A pregnant mother from Wyoming, Michigan, Carrie DeKlyen, had what could be the most difficult choice for someone to ever make. She needed chemotherapy to fight brain cancer, but she was also pregnant. Her options were to go through chemotherapy to extend her life, but lose the baby; or give birth and forgo cancer treatment which would likely lead to losing her life much sooner. She sacrificed her life to save her daughter.
The 37-year-old DeKlyen made the decision back in May when she was presented with the options. Chemotherapy or other forms of treatment would almost certainly have given her a longer lifespan, but those options would ultimately terminate her pregnancy.
DeKlyen successfully delivered a baby girl named Life. Doctors remove her feeding tube the next day.
Her husband was by her side until the last breath, holding her hand. He said that she made the choice to have the baby and that he fully supported the decision, as gut wrenching of a decision as it would be.
One may think that to prolong the life of a terminally ill brain cancer patient would be trivial, but new trials utilizing gene therapy could have extended DeKlyen's life by 10-15 years, with the unthinkable option of losing her pregnancy. With strong Christian beliefs and support, that was not ever an option.
At a doctor's visit in May, the couple found out that she had brain cancer - and it was spreading. He then told her that if she joined any of the clinical trials, it would put the baby at risk.
The couple talked and even prayed over the decision and ultimately cam to the only decision they could in good conscience, to have the baby and not receive any of the life prolonging treatments availed to her.
When her condition worsened, she went to the hospital where she became unconscious. Doctors said there was not hope for her, but they could possibly save her baby.
She was put on machines to help keep her alive and functioning enough so that her body can nurture the baby to grow to a weight that is safe to prematurely deliver. Once the baby met the weight requirements, obstetricians performed a C-section and at just 24 weeks in her mother's womb, baby Life Lynn DeKlyen was born. The miracle baby weighed just 1 pound and 4 ounces and her middle name, Lynn, is also her mother's.
The baby is expected to be at full health after a few months in the hospital.
Nick DeKlye, the husband, and Carrie had been married for over 17 years, having originally met at church when they were kids. The couple has four other children (several under 5-years-old) together and Nick isn't sure what he'll do next to generate income. Right now he's staying at a Ronald McDonald house close by the baby and drives home to visit his other kids on the weekend.
A GoFundMe page has raised around $100,000 to help cover expenses of his wife's passing and take care of the children while he's out of work and staying close to their new baby, Life.
Nick said that his wife had a tremendously loving and generous spirit noting that she would cook dinners for neighbors and went out of her way whenever possible to help anyone in need. He said that because of how Carrie lived during her lifetime, and the sacrifice she made in death, he knew they would be reunited in heaven.