SELF CARE SURVIVAL FAMILIES
Meet Anjelica and Auriana
Auriana is 5 years old. She is full of life, energetic, artistic and full of sass. She loves making people laugh, and so stubborn it is laughable says her mom “Angelic “. Auriana also loves Pokémon, board games, playing with her baby dolls and arts and crafts.
Anjelica, Auriana’s mom is currently a single mother who works hard to saves lives as a trauma surgical assistant at UF Health. Auriana is Angelicas only child, her world, and her light.
Angelic had no idea that light that shined so bright from Auriana would be dimmed due to one horrible preventable choice made by another human. In the blink of an eye Anjelica and Auriana’s lives would be flipped and turned upside
November 23rd, 2021, while Anjelica worked her normal 11 hr. shift in the operating room at UF Jacksonville, Auriana went with her father to a private holiday tree lighting event at local establishment. While Auriana's mom Anjelica was in surgery working with her trauma team, everyone’s pagers including hers began to go off. The pagers read…………………... MVC from Nassau County, 4-year-old, trauma level 1alert. Anjelicas heart dropped immediately as she thought to herself “Oh no we have a 4yr old coming in” not thinking anything else of it. She stayed on focus at the task of working through the current surgery. Shortly after she scrubbed out of surgery within 30 minutes her cell phone rang. It was a chaplain from UF looking for the mother of Auriana. Her heart sank to the bottom of her stomach as the Chaplin proceeded to advise her that Auriana was downstairs being treated in the trauma bay with critical injuries sustained in a car crash and she needed to make her way down. She was in total shock as she approached the trauma bay to witness all of the familiar faces of surgeons and residents that she worked with every day, working diligently to save her baby girls life. She felt helpless as she watched unable to do anything to assist. The team worked on Auriana for hours and days to come. Thanks to the hard work and diligence of the trauma team they were able to save Aurania’s life, however her injuries were critical and the road to recovery will be a long journey.
Little Auriana spent approx. 7 weeks in hospital with 12 of the days in PICU. Due to the severe injuries Auriana sustained, she has undergone several major surgeries. The future of neurological obstacles and emotional challenges that little Auriana may face is uncertain as the long-term effects are still unknown. It’s been a little over a year with intensive rehabilitation therapy, a resilient determined little spirit and a lot of sass, little Auriana has regained some of her walking abilities. Her mother is told that there are no guarantees due to the severity of her spinal injuries what the road if any of a full recovery will entail, but that one thing that is for certain is that only time will tell. Her mother has also been told by multiple doctors that Auriana is a living miracle and had Auriana not been in her booster seat properly restrained, she would most likely not have survived. And although Auriana faces many challenges Angelic remains hopeful and says she keeps her faith high, and her thanks given that she still has her daughter. She understands all too well that the outcome could have been life without little Auriana.
Not long after the crash Anjelica would soon learn by FHP officials that upon Ariana’s father leaving the event, Auriana was placed into her restrained booster seat, and he proceeded to get behind the wheel for an unsuccessful attempt to drive home. Anjelica was now faced with the horrific reality that the crash that almost took her daughter’s life, leaving her in critical condition was caused by her at the time long term companion and the father of Auriana. He was arrested and charged with a DUI and is now serving a 2yr prison sentence with 10 years of probation.
The past has been nothing shy of difficult for Auriana's mom Angelique. In addition to being faced with life as a single parent, Anjelica was also unable to work for the first 4 months as she was by Auriana's bed side round the clock. Once Auriana was stable, she eventually had to return to work as the bills continued to pile up. Anjelica continues to face many challenges. Being a newly single mother, extensive medical bills in addition to juggling doctor’s appointments and therapy to care for Auriana has placed tremendous financial and emotional stressors upon her that no parent should ever have to endure. Things that were once simple to get like self-care items, and the basics have now become a daily struggle.
Although Auriana and Alysia had different outcomes, non the less this story touched our foundations heart. In the case of Little Auriana, she clearly did not have a choice but to RWDUI. The choice of the driver remained just that, a choice. This story spoke to us as a testimony of the other side of what impacts can result with being a passenger of a driver under the influence as well as the importance of being properly restrained. Parental self-care is important for survival during and after such traumatic crisis. Self-care is a necessity to healthy survival and helps us as parents care for ourselves which in return helps us to care for our surviving children. In the blink of an eye “The Alysia Littlejohn Foundation” is proud to select Anjelica and Auriana as our first family in crisis to sponsor to receive funding from our self-care survival initiative in effort to help ease some of that financial stress that goes along with providing for self-care. Your participation for our 2023 CHOICES 5k event along with donations to the foundation will assist with our self-care funding sponsorship for this family in crisis and future families that may need assistance.