Induce Labor Lets Dying Dad Meet Child

Mark Aulger knew he was about to die from complications of cancer, but desperately wanted to meet his unborn child. His wife Diane, who was still two weeks from her delivery date, decided there was no time to lose, and induced labor Jan. 18. It was five days before her husband died.

Mark Aulger held the little baby Savannah in his arms, and could do nothing but cry. "He just looked very sad," his wife said.

Mark Aulger, 52, from a town close to Dallas, Texas, was diagnosed with colon cancer 10 months ago. After six months of chemotherapy and precautionary surgery, his tests came up cancer free and he thought he was in the clear.

In November, however, he started having breathing troubles, and by Jan. 3 he was admitted to the emergency room. According to The Associated Press his wife was informed by doctors that the chemotherapy had caused pulmonary fibrosis, which results in scarring and thickening of the lungs.

"He thought he'd be coming home in a few days with an oxygen tank," Diane Aulger, told The Associated Press. On Jan. 16, he learned his pulmonary fibrosis was fatal, and doctors gave him less than a week to live.

"Mark said, 'I'd like to see the baby,'" Diane Aulger told The Associated Press on Sunday.

Although Mrs. Aulger had planned a natural birth, when the doctors suggested the possibility to induce labor, she knew what she had to do. They booked her in for Jan. 18, and placed her bed next to and her dying husbands, and he was with her for the birth.

Auger fell into a coma three days later and died Jan. 23. He was too weak to hold her for more than a minute after the first day.

Diane Aulger told The Associated Press, she has been uplifted at such a sad time with all the support she has received during this time of mourning.