Mum who declined cancer treatment dies two days after giving birth

Carrie DeKlyen with Lelia,4, and Jez,1.
Carrie DeKlyen with Lelia,4, and Jez,1. Photo: Facebook/Cure4Carrie

A mother-of-five who declined cancer treatment to save her unborn baby, has died just days after giving birth.

Carrie DeKlyen welcomed a healthy baby girl, Life Lynn, while in a coma on 7 September. Life was born at 24 weeks and weighed just 1 pound 4 oz (567g).

In a post to the Facebook page, Cure 4 Carrie, Ms DeKlyen's husband of 17 years Nick shared that his wife had been taken off life support.

"Carrie is off all support and is in her final hours," he wrote. "That could be one hour or 24 hours maybe even more we just do not know. Today was a hard day, but a comforting day. I hugged Carrie and promised her that her babies will always be taken care of!"

Ms DeKlyen, 37 from Michigan, died in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Also mum to Elijah, 18, Isaiah, 16, Nevaeh, 11, Lelia, 4, and Jez, 1, in April, Ms DeKlyen was diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive and malignant form of brain cancer. Prognosis is poor, with only half of patients surviving for 15 months - and less than 5 per cent still alive five years after being diagnosed.

Just weeks after receiving the devastating news the couple, who met at church as children, were told that Ms DeKlyen was pregnant with their sixth child. The surprise pregnancy meant she would not be able to participate in a clinical trial at the University of Michigan, which doctors had said would prolong her life.
"Nick and Carrie have been faced with decisions that no parent should have to make," reads a post on their Facebook page.
"If they chose not to terminate the pregnancy Carrie would no longer be eligible for the clinical trial that we all have prayed for. If they decided to stay pregnant Carrie and the baby face a very uphill battle. There really was never a decision to be made, they chose life."
Speaking to PEOPLE, Mr DeKlyen explained:" The doctor said if you don't terminate this baby, Carrie, you will die. But it was Carrie's decision and I said 'What do you want to do?' She said, 'We're keeping it.'"
After undergoing four surgeries, Ms DeKlyen was placed in an induced coma in July - and never regained consciousness. An MRI later indicated that she had suffered from a stroke.
"Carrie will remain on life support for eight more weeks and then the baby will be delivered," reads a Facebook post at the time. "After delivery, life support will be turned off. As you can imagine our world is crumbling."
Speaking to local news  24 Hour News 8, Ms DeKlyn's sister-in-law, Sonya Nelson described the young mum as an "amazing person". "She made the ultimate sacrifice by giving up herself for her child and that's just what mums do," Ms Nelson said.
As Ms Deklyen's family prepares to farewell her at a funeral service on Tuesday, baby Life's battle is only just beginning. According to a Facebook update, posted on Monday, while she doesn't require surgery just yet, the little girl's blood pressure is low and there is fluid on her brain.
"Please be praying that her levels stabilise and that there is a reduction in fluid," her family wrote.
"She is so tiny, but definitely a fighter."
You can make a donation to the family's Go Fund Me page, here.