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  • I was 450 miles away at work and completely helpless on the other line...

    I got to my wife's side approximately 12 hours after the accident. I was stuck in San Jose until the earliest flight the next morning. Throughout the night, phone calls kept coming in and the news only got worse. They had performed an emergency C-section on my wife after she got to the hospital, which is when they noticed the internal bleeding. Krystil needed further emergency surgery where they removed her spleen but couldn’t stop the bleeding. 

    They then called me and said the baby was dead because they couldn’t get to her in time. When they got the baby out, there wasn't a pulse. Doctors performed CPR but they weren't successful. The placenta was ripped from the uterine wall and my daughter went without blood flow or oxygen from her mama.   

    All night they said that Krystil might bleed to death. I finally got on the airplane and was at the hospital by 9 a.m. I watched them run the tests to determine if she was brain dead or not. I screamed for her to respond ... nothing. I watched her not breathe for 16 minutes and she never gasped. At 12:09 a.m. the doctor looked at me and said, "I’m sorry. She’s not here anymore." 

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  • Within an hour, the organ donation company was there telling me they were going to take her organs.

    Krystil had signed up for organ donation when she was 17 years old, but she didn't understand the difference between cardiac death and brain death. But it meant that they had legal rights to her organs after the doctor pronounced her dead.

    I lost it. They weren’t even going to give her a chance. I fought them for three days. I called doctors from all over the world trying to get them to come inject stem cells into her neck. I wanted to wait until the swelling went down in her brain. 

    I was willing to fight if it was just oxygen deprivation or swelling. I was willing to wait and see if she came back. I was going to pay out of pocket for experimental options -- whatever it took I would have done. But One Legacy (the organ donation foundation) showed me the CT scan of her neck about 72 hours after her accident. It showed an internal decapitation. ... I knew I had no hope after that.

    It took them so long to show me because they thought I couldn’t handle seeing the results. That's weird because I helped clean her body from the clots, helped them put pads under her broken pelvis and arm. I even helped them clean her open abdomen. They never closed her up because of her bleeding. So after that, they told me I had to sign away my wife to be butchered for her organs. I stayed with her all night until they came at 1:30 a.m. after the organ recipients arrived.

    She saved five peoples’ lives and gave someone sight. I might get to see her eyes again and I’m excited about that.

    The baby's body was taken directly to the coroner's office so her organs were wasted, unfortunately.

  • Although Krystil's face was pristine -- no marks, no bruises, nothing -- she died on impact. It was so confusing to me and my kids.

    The hardest part was telling my four kids, and the most painful aspect is watching them struggle and break inside over and over. 

    They came to the hospital and thought they were going to meet their new baby sister. I had to tell them all that they lost both their mom and sister. ... It was the hardest thing I have ever done. I can’t protect them from this and it tears me up inside.

    I’m definitely getting them into grievance counseling. They are all at different developmental stages and it makes it very complicated for me. My girls are angry, rebelling, wanting distractions, they don’t want to come home. My oldest son thought mommy was going to heal; my youngest thought she was going to come back as a zombie. 

  • At first, the hardest thing I have ever done was killing the person I loved most in the world by taking her off of life support -- until I saw the arrogance of the man who killed her.

    It turns out this drunk driver, who was going at least 85 miles per hour, had the arrogance to tape himself and share it on social media as my wife was pinned and her car was on fire in the background. 

    The man, Mack Forestal, is being charged with one count of vehicular manslaughter while under the influence. He is currently free and out on bail. 

    But the state won’t persecute him for killing my daughter. They said that in California, they can't charge him for more because they've tried to prosecute others with two counts and failed before. The baby in the other case was at an earlier stage but was able to be born, breathe for 45 minutes but died. They said they could charge him with two counts of second-degree murder if they could prove intent. They said intent was usually proven by previous DUI convictions. .. I feel the way he was driving proves intent, and that's what doesn't sit well with me. He was driving recklessly with no regard for anyone else. He drove to that party sober knowing he didn’t have a ride home. That’s intent.

