Life Lynn DeKlyen was born Wednesday in Ann Arbor’s University Hospital, and her first name is a poignant reminder of the sacrifice her mom made to bring her into this world. Carrie DeKlyen, a mom of five from Wyoming, Mich., died Saturday, two days after doctors took her off life support, per the AP.
DeKlyen made headlines when she found out earlier this year she was pregnant with her sixth child just weeks after she’d been diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressively malignant brain tumor, per MLive.com. For her to continue the cancer treatment she’d begun as part of a clinical trial, DeKlyen would’ve had to have terminated her pregnancy.
“She didn’t want to do that,” her sister-in-law tells People, even though her husband, Nick, says her doctor told her she’d die if she didn’t receive immediate treatment.
Instead, DeKlyen went forward with the pregnancy, ending up in the ICU in late July after suffering a stroke and losing consciousness. Doctors decided Life Lynn needed to be delivered this week to boost her chances for survival, and so she was delivered by C-section at 24 weeks and five days, weighing 1 pound, 4 ounces.
Nick DeKlyen tells the AP the newborn will be in the neonatal intensive care unit for four to five months, but that she’s gaining weight, “almost breathing on her own,” and is “going to be fine.”
He admits it’s “painful” he lost his wife, who was also mom to their other five kids, ranging in age from 2 to 18, but that “this is what she wanted.” He says his last words to his wife were: “I’ll see you in heaven.” A GoFundMe set up for the family has raised more than $95,000.