Every now and then I come across a news story so powerful that it leaves me mulling it over for days. Right now, a Canadian woman is in a coma and on life support. She’s brain dead, which means she’s pretty much gone. Machines are keeping her heart beating and her blood pumping, but she’s just not there anymore. Typically I’d say if I was in that state, I’d hope that someone would have the strength to turn off the machines. UNLESS it was to protect my unborn baby!
See, Robyn Benson of Victoria, British Columbia may have lost the ability to fight for her life, but her unborn baby is hanging on strong in her womb. Benson is about 27 weeks pregnant as of the time I’m writing this. While premature babies can survive outside the womb as early as 26 weeks (sometimes even earlier), little Iver- as his father named him- has a much better chance if he can stay put a bit longer. The goal is to get him to 34 weeks.
What would you do to save your unborn baby?
I can’t even imagine the heartbreak the family must be going through. Robyn Benson is only 32. On December 28, 2013, she complained of a horrible headache. Her husband ran to the store to get her medicine. When he returned, she was unconscious. She suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and was declared brain dead the next day, according to news stories.
After losing his wife (and high-school sweetheart!) to such a tragedy, I can completely understand why Dylan Benson is willing to do whatever he has to do to keep his unborn baby alive. At the time of her collapse, Iver would have been WAY too premature to make it. On the flip-side, though, I can’t imagine that Dylan is counting down the days. The birth of Iver means taking Robyn off life support. He’ll have to say goodbye to her once and for all.
Honestly, I can’t even fathom what the family must be going through. I’ve heard people say that it’s cruel to keep her on life support like that. We really have no idea what people feel or don’t feel when they’re brain dead. I mean, medical evidence suggests they feel nothing, but how do we really know? Still, as a mother, I would want doctors and my family to do whatever they needed to do to make sure my unborn baby survived.
It took me six years to get pregnant with my son. At the end, I was close to kidney failure due to severe preeclampsia. I remember saying something along the lines of “do what you want to me, just get my son out alive.” Things turned out okay for me, I was hooked up to medicine in time to thwart full-blown eclampsia. Had things not turned out so well, though, I meant what I said. They could have pulled him out through my nose if they had to, as long as he was okay.
So while I can’t imagine what Robyn’s family is going through, and while no one has any way of knowing what she thinks on the subject, as a mom I can say with confidence that this is probably what she would want. I’m just so sorry that Iver will have to grow up without his mom, and sorry for Dylan Benson’s loss.
What do you think? Would you want to be kept on life support to save your unborn baby?