    I feel there should be a right for women to choose when it comes to abortion. However, after that point of legal abortion has passed, the government should protect those lives and convict people who harm them the same way as a person. My daughter was fully developed, which I feel puts it fully enforceable and something should be done.

  • I refuse to give up fighting for change, and I’m just trying to be the man she said 'I do' to all of those years ago. 

    The state is treating Avalynn like a clump of cells by not considering her a person; they are not going to prosecute the drunk driver for killing her.

    They are acting like she's a child that had no chance of surviving -- almost like the way a baby is viewed during the first trimester when abortions are legal. My daughter was fully developed, her lungs were developed, and she could have 100 percent survived outside of the womb. To have her treated like a clump of cells is unacceptable. We need better laws that protect the future generations. If someone takes the life of a baby that legally cannot be aborted, then that baby should have the same protections as any other person under the law.

    That’s why it needs to change. There are too many safe options out there to claim ignorance or lack of intent any longer. Now I’m just trying to stay focused on this cause to honor Krystil and Ava and putting all of the pain and anger toward changing the law. I refuse to let it consume me or alter who I am.

    I’m so broken. My babies are broken. I’ve never had to do it alone; it was Krystil and I versus the kids and all of us versus the world. But Krystil expects nothing less than for me to get up, man up, and be happy. She wants me to bring joy to my children. I intend to do so. Sooner than later.

  • The irony is, it was supposed to be me. I was the one prepping her to live without me. 

    I've had a heart condition, arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia (ARVD), since the age of 16 and it's always been something that I couldn't do anything about. I've lived with this condition for 18 years now and have been offered no solutions to the fact that one day my heart will die. Every day is a gamble and treatments that are covered by insurance, such as transplant, aren't considered until further progression of the disease. 

    In February, Krystil and I found out about a treatment that isn't covered by insurance. The treatment has shown to reverse some of the damage the disease has done to the heart and can possibly help me bounce back. My wife and had been working very hard to save for the treatment, and at the same time, I was prepping her for strength. I was even prepping my kids. Having a genetic heart condition, it was supposed to be me and I had had been prepping my family the whole time. 

  • But instead, my wife and daughter's funeral was the first time I got to see and hold Avalynn. 

    She looked fake. She looked like a porcelain doll. I had to touch her face, and she was very real. She had chubby cheeks and chubby thighs. 

  • And I have a message to the man who did this:

    Forestal, I want to say my heart bleeds for your family. I feel sorry for the people who love you that they might not have you around. I feel horrible for your children if you have them. When the accident happened, I understood things happen and mistakes happen, but I became confused when I saw your Facebook live post. I was confused as to why you thought it was more important to video your car as my wife's car was on fire and my wife and daughter were dying and you didn't even try to help them. I felt something awaken inside of me at that moment: I felt sorry for you. I saw a person who hasn't learned the value of life and and a person who thinks life is about possessions and not relationships. 

    Later, I learned about how you were speeding at over double the speed limit around that curve that you hit my wife head on around the other side of. How you had no regard for anyone else's life. What were your intentions, Mr. Forestal? I know they were not anything good. You have never apologized. ... I have to look in my four childrens' eyes every day and watch them break down for the rest of my life. I have to know I will never hear my wife's voice, smell her hair, kiss her, or feel her affection ever again. I have been with her for almost 13 years. I will never get to look into my daughter's eyes or hear her laugh or say mommy or daddy. My family is devastated by your free will and choice that night to drive recklessly and drunk. My wife and kids didn't choose this -- you did. You also chose to act inhumane. With that said, I hope you get enough time to reflect and become a better person by the time you get out of prison. I hope you try and make this world a better place.

  • And for anyone who might get behind the wheel after drinking, this is what I need you to know.

    I have put my children's and my own nightmare on display for everyone to see in the hope of something positive coming from our tragedy. My children and I will live this nightmare for the rest of our lives. This can happen to anyone. ... We need to think about others before we choose to chance other people's lives. We need change to the laws to deter people from even risking something like what has happened to me.

    There are too many options to get home safely nowadays. If you drive to a place to drink with no options to get home and you drive after you do, then you have the intent to kill innocent people and you are a murderer. Ignorance isn't an excuse. We all know the consequences....