The baby meets her dying father.

The baby meets her dying father for 45 minutes. Yeah, Mark was allowed to hold his baby daughter. One of the most joyful and crucial events in a parent’s life is the birth of a child. And, for the most part, they will hold their child thousands of times more over the years. But for one girl, her father only had her once and never again.

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Mark Aulger held the baby Savannah for 45 minutes on the day she was born, and then never again. Mark went into a coma the day after Savannah was born, and he died a few days later.

The events leading up to the baby Savannah’s birth and Mark’s death are detailed below.

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After eight months of chemotherapy, Mark learned he was cancer-free on December 11, 2011.

Mark was brought to the hospital nine days before the birth of his fifth child and diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, a lung disease caused by scarred or damaged tissue. This condition was a side effect of Mark’s chemotherapy.

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Most people with pulmonary fibrosis have a three to five-year life expectancy with appropriate medications.

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Hopes for steroid and oxygen treatments failed on January 16, 20212, and things began to deteriorate.

Two weeks before Savannah’s due date, it became evident that Mark’s treatments were failing and that he wouldn’t live much longer. He only had a week, his family was told.

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The baby Savannah’s mother, Diane, chose to induce birth early with the help of her doctors so that Mark could meet his daughter.

Mark slept on his delivery room bed on January 18, 2012, as Diana gave birth. Mark’s oxygen levels were sufficient for him to keep her for 45 minutes. And, naturally, those forty-five minutes were upsetting for him and Diane, who claims she cried the entire time.

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Mark attempted to hold Savannah again on January 19, 2012 but was unsuccessful. Mark, regrettably, fell into a coma.

Diane claims that while her husband was in a coma, she would place the baby on his chest, moving his hand toward her. Mark would toss his head and sigh in repose if Savannah cried.

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Whether you believe it or not, it’s painful to consider how desperately Mark must have wished to comfort and embrace his daughter.

Mark died on January 23, 2012, accompanied by his family.

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The family received an outpouring of support following Mark’s death. The love was abundant, from money to baby necessities. Thanks to the generosity of others, Diane was able to purchase a minivan, allowing the family to move on.

This is a sad story since the father and the baby only have a brief encounter at the start of her life and the end of his.

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However, it’s vital to recall the joy that this opportunity brought to Mark at the time and Savannah for the rest of her life. She will grow up knowing that her father held her, and she will have a photo to remind her of that beautiful time.

The narrative of the Augler family is one of sadness, courage, and resiliency all rolled into one. Watch the video below to learn more about this extraordinary story.

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