For Dylan Benson, the birth of his son was bittersweet. Greeting his newborn meant saying goodbye to his wife, who was brain dead and had been on life support during the last month of her pregnancy to keep their unborn baby alive.
Robyn Benson, 32, of Victoria, Canada, was 22 weeks pregnant when her husband found her unresponsive in their home Dec. 28 after she complained of a headache, according to her husband's blog. Doctors learned that she'd had a massive brain bleed and declared her brain dead, but they offered to keep her on life support to save the baby, her husband Dylan Benson wrote.
"It is with a heavy heart but also with extreme proudness that I am posting this update," Dylan Benson wrote on his Facebook page and blog Monday night. "On Saturday evening, my beautiful and amazing son, Iver Cohen Benson, was born."
Dylan Benson posted a photo of himself holding baby Iver, who was born at about 28 weeks.
"Iver is healthy and is the cutest and most precious person I have ever met," Dylan Benson wrote, but he expects a "bumpy ride" for the preemie.
Saying hello to Iver means saying goodbye to his wife, Dylan Benson wrote. He wrote that he was proud of her, and that she will live on in their son and in his heart.
"I miss Robyn more than words can explain," he wrote.
Benson's plea to keep his wife alive resulted in an outpouring of help from friends and strangers, who raised more than $150,000 on his behalf to help pay the family's expenses.
The Benson family's story is similar to that of the Munoz family more than 2,000 miles away in Fort Worth, Texas. Marlise Munoz was declared brain dead in November when she was 14 weeks pregnant, but her husband did not want doctors to keep her on life support. However, the hospital said it was bound by state law to keep her alive for the duration of her pregnancy to save the baby. The family ultimately won the right to have Munoz removed from life support when they sued and a judge ruled in their favor.