A tiny preemie whose gravely ill mother had hoped to save her by shunning chemotherapy during pregnancy has died, a relative said Thursday. Life Lynn DeKlyen died on Wednesday night at the University of Michigan Hospital, her aunt, Sonya Nelson, told People.“We are extremely heartbroken,” Nelson said.
Carrie DeKlyen gave birth to Life earlier this month while in a coma she had been in since July. People reported that the 37-year-old was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a type of cancer consisting of highly malignant tumors that are generally found in the brain and reproduce quickly.
Her husband, Nick DeKlyen, told the magazine that she chose not to undergo chemotherapy in an attempt to save their unborn child's life. “The doctor said, 'If you don’t terminate this baby, Carrie, you will die,'” Nick said. “But it was Carrie’s decision and I said, ‘What do you want to do?’ She said, ‘We’re keeping it.'” And tragically, three days after giving birth to Life Lynn, Carrie DeKylen died.
Relatives said Life had been doing better than expected after being born prematurely at 1 pound, 4 ounces (567 grams). Nelson told The Associated Press the baby had good and bad days at the hospital, but "took a turn for the worse" this week. After being born at just 24 weeks and 5 days, Nelson that Life “took a turn for the worse,” this week.
Life was delivered at 24 weeks and 5 days at 5:30 pm. She is doing as well as they had hoped. I will update again when I have more details! Thank you Jesus for this amazing gift of LIFE!Posted by Cure 4 Carrie on Wednesday, September 6, 2017
"We don't have any answers," Nelson said, adding "the cards were kind of stacked against her" after being born at 24 weeks and five days into the pregnancy - about "the earliest you can survive." "Maybe Carrie needed her," Nelson continued. "It is comforting for us to know that she went home to be with Carrie."
Nick DeKlyen has shared an emotional statement on Cure 4 Carrie, a Facebook page that was created to share Carrie's progress. "Carrie is now rocking her baby girl," the post reads. "I have no explanation of why this happened, but I do know Jesus loves us and someday we will know why. The grief we feel is almost unbearable, please be praying for our family."
"Our deepest sympathies go to the DeKlyen family during this time of sorrow," hospital officials said in a statement. "Our team is saddened by the losses of Carrie and Life, and we hope their friends and family can find comfort and peace from their memories."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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