Photo detail

In this Sept. 1, 2011 photo, a print of Marshall McClain holding Alyssa, the girl he and his wife brought in to live with them in January 2011, sits on arm of a sofa in the McClains' Sharon, S.C. home as Alyssa plays on the floor in the background. For Marshall McClain, time had suddenly become the enemy. An infection raged through the 61-year-old Army veteran's withered, 115-pound frame, and the intravenous antibiotics couldn't keep up.

Stories this photo appears in:

Tease photo

A dying man's race to adopt, and a small miracle

With everything she had to do that morning, Marshall McClain could not believe his wife was wasting time making the bed. Tracey McClain was killing time, waiting for the lawyer's call, waiting to hear whether the adoption was a go and 11-month-old Alyssa would finally be theirs. But time had suddenly become the enemy.

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