The coming of the newest addition to the family is always a blissful day for everyone, but for the Auglers, it was an event filled with tears of sadness because the day their fifth child was born was also the last time the head of the family would ever see the baby.
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Diane Augler, now 36, was not supposed to give birth to Baby Savannah on January 18, 2012, but she decided to induce labor two weeks early for a reason every mother and wife would understand—she wanted her dying husband to meet their newborn.
Diane’s husband, Mark, was a cancer patient. He survived the disease after undergoing chemotherapy, but unfortunately, the chemo sessions damaged his lungs. He was later diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis and was only given a week to live.
Diane was not going to let her husband draw his last breath without seeing his child, so she did what she believed was just proper.
When Savannah was born after Diane induced her labor, Mark lovingly held the baby—although it was only for 45 minutes. Diane shared that the whole they were there, they both just cried, treasuring Mark’s first and last chance to hold his child.
The next day, Diane placed Savannah again on her husband’s arm, but Mark was only able to hold her for a minute before he slipped into coma.
While he was in coma, Mark was aware of the presence of their new baby. “If she cried, he would shake his head and moan. I put her on him when he was in the coma a few times, and his hand would move toward her, ” Diane said.
Mark died in the hospital bed with his kids and his wife on his side and with his newborn baby in his arms on January 23.
“His heart rate started to drop and his breathing started to drop, so I put her in his arms and held his hand until he died,” Diane said.
“It was like his lungs were soaked in concrete. They couldn’t inhale, they couldn’t pass oxygen to the rest of his body. So he in essence suffocated to death.”
Diane could still recall how her husband was so excited about the birth of their child whom she called the “ray of sunshine in our sorrow.” She believed that he would have been a great father for their newborn child.
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