For Carrie Deklyen, the best and worst news came together. Just 2 weeks after doctors diagnosed her with a brain tumor, Carrie found out she was pregnant. In order to treat her cancer, doctors urged her to abort. But the brave mom of 5 refused chemo, choosing instead to make the ultimate sacrifice to give her unborn baby girl life.
Carrie deeply loved her husband Nick and 5 children: Elijah (18), Isaiah (16), Nevaeh (11), Leila (4), and Jez (2). She also loved the Lord. So, when Carrie found out saving her own life would require taking her unborn baby’s, like Christ, she opted for her own sacrifice.
A Disheartening Diagnosis
Carrie received her glioblastoma diagnosis in April — an aggressive and rapidly growing malignant brain tumor. Doctors estimated with treatment, Carrie could live another 5 years.
Doctors urged Carrie to enroll in a clinical trial at the University of Michigan. However, the treatment would mean she’d need to terminate her pregnancy. It’s something the brave mom of 5 refused to do.
“The doctor said if you don’t terminate this baby, Carrie, you will die,” Nick said. “But it was Carrie’s decision and I said ‘What do you want to do?’ She said, ‘We’re keeping it.’ ”
The idea of life without Carrie terrified Nick. The two met at church as kids and became childhood sweethearts.
“She’s my only and I’m her only,” he explained. “We’ve never had anyone else so it’s hard to imagine life without her.”
But like Carrie, Nick had no desire to terminate the pregnancy. So, they turned it over to God.
Sadly, Carrie’s condition worsened quickly. She underwent 4 brain surgeries to remove the tumor, but eventually suffered a stroke. Unconscious, she was placed on life support.
Mom Of 5 Refused Chemo To Give Life
Life and death go hand in hand. Carrie knew full well her decision meant death for her. But because of her faith in the Lord, she also knew this goodbye is only temporary.
“She’s going to miss us, but she knows this life is so quick and we’ll see each other again in Heaven,” says Nick. “Knowing that gives her hope and, I know it’s crazy, but I support her decision.”
WATCH: Mom Of 5 Refused Chemo To Save Unborn Baby
So, before things got too bad, she and Nick chose the name ‘Life’ for their unborn baby girl. This is why the brave mom of 5 refused to save herself — she wanted her death to bring Life.
“We gave up all of Carrie’s treatment to give Life a chance to survive,” Nick said. “Her birth meant that this wasn’t all for nothing, my wife will pass on and my baby will live.
After her stroke, Carrie slipped into a vegetative state and doctors put her on life support. It was tough on her family, but they took comfort knowing this was what Carrie wanted.
Doctors hoped to wait until Carrie reached 28-weeks pregnant before delivering her baby. But as her health declined, so did her baby’s. So at 24 weeks, doctors delivered Life Lynn Deklyen via c-section.
Soon after the delivery, doctors took Carrie off of life support. Her family started saying their goodbyes, taking comfort in knowing Carrie was “very comfortable she is in God’s hands until he calls her home.”
Three days after the delivery, Carrie slipped away. She was 37 years old. She was surrounded by family, and Nick kissed her forehead, congratulating her on saving her baby. One of the last things he told her was “I’ll see you in Heaven.”
“I know I’ll see her again, not in this life, but after my time is up I’ll be with her again in Heaven,” says Nick, who will now raise the children on his own. “She made the decision to give Life a chance at life. And I couldn’t be more proud.”
Praying For Life
While Carrie’s fight is over, Life’s is just beginning. The premature girl was born weighing 1 pound, 4 ounces. It’s been a series of ups and downs as this little one fights to survive.
This faithful family is trusting God to see Life through, continually calling on prayer warriors to lift her needs up to her Heavenly Father. And though she will never know her mother here on earth, the family plans to make sure she knows how much Carrie loved her little 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.”
It’s amazing just how much a mother’s love resembles Christ’s love for us. And because of the price He paid, stories like this end with hope. Though Carrie left this earth, she will absolutely meet her precious girl, Life, one day in Heaven!
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