A Texas woman made her husband’s dying wish come true when she had doctors induce labour two weeks early so he could meet his baby.
Mark Aulger, 52, was diagnosed with colon cancer in April 2011. After months of chemotherapy treatment, it appeared he had beaten the disease. He and pregnant wife, Diane, 31, were thrilled. But in early January, things took a turn for the worse. Mark began to feel sick, and the couple learned that the chemo had caused a condition called pulmonary fibrosis, which thickens and scars the lungs. Then, on January 16, came the worst news of all. Mark was dying, and he had less than a week to live.
Diane, who was experiencing prelabour symptoms already, decided to induce labour. She gave birth to Savannah on January 18 in a special labour and delivery room equipped with an extra hospital bed for Mark. “He held her for 45 minutes,” Ms. Aulger says. “Him and I just cried the whole time.”
Over the next few days, Mr. Aulger became too tired to hold Savannah for more than a few minutes at the time. On January 21, he slipped into a coma. Two days later, he passed away. “He would have been a wonderful daddy to Savannah,” Ms. Aulger says.
Savannah is the couple’s third child together.
The family’s story has gone viral, and commentary is largely sympathetic. One commenter on Time said, “This is what human love is all about.”
Another on People said, ““This story brought tears to my eyes. What an amazing couple. You can truly say this father died happy and at peace.”
The story is reminiscent of a British woman who induced labour early this year so her terminally ill 10-year-old daughter could meet her baby sister.