Baby Whose Mom Chose Giving Birth Over Chemo Dies Just Days After Her Mother's Death: 'We Are Heartbroken,' Says Family
The baby of the Michigan mom who refused cancer treatment in order to give birth has died less than two weeks after her mother passed away
The baby of the Michigan mom who refused cancer treatment in order to give birth has died less than two weeks after her mother passed away, PEOPLE confirms.
Life Lynn DeKlyen died around 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the University of Michigan Hospital, her aunt, Sonya Nelson, tells PEOPLE.
“We are just extremely heartbroken,” Nelson says through tears.
Life was born via cesarean section on Sept. 6, just three days before her mother, Carrie DeKlyen, passed away. Carrie was 37. The Wyoming, Michigan, mother of six chose to forgo cancer treatment so that she could give birth to the little girl.
Carrie’s husband, Nick DeKlyn, said Life, who was born at 24 weeks and 5 days, had been doing well in the days following the delivery. However, Nelson told the Associated Press that baby Life “took a turn for the worse” this week.
“We don’t have any answers,” she told the site. “Maybe Carrie needed her.”
In April, Carrie was diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive, rapidly growing malignant tumor that can affect the brain and spinal cord. Doctors told her during a clinical trial that she would need to “terminate her pregnancy” in order to receive cancer treatment, Nelson previously told PEOPLE.
“We gave up all of Carrie’s treatment to give Life a chance to survive,” Nick previously told PEOPLE. “Her birth meant that this wasn’t all for nothing, my wife will pass on and my baby will live.”
The couple’s moving story quickly made headlines, and Nick spoke publicly of his heartbreak.
“She wanted this, but it’s tough,” he said. “I’m trying to be happy for the baby but the love of my life is hours away from dying, it hurts so bad.”
Nick and Carrie shared kids Elijah, 18, Isaiah, 16, Nevaeh, 11, Leila, 4, and Jez, 2.
After delivering Life, Carrie was taken off of life support, with her family telling supporters on their Facebook support page Cure 4 Carrie that she is “very comfortable she is in God’s hands until he calls her home.”
Nick told PEOPLE earlier this month that he kissed his wife goodbye, and looked forward to the future he’d have with his new baby girl.
“When our daughter gets old enough, I’ll tell her the story about her brave mommy,” Nick explained through tears. “I’ll tell her that God gave her the gift of life with an awesome plan in mind and we’re not sure why mommy had to be sick and pass away to do so, but it’s all a special plan and we must trust it.
“I’ll tell her that mommy did this because she loves you and she is in Heaven and we’ll see her again — soon, soon.”