DETROIT — A Michigan woman sacrificed the chance to prolong her life to give birth to her sixth child.
Doctors removed Carrie DeKlyen’s feeding and breathing tubes on Thursday, a day after her daughter, Life Lynn, was born. DeKlyen chose to forgo clinical trials and chemotherapy to treat her brain cancer, since it would have meant ending her pregnancy.
“It’s a tough time — she’s hours away from passing as we speak,” Nick DeKlyen, Carrie’s husband and Life’s father, told The Associated Press by phone Friday from University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor. “All of my family is here, and her family from Kentucky, Tennessee and Oklahoma. We’re just by my wife’s bedside, just waiting.”
Life Lynn was born prematurely, at 24 weeks and five days into the pregnancy and weighing 1 pound, four ounces (567 grams). Nick DeKlyen said his daughter is doing better than expected in neonatal intensive care, gaining weight and “almost breathing on her own.”
“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.”
DeKlyen said that since his wife’s cancer diagnosis in April, the family has been sharing updates about his wife and daughter on the Facebook page Cure 4 Carrie . He said she was determined to see the pregnancy through.
The couple, who are from the western Michigan city of Wyoming, have five other kids who range in age from 2 to 18 years old, and Nick DeKlyen said the family is strong in its Christian faith.
“My wife loves the Lord and she loves her children more than anything,” he said.
“It’s painful,” he added. “But this is what she wanted. She wanted to protect this child.”