Photos of a newborn baby born via cesarean section to a mother who was killed in an alleged drunk driving accident are sending a powerful message about the costs of driving under the influence.
Twenty-three-year-old Yesenia Aguilar was fatally struck by a vehicle on Aug. 11 while walking in Anaheim, California, with her husband at 35 weeks pregnant. Doctors delivered the baby via cesarean section but could not save Aguilar. The driver was charged with one felony count of murder, one felony count of driving under the influence of drugs causing injury, and one misdemeanor count of driving on a suspended license, the Anaheim Police Department said in a press release.
After grieving the loss of his wife, James Alvarez, 36, decided to have the newborn photoshoot his wife had always wanted for their daughter, who he named Adalyn Rose Alvarez-Aguilar.
"My daughter, she's the last gift that my wife gave me, she's a blessing and a miracle," Alvarez said in an interview with "Good Morning America."
Just a month prior to the incident, Aguilar had taken part in a maternity shoot with the same photographer, Grisel Leyva.
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Rest In Peace my beautiful wife. You left me way too soon. You were my world. My better half and that half is gone. I know I need to be strong for our daughter that you have left me but without you, will be the hardest thing. Just know babe that I will make you proud. You left me one last gift, the gift of being a father. I’ll be the best father for our daughter. I miss you so much and I can’t wait to finally see you again in heaven. I love you from the moon and back. #yeseniaaguilar #rip #wife #august11 #ilostmybestfriend #myworld #iwillalwaysloveyou
Leyva said she was honored to take photos of the newborn who had just lost her mother. In memory of Aguilar, the photoshoot included items like her favorite flowers, blanket and her wedding veil.
Leyva shared the new photos on Facebook with a message in all caps, "DON'T DRIVE UNDER THE INFLUENCE." The post went viral and has been shared over 30,000 times.
"I want people to think three times -- not twice, three times -- before they get behind a wheel, because I feel like this little girl's life was completely torn apart," Leyva told "Good Morning America."
Adalyn is almost 2 months old now and doing well, according to her father. Alvarez said he is grateful to be able to take a year off from working at a law firm to spend time with his newborn daughter.
A GoFundMe campaign created for funeral and medical expenses for the family has raised over $119,000. Along with the GoFundMe campaign, Alvarez's 15-year-old niece, Emily, has helped create an additional campaign to spread awareness about the dangers of driving under the influence and drug abuse.
In honor of the late 23-year old mother, the family is asking people to post a photo of themselves holding roses on Instagram with the hashtag #inhonorofyeseniaaguilar on Oct. 23.
Emily wants this social media campaign to inform other young people like herself of the negative outcomes of driving under the influence. The new campaign is tied to an additional GoFundMe to support Adalyn's future as well as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
Alvarez hopes his tragedy will help others so no one has to go through what he is going through.
"We should be responsible and consider other people's lives," he said.