Carrie DeKlyen, a mother of six from Michigan, died just three days after giving birth to a baby girl. She was diagnosed with an aggressive type of cancer, but she refused the treatment because that would’ve meant stopping her pregnancy and she preferred to have her baby.
Carrie sacrificed her own life for her daughter’s. Nick, her husband, said that was what she wanted. It was a difficult time for him and the family because they were really happy for the baby being born but they knew Carrie was hours away from dying. Doctors told her months ago that if she didn’t terminate the pregnancy, she would die. She had been in a coma since July.
“Carrie was the most amazing, selfless person I have ever met. We all feel extremely sad right now, but we know we will see her again,” said Sonya Nelson, Carrie DeKlyen’s sister-in-law.
Nick: ‘she wanted this, but it tough’
Carrie, 37, was diagnosed with glioblastoma in April. This is an aggressive type of cancer that affects the brain and the spinal cord. She qualified to be in a University of Michigan clinical trial to treat her cancer. Doctors said that she could have extended her life about 10 to 20 years if she had participated in the trial, but she refused to interrupt the pregnancy to receive chemotherapy. Therefore, Carrie decided to give up the chances of prolonging her life to have her sixth child. Carry’s sister-in-law recently confirmed that back then she didn’t want to end her pregnancy.
“The doctor said if you don’t terminate this baby, Carrie, you will die,” Nick confessed. “But it was Carrie’s decision and I said, ‘What do you want to do?’ She said, ‘We’re keeping it.’ ”
Carry died this Saturday, three days after baby Life Lynn was prematurely born. She died surrounded by her family, including the couple’s other five kids: Elijah, 18, Isaiah, 16, Nevaeh, 11, Leila, 4, and Jez, 2. The doctors removed Carrie’s feeding and breeding tubes on Thursday. The last thing Nick said to his wife was: “I’ll see you in Heaven.”
Glioblastoma’s symptoms include headaches, nausea, personality changes and unconsciousness. The advance of this cancer is rapid, and the causes are not clear. The most typical length of survival following diagnosis is 12 to 15 months. Only 3 to 5 percent of the people diagnosed with glioblastoma live more than five years after diagnosis. Without treatment, people with glioblastoma usually die in less than three months.
Carrie gave Life a chance to survive
Life Lynn was born prematurely via caesarian section since her mother had been in a coma since July. She was born on September 6 just with 24 weeks and 5 days. Her father says, that even with the severe conditions of her birth, the baby is doing well. She was born weighing 1 pound and four ounces (567 grams). After giving birth, Carrie was taken off life support.
“We gave up all of Carrie’s treatment to give Life a chance to survive. Her birth meant that this wasn’t all for nothing, my wife will pass on and my baby will live”, said Nick. “She wanted this, but it’s tough. I’m trying to be happy for the baby but the love of my life is hours away from dying, it hurts so bad.”
Before she died, Nick kissed her on the forehead. He told her that she succeeded in what she wanted to do and that the baby was just fine. The family informed that Life Lynn would be in the NICU for four to five months.
Carrie will never be forgotten
Nick and Carrie DeKlyen are fervent Christians. That means they were “pro-life,” which was a reason for them to continue the pregnancy. Nick recently said that under no circumstances they believed they could take a child’s chance of living. They actually met at Church, when she was ten years old, and Nick was 12. They lived in the western Michigan City of Wyoming with their five kids. They were married for 17 years.
Nick says that her wife’s final act was selfless and that that because of that she will never be forgotten. Nick also said that when her daughter, Life Lynn, is old enough he will tell her the story about her brave mom and what she did for the love she felt for her. He will explain to Life that though they don’t know why Carrie had to be sick, that was God’s special plan and that they had to trust. The rest of the family was very supportive, and they backed Carrie’s decision of not treating her disease.
“I want people to know she gave of herself for everybody. In her last days, she gave of herself for her own child,” said Nick’s sister, Sonya Nelson of Wyoming. “We are proud of her.”
Carrie was a stay-at-home mother. She was very vital and incredibly loving. She used to cook dinner for neighbors and those in need.