It became 31-year-old Diane Augler’s worst nightmare. Despite the relief that her husband Mark, 52, survived surgery to remove a cancerous growth from his colon, devastation struck when she learned that his lungs had suffered irreparable damage from subsequent chemotherapy. Mark received a diagnosis of pulmonary fibrosis, and doctors declared his condition as terminal, with only five or six days left to live.

The couple, expecting their fifth child with Diane’s due date just two weeks away, initially planned for a natural childbirth. However, when Mark expressed his desire to see the baby, Diane, the devoted wife and mother, altered her plans. Opting for induction, she ensured that her husband would have the opportunity to hold their newborn daughter before his impending passing.

On January 18th, 2012, Diane’s labor was induced, and she gave birth to a beautiful baby girl in a hospital bed pulled up beside her husband’s. Following the birth, baby Savannah was gently placed in her father’s arms, and he held her for 45 minutes until his strength waned. Mark, visibly moved, cried and gazed down at his newborn child. Three days after Savannah’s birth, Mark slipped into a coma and passed away shortly thereafter. Diane fondly recalls the moment when she placed Savannah on her husband’s chest, noting how Mark’s hand would instinctively move toward his daughter even in his comatose state—an enduring testament to a father’s boundless love

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