Peter Baklinski


Canadian man fighting for unborn son inside ‘brain dead’ wife receives global outpouring of support

Peter Baklinski

VICTORIA, British Columbia, February 5, 2014 ( – The Canadian husband who is keeping his wife on life support to give his unborn son at 27 weeks gestation what he calls a “chance of survival” has received an overwhelming outpouring of international support, both moral and financial.

“I just wanted to reach out and say thank you to each and every one of you that have read our story and to those who have donated and/or shared,” Dylan Benson, 32, wrote on his blog yesterday.

“We are overwhelmed with the response from not only the community, but now the nation and beyond.” 

The story broke earlier this week of Benson’s wife Robyn suffering a massive blood leak to her brain in December that put her in a coma while she was 22 weeks pregnant with the couple’s first child. Doctors declared the expectant mother “brain dead” the day after her medical emergency.

Instead of pulling the plug on his wife, Benson told doctors to keep his wife on life support for the sake of his child.

“The thought process behind this is that if they can keep her body alive and growing our child until she is 26 weeks pregnant, it will give our unborn son a 60 to 80% chance of surviving a C-section at that time,” he said.

The unborn child, referred to as a “fetus” by some mainstream publications, has been named Iver Cohen Benson.

Advocates for the right-to-life of the unborn immediately noticed a parallel between the circumstances faced by Benson and a Texas father who obtained a judge’s order that forced hospital staff to remove life support from his 33-year-old wife who had been pronounced “brain dead.” When her life support was removed she was carrying their 22-week-old baby.

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In the Canadian case, the father has done everything in his power to protect the life of his child, even quitting his job. In the U.S. case, the father instead fought for a court ruling that directly resulted in the child’s death. The U.S. father also named his dead child, who was a girl, before burying her.

Enthusiastic support for Benson and his unborn son has poured in from around the world, including Africa, Spain, Brazil, Australia, India, and Iceland. 

“Now this is a real man! This is what a father is supposed to do! Mr. Benson is a real-life hero. This man is doing what all fathers are called to do: protect their children,” wrote one online commenter.

“I applaud this father and after following the Texas story was so glad to see a story like this,” another commented.

“Your story amazes me – all the best for you and your special boy,” wrote another.

“The whole world is pulling for you Iver, you have the whole world in your hand,” another wrote.

Benson’s fundraising campaign to cover expenses during his absence from work has now reached $125,000, vastly surpassing his goal of $36,000.

“We [sincerely] appreciate that the donations have continued, even though we have surpassed the donation goal,” said Benson.

“We set the goal at 36K as that would essentially be one year of Robyn's wages. Now that [it] has been accomplished, any additional funds will not only go towards living costs and the costs associated with supporting Iver, but also towards us moving to a more suitable living space for the two of us, and of course towards an education fund for Iver.”

An ultrasound of baby Iver yesterday revealed a healthy boy who is developing as expected. 

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