A woman in Texas induced labor two weeks early so that her dying husband could meet his new baby girl. ABC News reports that the father, Mark Aulger, 52, had received news just over Christmas that he’d beaten cancer after eight months of chemotherapy. A baby was on the way, and a home video shows the happy Aulger family—four children, the oldest at 15—playing around and exchanging gifts. But on Jan. 3, Mark found himself unable to breathe and was rushed to hospital. The chemotherapy had left him struggling with pulmonary fibrosis, and on Jan. 16 he found out that he had one week to live.
With the baby so close to being due, Diane Aulger, 31, decided to induce labor. “He would talk to my stomach when I was pregnant,” she told ABC News. “He was so excited for her.” On Jan. 18, Mark was present in the delivery room to support Diane, and soon he was holding their baby girl, Savannah.
Mark Aulger passed away on Jan. 23, surrounded by his family, his new baby in his arms. Diane Aulger says the children are having a hard time coming to terms with their father’s death, but that the community has been stepping up to help out any way they can, even helping complete the work on their roof that her husband had hoped to finish.
While the Aulgers are mourning the loss of a husband and a father, they’re also celebrating the life of a new addition to the family. And though it was all too brief, they were also able to enjoy being a complete unit for a moment, and baby Savannah will have a family photo to cherish.