Mark Aulger had just beat colon cancer, but his wife says eight months of chemotherapy had destroyed his lungs.
"It was basically like his lungs were soaked in concrete," Diane Aulger tells affiliate WFAA. "They couldn't inhale or pass oxygen throughout the body, he was in essence, suffocating to death."
Mark was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis and doctors admitted him to the hospital, telling him his lungs were so badly scarred that he had just a few days to live.
Diane -- eight months pregnant at the time -- asked to be induced two weeks early so her husband would get to meet their little baby girl, Savannah.
"He got to be the first one to hold her, [and he] held her for 45 minutes," Diane said.
Those 45 minutes were all he got. Mark soon slipped into a coma.
"My ten-year-old said, 'Is dad asleep?' [And] I said 'No, he's in a coma,'" Diane said through tears. "He said, 'Is he going to make it?' I said, 'No,' and he screamed. My eight-year-old screamed and cried, 'I'm not going to have a daddy.'"
Diane says she held Mark’s hand and slipped little Savannah under his arms so he would pass on while holding their newborn daughter. He died five days after her birth.
People were so touched by the family’s story that a company they had been working with before offered to replace the couple’s roof for free.
"He had dreams and aspirations to get his home in that condition, and we wanted to help bring that through even though he's not here," roofer Jay Coleman tells WFAA.
Diane tells HLN's Richelle Carey that she'll make sure Savannah knows her father wasn't a quitter.
“He really, really fought,” she says. “He did not want to pass. He wanted to be with her. He wanted to be with all of us. He was the love of my life and he was a wonderful, wonderful father and husband.”
An account with Wells Fargo has been set up in the family's name: It's the "Diane Aulger Donation Fund."