Brain-dead Canadian woman dies after baby boy born

Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:01pm EST
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By Julie Gordon

VANCOUVER (Reuters) - A 32-year-old Canadian woman who had been declared brain dead in December and kept on life support for six weeks died on Sunday soon after giving birth to a baby boy.

Robyn Benson was just 22 weeks pregnant when she collapsed from a cerebral hemorrhage and was declared brain dead. Doctors in Victoria, British Columbia, kept her alive at her husband's request so that their unborn baby would have a better chance of survival.

"It is with a heavy heart but also with extreme proudness that I am posting this update," Dylan Benson wrote on his personal blog on Monday. "On Saturday evening, my beautiful and amazing son, Iver Cohen Benson, was born. Iver is healthy and is the cutest and most precious person I have ever met."

But with the birth of baby Iver, Benson had to say goodbye to his wife of just seven months, who died on Sunday after being taken off life support.

"I miss Robyn more than words can explain. I could not be more impressed with her strength, and I am so lucky to have known her," he wrote. "She will live on forever within Iver, and in my heart."

Iver, born after just 28 weeks in the womb, weighed 2 pounds, 13 ounces, the Vancouver Sun reported. A full-term pregnancy is 39 or 40 weeks, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

"I don't think I have the right words to describe it," Benson told the newspaper in an interview late on Monday. "It's the best and definitely the worst thing to ever happen to me in my life at the same time."

Benson described his son as healthy, though noted the baby faces a "bumpy ride" as he continues to develop in a Victoria hospital. A photograph posted on Benson's blog shows the 32-year-old information technology worker in the hospital cuddling his tiny son, who is attached to wires and tubes.   Continued...