Things That Matter

He Lost His Pregnant Wife To A Drunk Driver, A Year Later He Recreated Her Pregnancy Photos With Their Baby Girl

One year ago, 23-year-old Yesenia Lisette Aguilar was hit by an alleged drunk driver and died. Her untimely and tragic death made headlines as she left behind not only her husband but also an unborn baby who had fortunately survived the accident. Now, her husband is keeping Yesenia’s memory alive in a heartwarming way.

James Alvarez remembers his late wife as he celebrates his daughter’s first birthday.

To mark Yesenia’s memory and celebrate their daughter’s first birthday, James shared gorgeous photos with his daughter Adalyn on Instagram.

In the powerful photos – which serve as a sort of memorial – his daughter Adalyn is wearing a pink dress (just like her mom wore) in the same spot where Yesenia did her maternity photoshoot. It’s a beautiful tribute that gives you goosebumps.

James shared on Instagram just how difficult the journey has been, but that he has to try to be the best father he can be for his daughter, and “I want to make my wife proud,” he adds.

He wrote, “Adalyn, I know if your mommy was here, she would have been the happiest person alive. She would be so excited to celebrate your birthday. That’s why, I’m making sure I fulfill her wishes and wish the happiest birthday ever baby. Your mommy and daddy loves you.”

The journey since his wife’s death has been difficult but James is carrying on his wife’s memory.

A look at James’ Instagram feed is an emotional one. He has spent the past 12 months documenting the beautiful moments he’s shared with this now one-year-old daughter. There’s a glimpse of the difficult journey the two have shared, from the agonizing days in the hospital to Yesenia’s death to Adalyn’s first days home, their first Christmas, and many other memories.

“I want her to look back when she’s older, when she asks about her mommy, I can always show her pictures, and I can always tell her, ‘I always kept her spirit alive,’” James told NBC Los Angeles. “No matter what obstacles we face in life, we can always find a solution and move forward. Adalyn taught me to never give up.”

James and Yesenia were out for a sunset walk when tragedy struck.

The 23-year-old Yesenia was 35-weeks pregnant and preparing to welcome a new life into the world when she was killed by the alleged drunk driver. The couple was out on a sunset walk in Anaheim, Calif. A Jeep SUV driven by Courtney Pandolfi, 40, jumped the curb of a sidewalk and drove on it before hitting Yesenia. The car narrowly missed James who said that when his wife was struck they were holding hands.

Yesenia was rushed to the hospital, where doctors declared her dead and then delivered her baby, Adalyn, via cesarean section.

Soon after her arrest, Pandolfi’s charges were upgraded to murder and felony driving under the influence of drugs causing bodily injury. According to People, police confirmed that this is not Pandolfi’s first DUI arrest. She has previously been convicted of DUIs in 2008, 2015, and 2016. She is currently being held in Anaheim on a $1 million bail.

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