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Pregnant mom who rejected cancer treatment to save unborn child has died

The Michigan woman died over the weekend, just days after giving birth to her sixth child.
/ Source: TODAY

A Michigan mother who refused to undergo cancer treatment for her brain tumor in order to give birth to her sixth child has died.

Carrie DeKlyen, 37, passed away Saturday, just three days after giving birth. She was surrounded by family at an Ann Arbor hospital, Nick DeKlyen, her husband of 17 years, told the Associated Press.

"I'll see you in heaven,” were among her last words to him, he said.

Carrie's death also was confirmed by the GoFundMe site and Facebook page the family created to share updates about her pregnancy and condition.

Carrie was diagnosed in April with brain cancer but rejected getting chemotherapy after doctors told her she would have to terminate her pregnancy before beginning treatment.

“The doctor said, ‘If you don’t terminate this baby, Carrie, you will die,’” her husband told People magazine in an interview last week. “But it was Carrie’s decision and I said, ‘What do you want to do?’ She said, ‘We’re keeping it.’”

She gave birth last week via cesarean section to the couple's daughter, Life Lynn, at 24 weeks and five days into the pregnancy. The baby weighed 1 pound, 4 ounces, but is doing better than expected, gaining weight and "almost breathing on her own," Nick told the AP.

"She's going to be here for four or five months, but we expect her to be a healthy baby," he said. "The doctor just said the timing [of the birth] couldn't have been more perfect."

Doctors removed Carrie's feeding and breathing tubes last Thursday, a day after she gave birth.

The Wyoming, Michigan, couple have five other children, who range in age from 2 to 18 years.

"My wife loves the Lord and she loves her children more than anything," Nick told the AP a day before his wife's death. "It's painful. But this is what she wanted. She wanted to protect this child."