Man whose wife was declared brain dead 22 weeks pregnant has found love again
A man whose braindead pregnant wife was kept on life support until their baby was born has finally found love again - and is engaged to his new partner.
Robyn Benson, 32, was 22 weeks pregnant when she collapsed on the bathroom floor while her husband Dylan, now 41, went to the shops to get her medication for a headache.
Dylan called an ambulance and Robyn was rushed to the hospital where doctors discovered she'd had a cerebral haemorrhage - a bleed on the brain.
She was declared brain dead that day after medics discovered she suffered a blood leak into the centre of her brain.
The doctors said there was zero chance of Robyn surviving but they could keep her body alive until her unborn son, Iver, was big enough to be born.
She was kept on life support for six weeks until Iver was 28 weeks old, and Dylan stayed in the hospital by her side.
Iver was born on February 8, 2014, weighing 2lb and 13 ounces, and Dylan had five bitter-sweet hours where he welcomed his newborn son and said goodbye to his wife.
Her life support machine was turned off just five hours later, and Dylan began life as a widow and single dad.
Sales analyst Dylan from Nanaimo, Canada, feared he'd never find long-term love again, but now, almost 10 years on, Dylan is engaged to his partner Marico, 35.
They met in 2020 and they are planning a future together, after he proposed on October 21, 2020.
He said: "I had a five-hour period where I was meeting my newborn son and saying goodbye to my wife.
"I spent the next 12 weeks in hospital, my son was in the NICU until he was a regular size, I took him home three days after his due date.
"Robyn's family is still a big part of my family, with the help of friends and family and the support of strangers worldwide.
"We have received a lot of kind messages.
"Over the last few years, I had a failed relationship, but it resulted in my having a second son, Bodhi, aged four.
"Finding true love again has been a saving grace for me, my partner is very supportive of me and my back story.
"I thought after being a widower with two children, I had given up on the idea thinking I would be alone forever.
"Two years ago I met my new partner, I met her on Instagram, we fell in love and got engaged in three weeks."
Robyn went into Victoria General Hospital on December 28, 2013, after waking up with a headache at 22 weeks pregnant.
Dylan went out to the shop to get some medication for her, and when he came back, Robyn was lying unconscious on the bathroom floor.
Dylan called an ambulance but was told she would not survive that day.
"When the doctors asked me if we would try to save Iver, I had a conversation with Robyn's parents and they said they would respect my decision either way," he said.
"For me, it was a real-time decision. It was an easy decision, and there was not a thought in my mind of not trying.
"They called me to the hospital and told me today is the day, I waited in a room in ICU and they did the procedure.
"They came back upstairs and took some polaroid photos for me.
"One of the doctors even took a video of Iver's heartbeat.
"It was amazing to see him for the first time, I was blown away by how small he was, the whole time I was crying - it was truly incredible.
He met his partner Marico on Instagram after he dropped her a message and after exchanging messages they swapped numbers and spent over 100 hours on video calls over three weeks before they met in October 11, 2020.
Dylan said after three weeks, they knew they were made for each other and he moved himself and Iver from Victoria to Nanaimo 68.9 miles and moved in with Marico and her daughter Isla, six.
He said: "It was a difficult decision as all of my family are in Victoria.
"I acknowledged it was fast, my biggest worry was telling Robyn's family and they said if you think it is the right thing to do then it is the right thing to do and they have been supportive ever since.
Dylan that Iver has always been a "sweet boy", and Dylan does everything he can to keep Robyn's memory alive.
He said: "Iver has always been a wonderfully sweet boy, he is super kind to everyone and I have always made a point about the conversation window being open so we can always talk about it.
"We visit her memorial site and I make an effort of getting print photos of her friend and family to show Iver.
"He has always been great with the transitions in life, I can't say enough about having a partner that supports me through this difficult time.
"The holiday season is always pretty tough for me, I get survivor's guilt that Robyn isn't here to see him."
Dylan said he is in a "much better place" mentally and uses his experience to support other people by hosting a call every Tuesday with a stranger who is going through challenges.
He said: "You never know what somebody else is going through.
"Now I am in a much better place mentally, I am very open about my journey.
"I try to use it to help motivate people and show there is light at the end of the tunnel."