Four years ago as 52-year-old Mark Augler was laying on his deathbed, he cradled his newborn girl in loving arms. Just days later, Mark would pass away from pulmonary fibrosis… the chemo that initially freed him from cancer had destroyed his lungs.
“It was basically like his lungs were soaked in concrete. They couldn’t inhale; they couldn’t pass oxygen through the body. He was in essence suffocating to death,” his wife Diane told KCTV 5.
Mark and Diane were expecting a child very soon, and so they made plans to induce an early labor if Mark’s condition worsened. In February Mark was given just days to live, so the couple decided to welcome little Savanah Augler into the world a little earlier than planned.
“He got to be the first one to hold her. He held her for 45 minutes after she was born,” Diane said.
Just days after Mark got the chance to hold his baby girl, he slipped into a coma and showed further signs of decline.
“His heart rate started to drop, his breathing started to drop, I put her in his arms and I held his hand until he died,” his widow recounted.
It’s been four years since Mark passed away, but Diane and her kids live happy lives in honor of their late dad.
“The kids go on as if dad is really still here,” she said. “My kids still tell jokes how they would when he was around. He would have been a wonderful daddy to Savanah.”