It’s always touching to see a dad holding his newborn. But it was especially touching to see this man hold his baby for the first time. And that’s because it was the father’s last wish just before he passed away.
At the age of 52, Mark was dying from pulmonary fibrosis. At the same time, Mark’s wife, Diane, was carrying the couple’s fifth child. But the news became bittersweet when the family discovered Mark had little time left on this earth. The family celebrated Christmas together in 2011, thinking Mark had beaten cancer. This man looked forward to holding his newborn daughter in his arms in the coming year. But by January 3, 2012, Mark was back in the hospital, struggling to breathe. Doctors determined that eight months of chemotherapy had ruined his lungs. They diagnosed Mark with pulmonary fibrosis. “We thought he could get on steroid treatment and oxygen and live for years,” wife Diane explained.
But by January 16, doctors estimated that Mark had only about one week left to live. The news came just a month before Diane was due to deliver their daughter, Savannah. Mark had just one last wish before his journey to the Lord. He wanted to hold his newborn baby girl in his arms. Diane was determined to help her husband’s dying wish come true. And so, with the help of her doctors, she decided to induce labor two weeks early to make it happen! On January 18, hospital staff moved Mark into a large delivery room. He lay in his bed, hooked up to oxygen, while Diane delivered their sweet baby girl two weeks early.
In a moment that was both tender and heart-wrenching, Diane looked over at Mark holding his newborn baby. “The day she was born, his oxygen levels were really high,” she said. “He held her for 45 minutes. Him and I just cried the whole time.” A few days later, on January 23, Mark found his healing in heaven. He was surrounded by family, including little Savannah, who was in his arms. There’s no question Mark loved Savannah deeply. And while the family must now carry on without him, they can take comfort in knowing his last wish to hold his baby girl in his arms has been granted.