Hospital staff cheers as infant whose mom was fatally struck in DUI crash goes home

The Little Fighter is going home.

Nurses and hospital workers clapped and cheered as Adalyn Rose left a California hospital Monday. The infant is a fighter, and staff members were thrilled to see her finally go home. It has been a traumatic month for the baby and her family. Her father, James Alvarez, took her out of the hospital in a bittersweet moment.

The infant’s mother, Yesenia Lisette Aguilar, was fatally struck Aug. 11 by a suspected DUI driver in Anaheim, KNBC reported. Aguilar, a Disneyland resort cast member, was 35 weeks pregnant at the time, the television station reported. Alvarez was walking with his wife at the time of the 7:30 p.m. crash. Aguilar was taken to an area hospital, where doctors performed an emergency cesarean section. The mother died later at the hospital, according to KNBC.

“We are heartbroken by the tragic loss of our cast member Yesenia Aguilar and we offer our deepest condolences to her family, friends and loved ones,” a Disney Resorts spokesperson said in a statement.

The baby, who was due in mid-September, now weighs more than 5 pounds, KCBS reported.

“It’s a big milestone because they tell me she’s technically not supposed to be in this world yet,” Alvarez told the television station Friday. “She’s a preemie. Her due date was Sept. 20.”

Alvarez said his daughter was given a respiratory tube, and by mid-August she was breathing on her own, KTLA reported.

“That gave me the strength to fight … to keep on pushing for her because, I mean, she’s doing that,” Alvarez told the television station. “In a sense, it’s like my wife is using her, going through her, to show me to be strong for her and for my wife up in heaven.”

Courtney Fritz Pandolfi, 40, of Garden Grove, was charged with one felony count of murder and one count of driving under the influence of drugs causing injury, and one misdemeanor count of driving on a suspended license, KNBC reported last month.

If convicted as charged, Pandolfi faces a maximum life sentence, the television station reported.

A GoFundMe page was organized for Aguilar, and more than $119,000 has been raised.

Meanwhile, Alvarez said his goal is to be an excellent parent to Adalyn Rose.

“I’m truly blessed that at least I have (her) still here on earth,” he said. “My goal is to be the best father I can possibly be, and give her the best life I can give her.”

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