$118K raised for husband whose pregnant wife is on life-support
Published Wednesday, February 5, 2014 8:22AM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, February 5, 2014 8:41AM EST
Donations are pouring in for a Victoria man whose wife is being kept on life-support until their unborn son is delivered by doctors.
Fundraising for Dylan Benson and his unborn son has taken off since news of his tragic story spread.
As of Wednesday morning, over $118,000 had been donated to the "Baby Iver Fund," with proceeds going to the Dylan Benson to help with the costs of caring for his son.
Benson's wife Robyn was rushed to the hospital in late December, after Benson discovered her lying unresponsive on the bathroom floor.
He had gone out to get Tylenol for his wife after she had complained of a headache. "She said she had a terrible, terrible headache," Benson told CTV News in an emotional interview.
At the hospital, doctors discovered she had suffered a hemorrhage in her brain. The rare blood leak caused irreversible brain damage. At the time of the incident she was 22 weeks pregnant.
While doctors couldn't save Robyn, they offered to keep her body functioning for 12 weeks and then deliver the baby by C-section.
For Benson, who has since decided to name his unborn son "Iver," the choice was obvious.
"They kind of presented it as a choice, whether I wanted to proceed with that or not. But in my mind there was no choice really," he said.
Studies show that doctors can keep the body of a deceased mother functioning for more than three months, with about three dozen documented cases like Benson's from around the world. In these circumstances, there is about a 50 per cent chance of delivering a healthy baby.
Arthur Schafer, a University of Manitoba ethicist, told CTV News that each family must decide for themselves what the best option for them is.
"It's right legally and it's right ethically," he said. "It respects the wishes of her family (and) her husband to speak for her and represent their family values."
Schafer said cases like Benson's are treated differently in Canada than in some U.S. states, where authorities can take steps to intervene against the family's wishes.
Last week in Texas, the family of Marlise Munoz announced that she had been removed from life-support after her family took her case to court.
Munoz had been kept on life-support by a Fort Worth hospital against her family's wishes after she was found unconscious in November. She was 14 weeks pregnant at the time she was declared brain dead.
But in Victoria, everyone is on the same side.
"That decision as hard as it was to make, was the obvious one for the family based on what we know Robyn would have wanted," her uncle Dave Thompson said.
"We all know what Robyn would have told us. There wasn't a question of what Robyn would have said."
With a report from CTV News' Medical Specialist Avis Favaro and Senior Producer Elizabeth St. Philip