It's not everyday that men and women in America are faced with life or death choices, that ultimately can result in them existing another day or even worse losing a child.
That's what happened to a Michigan woman and her husband, parents to five beautiful children and a sixth child on the way.
The story is heartbreaking, it's one of those moments that make some clench their fist to the sky and ask God why He would allow such a painful choice.
37 year old Carrie DeKlyen was a loving mother of five, who along with her husband Nick DeKlyen lived their lives for those children, 18 year old Elijah, 16 year old Isaiah, 11 year old Nevaeh, 4 year old Leila, and 2 year old Jez.
The couple however was pregnant with their sixth, and more excited than ever before when life came at them fast with the worst news possible.
<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fcure4carrie%2Fposts%2F333639010416597&width=500" width="500" height="695" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true"></iframe>
It came to pass that while pregnant, Carrie was diagnosed with a potentially fatal form of brain cancer known glioblastoma in April.
Glioblastoma is considered an aggressive and rapidly growing malignant tumor that can affect the brain and spinal cord.
Nick says that's when Carrie enrolled in a clinical trial at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where the family hoped for a miracle.
However when doctors informed Carrie that in order to perform the operation, she would need to “terminate her pregnancy” to be able receive cancer treatment, Carrie’s sister-in-law, Sonya Nelson said, “She didn’t want to do that.”
Carrie was faced with a decision, alongside her husband Nick, both devout Christians and loving parents.
That decision was painful for the couple, to either end the unborn child's life or risk losing the mother and wife that was so precious to the family.
Carrie made her decision, and that decision was for her unborn child to have a chance to exist.
“The doctor said if you don’t terminate this baby Carrie, you will die,” Nick added. “But it was Carrie’s decision and I said, ‘What do you want to do?’ She said, ‘We’re keeping it.’ ”
Can you imagine the bravery of this poor mother, knowing that her life would likely end in turn to secure the existence of the unborn?
“She had faith in God, to take care of us once she was gone,” Nick said in tears. “We knew that she wasn't going to be able to be with our family, but she asked me to be strong for our children.”
The couple said that the situation inspired them, and Carrie decided to name the baby she was carrying “Life”, since she was giving up hers in order for her baby to have a chance at one.
Carrie gave birth via cesarean section to Life Lynn DeKlyen on September 6th at 24 weeks and 5 days. Though born premature, Nick said the baby is doing well.
<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fcure4carrie%2Fposts%2F333496200430878&width=500" width="500" height="861" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true"></iframe>
“We gave up all of Carrie’s treatment to give Life a chance to survive,” Nick said, holding his children.
“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.”
After giving birth however, Carrie was taken off life support. Her family said that Carrie was “very comfortable, she is in God’s hands until he calls her home.”
On Friday, Nick spent the emotional last hours alone with his wife, reminding her of how they first met at church, and telling her how much he loved her.
“I kissed her on the forehead and said, ‘I love you, you did it you gave our baby life and she’s doing well’ and then I let her go,” he said.
Though she’s now gone, Nick said Carrie's final, selfless act to give up her own life for her baby’s future will “never be forgotten.”
“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, yes soon.”
This is the saddest story I've ever written. I ask that you all send your thoughts and prayers to Nick and his children during this time of great grieving for the family.
Carrie may God bless you and your children.
Tips? Info? Send me a message!