A Victoria, B.C. woman who tragically suffered a brain hemorrhage when she was 22 weeks pregnant has died, but her son, Iver Cohen Benson was born and is doing well.
Dylan Benson made a post to his Facebook account Monday night, saying that Iver was born Saturday night. He also says that on Sunday his wife Robyn Benson died. He called her the “strongest and most wonderful woman” he had ever met.
It was the best moment for the new dad because Benson said he was seeing images for the first time of his baby boy. Iver was born at 7:12 p.m., weighing just two pounds, 13 ounces, boasting a little bit of apricot-coloured hair, a ginger like his mother.
Yet, it was also the worst moment because Benson said he knew the time was near when he’d have to say his final farewell to the woman he first met 16 years earlier, when she was still a teen and the two were embarking on their Grade 12 years in separate high schools.
“I don’t think I have the right words to describe it,” said the new father in a Monday-night interview. “It’s the best and definitely the worst thing to ever happen to me in my life at the same time.”
“My first thought was just how amazing he (Iver) looked and … I guess it’s just a massive, massive sense of relief that he was here and he had made it, and then of course the excitement of wanting to see him, and also the same amount of fear knowing that I would have to say goodbye.”
Benson said he got to see his son about an hour after the birth.
He said he stayed in the hospital that night, and early Sunday morning visited Robyn for the last time. Then, later that same afternoon, Benson said, he got to hold Iver for the first time.
Robyn had been brain dead after she came down with a crushing headache one day at the couple’s Victoria home. Dylan went out to get some Tylenol for her, and when he returned, Robyn was unconscious on their bathroom floor, but still breathing. Despite attempts to revive her, doctors discovered that blood had leaked into Robyn’s brain and that she would never wake up.
She was declared brain dead by doctors and had been kept alive for the past six weeks until Iver was delivered via c-section Saturday night.
Dylan started an online fundraising campaign to help raise money for living expenses. He has so far raised over $144,000.
Benson said he got a call from the hospital Saturday afternoon, and medical officials wanted to discuss the prospect of delivering Iver the same day. He said at the hospital they all decided it would be the safest if Iver was delivered that evening.
“He’s really, really small, but he looks perfect,” said Benson. “He’s just the most adorable little person I’ve ever seen in my life, and I’m so proud that he’s my son, and how hard he fought to be here and how hard my wife fought to give us this beautiful little boy.”
Benson said medical officials are caring for Iver as a premature baby, and he’ll likely stay in hospital until May 2, which was his original due date.
In the meantime, he said he’ll visit his son daily, giving Iver as much skin-to-skin contact as possible to keep him strong and calm and build the bond between father and son.
He said he’ll draw upon that generosity of those who donated to the online fundraising campaign.
Benson said he’ll take some time off work and eventually rent a different place that’s more suited to he and Iver and his son’s education. He said he’ll use the money to give Iver the best-possible, stress-free life.
“The public needs to know how thankful I am for their support,” he said. “Please, please tell everyone that I am so thankful for the support from everywhere. The messages, the nice comments, the emails, all of that it has helped immensely in getting through this tough time.”
Here is the update posted to Dylan’s Facebook page:
Dear friends and family,
It is with a heavy heart but also with extreme proudness that I am posting this update…
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. As to be expected, it will still be a bumpy ride for he and I as he continues to grow under the care of the wonderful staff at the hospital.
On Sunday, we had to unfortunately say goodbye to the strongest and most wonderful woman I have ever met. 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. She will live on forever within Iver, and in my heart.
Thank you to each and every one of you for your love, your kind words, and your support during this incredibly difficult time.
WATCH: Earlier report on Baby Iver
– With files from Peter Meiszner, Global News