DALLAS — Diane Aulger was about two weeks from her delivery date when she and her husband decided there was no time to wait: Mark Aulger had only days to live, and he wanted to see his child.
Diane Aulger had her labor induced and gave birth to their daughter on Jan. 18. When tiny Savannah was placed in his arms, Mark Aulger “cried, and he just looked very sad,” his wife said. He died five days later from complications related to his cancer treatment.
The 52-year-old Texas man was diagnosed with colon cancer in April. He had surgery and, as a precaution, six months of chemotherapy, Diane Aulger said. With no signs of cancer showing up in follow up tests, the treatment seemed successful.
Then in November, Mark Aulger began having trouble breathing. By Jan. 3, he was sick enough to go to the emergency room. His wife said he was told the chemotherapy had caused him to develop pulmonary fibrosis, which causes scarring and thickening in the lungs.
On Jan. 16, doctors revealed Aulger’s condition was fatal.
Their baby was due Jan. 29, and Diane Aulger had planned a natural childbirth, but when the doctor suggested an induced labor, she immediately agreed. She was already experiencing pre-labor symptoms, and they scheduled the birth for Jan. 18.
Mark Aulger held his daughter for about 45 minutes after she was born. For the next couple of days he was so tired he was able to hold her only a couple of times for a minute or so. She said he slipped into a coma on Jan. 21 and died two days later.
Arab League seeks joint UN force for Syria
CAIRO — The Arab League voted Sunday to seek a joint United Nations force for Syria as regional diplomats met in Cairo to discuss their dwindling options for stopping the bloodshed in a nearly year-old uprising against President Bashar Assad.
However, the League stopped short of recognizing the main opposition umbrella group, the Syrian National Council, after objections from some member states about the group’s credibility and reach. The council, made up mainly of exiles, had hoped for the same recognition the Arab League extended to a similar Libyan group, whose members went on to lead that country’s transition.
Analysts described the request for troops as symbolic but unfeasible.
Syria isn’t likely to accept such a force, Russia and China are sure to block it at the UN, and the Syrian opposition is divided on the prospect of foreign boots on the ground.
In another complication Sunday, Al-Qaida’s leader called for the ouster of Syria’s “pernicious, cancerous regime,” raising fears that Islamic extremists will try to exploit the uprising against Assad.
The regime has long blamed terrorists for the 11-month-old revolt, and al-Qaida’s endorsement creates new difficulties for the U.S., its Western allies and Arab states trying to figure out a way to help force Assad from power.
In an eight-minute video message released late Saturday, al-Qaida chief Ayman al-Zawahri called on Muslims to support Syrian rebels.