The Insta pic is adorable – a tiny baby, swaddled in a cute pink outfit, holding a picture of her pregnant mom. But the caption alongside the photograph is jarring: “Don’t drive under the influence. Don’t drive under the influence. Don’t drive under the influence.”
The little girl is Adalyn Rose and her mom, Yesenia Aguilar (23), was killed before she was born, run down by an inebriated driver.
Now Adalyn Rose’s dad, James Alvarez, is using photos of his daughter, which have gone viral, not only to commemorate his late wife, but to warn people against driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Yesenia was eight months’ pregnant with Adalyn Rose when she was out walking with her husband. A Jeep with a drunk driver behind the wheel mounted the pavement and struck Yesenia, leaving her with catastrophic injuries. She died shortly afterwards in hospital but doctors were able to deliver her daughter via an emergency C-section.
The couple, who live in California, were discussing what curtains to get for their baby’s room when disaster struck.
“I constantly see it playing out in my head and it’s killing me,” James says. “It’s killing me because I always look back and wonder what I could have done to save her life.”
Adalyn Rose spent the first three weeks of her life in a neonatal intensive care unit before she was strong enough to go home with her dad.
“She’s such a blessing and makes me forget all of the pain that I go through, all the suffering and sadness,” James says.
He arranged a photoshoot for his daughter with photographer Grisel Leyva, who shared the pictures on Instagram.
James and Yesenia
tried for two years to fall pregnant before the fatal crash.
“It’s like I’m living a nightmare,” James says of the loss of his wife. “But I’m accepting the reality is she’s gone. And my daughter is the only thing I have left. My daughter gave me a new reason to continue fighting. I’m here standing strong and telling you to please don’t drink and drive,” he wrote in a post.
“Irresponsible actions can take someone’s life, and let me tell you, I wish this horrific pain upon no one. I lost my wife but most of all, my daughter will never know her mother. Please do the right thing and be responsible.”
View this post on Instagram
People always ask me where I get my strength from, its simple really....my daughter and wife. I have 2 angels in my life, one that’s in heaven watching over us which I call my beautiful wife and the second one is my lovely daughter. My daughter gave me a new reason to continue fighting. I here standing strong and telling you to please don’t drink and drive. With irresponsible actions can take someone life and let me tell you, I wish this horrific pain upon no one. I lost my wife but most of all, my daughter will never know her mother. Please do the right thing and be responsible. #dontdrinkanddrive #beresponsible #babygirl #newbornphotography #newbornphotoshoot #beautiful #gorgeous #baby #daddysgirl #singlefather #singleparent #miracle #hope #restinpeace #wifey #iloveyou #forever #yeseniaaguilar #adalynrose
In September, the driver of the vehicle, Courtney Pandolfi
(40), pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder and driving under the influence
of drugs. She has three previous convictions for driving under the influence,
the court heard. The case continues.