The woman, Carrie DeKlyen, was diagnosed with glioblastoma — the same type of aggressive brain cancer that John McCain was diagnosed with — in April. Soon after her diagnosis, she learned that she was pregnant with her sixth child.
"The doctor said if you don’t terminate this baby, Carrie, you will die," DeKlyen's husband Nick told People. "But it was Carrie’s decision and I said, 'What do you want to do?' She said, 'We’re keeping it.'"
After going public about her decision in August, DeKlyen's story went viral, and her sister-in-law, Sonya Nelson, set up a Facebook page called Cure 4 Carrie to update her followers about her health. According to an update on the page on September 2, though, DeKlyen's health was declining and that eventually put the life of the baby at risk.
"We have tried to share Carrie's story without being negative, but the bottom line is we need to share the reality of the situation," Nelson wrote. "Carrie is not doing well. For the past few days she has been completely unresponsive, she is not even responding to pain. They tell us she can still hear us as hearing is the last to go. The baby is still holding her own."
Doctors delivered baby Life a few days later, when it was clear that she would no longer survive in the womb. Her full name is Life Lynn DeKlyen and she has five brothers and sisters ranging in age from 2 to 18.
Since Life was delivered at 24 weeks and 5 days, she's not out of the weeds yet. Some research shows that babies can survive outside of the womb after 22 weeks with treatment at the hospital, but the standard age of viability in the U.S. — which determines abortion laws in many states — is 24 weeks.
As of yesterday, Life was doing well and Nelson wrote that doctors are pleased with her progress. DeKlyen was taken off of life support after giving birth.
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