Woman dies after choosing baby over chemotherapy

This October 2013 family photo shows Carrie DeKlyen and husband Nick DeKlyen in Grand Rapids, Mich. Carrie DeKlyen sacrificed the chance to prolong her life to give birth to her sixth child. Doctors removed Carrie’s feeding and breathing tubes on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017, a day after her daughter, Life Lynn, was born at University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor, Mich. DeKlyen chose to forgo clinical trials and chemotherapy to treat her brain cancer, since it would have meant ending her pregnancy. (Michelle Werkema/Courtesy of Sonya Nelson via AP)

DETROIT (AP) — A Michigan woman who sacrificed the chance to prolong her life in order to give birth to her sixth child has died.

Nick DeKlyen says that his wife, Carrie DeKlyen, died early Saturday surrounded by family.

He says among the last things he said to her were, “I’ll see you in Heaven.”

Doctors removed Carrie DeKlyen’s feeding and breathing tubes on Thursday, a day after her daughter, Life Lynn, was born.

DeKlyen chose to forgo clinical trials and chemotherapy to treat her brain cancer, since it would have meant ending her pregnancy.

Life Lynn was born prematurely and weighs 1 pound, four ounces (567 grams), but is doing better than expected in neonatal intensive care, gaining weight and “almost breathing on her own,” Nick DeKlyen said.

“She’s going to be fine,” he said. “She’s going to be here for 4 or 5 months, but we expect her to be a healthy baby. … The doctor just said the timing (of the birth) couldn’t have been more perfect.”

DeKlyen said that since his wife’s cancer diagnosis in April, the family has been sharing updates about his wife and daughter on the Facebook page Cure 4 Carrie . He said she was determined to see the pregnancy through.

The couple, who are from the western Michigan city of Wyoming, have five other kids who range in age from 2 to 18 years old, and Nick DeKlyen said the family is strong in its Christian faith.

“My wife loves the Lord and she loves her children more than anything,” he said.

“It’s painful,” he added. “But this is what she wanted. She wanted to protect this child.

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