A Mother's Sacrifice Ends in Double Tragedy

Mom died after giving up cancer treatment so her baby could live; now, her baby has died
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2017 12:25 PM CDT
Baby Dies After Mom Gave Up Cancer Treatment to Save Her
Life Lynn DeKlyen lies in the NICU of the University Hospital in Ann Arbor, Mich., on Sept. 8, 2017.   (Nick DeKlyen/Courtesy of Sonya Nelson via AP)

A doubly tragic end to the story of the Michigan mom who declined cancer treatment in an attempt to save her baby's life: That baby, Life Lynn DeKlyen, died Wednesday night. Her mother, Carrie DeKlyen, died within days of giving birth to Life Lynn at 24 weeks gestation on Sept. 6. Carrie DeKlyen, 37, found out she was pregnant soon after finding out she had an aggressive form of brain cancer, but she declined to take part in a clinical trial that could have extended her life because it would have required her to terminate the pregnancy. She delivered via cesarean section at the earliest time a baby is considered viable for life; Carrie DeKlyen was unconscious at the time and was taken off life support a day later, the Detroit Free Press reports; she died on Sept. 9. Life Lynn's dad, Nick DeKlyen, told followers of the couple's Facebook page Thursday of the baby's death, the Detroit News reports.

"It is with great sadness and [an] absolutely broken heart that I tell you Life Lynn passed away last night," he posted on the Cure 4 Carrie page. "Carrie is now rocking her baby girl. 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." Nick DeKlyen told the Detroit News Wednesday that Life Lynn almost died on the day of Carrie's funeral, Sept. 12, and that on that day doctors asked if he wanted to hold her one last time and he said no because he refused to give up. In recent days, updates posted on the Facebook page indicated Life Lynn was having a "rough time" with low oxygen levels and blood pressure problems, but they then noted her oxygen levels "shot up" after Nick held her Wednesday, possibly as a result of his touch. She leaves behind five siblings ages 2 to 18. (Read more cancer stories.)

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