In tragedy one family may feel some solace in that at the end of their father’s life he was able to hold his youngest daughter, born just a few days before his death. ABC News reports that the Aulger family decided to induce labor two weeks early for their fifth child; Savannah, so 52-year-old Mark could hold her after being told just days earlier that he had at best one week to live. ABC News reports on the devastating turn of events for the Texas family:
“A home movie on Christmas showed a pregnant Diane Aulger, 31, handing out gifts to their four children, the oldest of whom is 15. Mark, 52, who had just received the news that he had beaten cancer, played the guitar, providing a soundtrack for the Christmas morning festivities.
On Jan. 3, life threw a curveball.
Mark Aulger was admitted to the hospital, unable to breathe.
Doctors told him that eight months of chemotherapy had ravaged his lungs and diagnosed him with pulmonary fibrosis. ‘We thought he could get on steroid treatment and oxygen and live for years,’ Diane Aulger said.
But on Jan. 16, Mark Aulger found out those treatments would be fruitless. He had one week left to live.”
“The day she was born his oxygen levels were really high,” Aulger told ABC. “He held her for 45 minutes. Him and I just cried that whole time.”
The next day Mark could only hold the newborn for one minute before slipping into a coma. On January 23rd, with his family by his side, the father of five died in his hospital bed.
“The kids go on as if dad is really still here,” Diane told ABC. “Mark was a very funny guy. My kids still tell jokes how they would when he was around. He would have been a wonderful daddy to Savannah.”