’ ”
Nick said their sixth child, Life Lynn, is doing better than expected. She was born very prematurely after just 24 weeks and five days in the womb.
“She’s going to be fine,” he said. “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.
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“That’s what she wanted,” Nick said of his wife. “We love the Lord. We’re pro-life. We believe that God gave us this baby.”
Carrie suffered a massive stroke earlier this summer and has not regained consciousness. She gave birth while in a coma, according to the report.
Earlier this week, the family said Carrie’s condition had deteriorated, and she no longer was even minimally responsive. The DeKlyens said Carrie was taken off life support after she gave birth to her daughter, and they believe her life is “in God’s hands until he calls her home.”
On Saturday after she died, the family shared a Bible verse on their Facebook page in memory of Carrie: “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends,” John 15:13.
She leaves behind six children, ranging from age 18 to 3-day-old Life Lynn.
Her husband previously told People that he is so proud of Carrie, and he is certain that he will see her again one day in heaven.
“Not in this life, but after my time is up I’ll be with her again in Heaven,” he said. “She made the decision to give Life a chance at life. And I couldn’t be more proud.”