Mark and Diane Aulger had a baby on the way, but this joyous occasion was trumped by one devastating fact that hung over their heads: Mark only had five days to live.
The devastating news
Mark, 52, was diagnosed with colon cancer in April 2011. After six months of chemotherapy, he started having trouble breathing, according to CBS News. From the chemo he developed pulmonary fibrosis. He went to the emergency room on January 3, 2012, and a few weeks later, he was told that his condition was fatal.
Their baby wasn't due until January 29, which meant that Mark would not get to hold his daughter.
"I'd like to see the baby," Mark said. Diane's OB/GYN determined that the baby's lungs were developed, so with that news, Diane chose to be induced early in order to make her dying husband's wish come true.
The birth was scheduled for January 18, two weeks prior to her original due date. "Our beds were side by side," Diane told CBS News. Once baby Savannah came into the world, Mark held her for 45 minutes. "[We] just cried that whole time," Diane told ABC News.
Mark was awake and alert the day of the birth, but the following days were harder for him. He only had enough strength to hold Savannah for about a minute at a time. "If she cried, he would shake his head and moan," Diane told ABC News. "I put her on him when he was in the coma a few times, and his hand would move toward her."
Mark fell into a coma on January 21. Two days later, when she noticed his stats dropping on the monitor, Diane realized these might be their last few moments together.
"I put her in his arms and I held his hand until he stopped breathing," Diane said.
This left Diane to care for her newborn and four other children, but she isn't going through this alone. People have stepped up to help - including her oldest son.
But even with helping hands, the sorrow is still there. Her daughter Ava, who was eight at the time, drew her dad's face on a balloon, and carried it around saying, "This is daddy. Daddy's sticking to me," Diane told reporters. "We know dad is here with us."