Baby Aurora in good health despite challenges

Jodi Schellenberg
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It’s been one year since the tragic incident that took the lives of two women, but baby Aurora helps heal the gaping wounds in the families’ hearts.

Josie Ledoux looks lovingly down at her granddaughter Aurora Ledoux, who was born premature after a tragic collision took the life of her mother last July. Despite medical concerns, Aurora is doing well and growing.

Aurora Sky Brandi Ledoux was born through an emergency C-section before the death of her mother Brandy Lepine in July last year, after a car collision at the intersection of 28th Street East and 12th Avenue East. The driver of the car, Taylor Litwin, also died in the collision.

Since she was born premature, there have been some health complications.

“Things have been going OK,” Aurora’s grandmother Josie Ledoux said. “She’s been in and out of the hospital but that is to be expected.

“She is growing. She is eating good -- she is eating baby food too now -- but she still has a lot of appointments to keep going to.”

Josie and her husband Leo were able to take Aurora home after Christmas last year, after a long stay in the hospital in Saskatoon.

“I just don’t know the whole things about her because when they explained, when the doctors explained stuff to me at the time, I was too busy mourning for my daughter and trying to be there for (Aurora),” Josie said.

It seems things are going well for the soon-to-be one-year-old. She weighed 17 lbs. and six ounces at her last doctor’s appointment, Josie said.

The only thing that sets Aurora apart from other babies is the oxygen tank she is currently hooked up to.

“She has to be on oxygen until they say she can come off and she has inhalers to take too,” Josie said. “Her lung is not healing and is not fully developed when she was first born … She is still going hard and getting strong.”

Aurora has helped the family heal in their time of mourning.

“She filled a little void (and) didn’t leave me empty,” Josie said. “I was blessed to have her in my life. I was very grateful she survived all this.”

Not only was it hard losing her own daughter, she said, it was also difficult losing Litwin, who was like a stepdaughter to Josie.

“I couldn’t believe it. It was a shock.”

She remembers the phone call letting her know her daughter was being moved to Saskatoon. Josie pleaded with them to “do whatever you can for both of them to survive.”

“When I got there the circumstances for my daughter weren’t so great,” Josie said. “They told me it was a 50/50 chance for baby Aurora but I knew in my heart she would make it.”

Although Aurora has some medical conditions due to being born premature, luckily any extra medical expenses have been covered by SGI and she goes to Hope’s Home during the day.

“I’m happy that she goes there because there are registered nurses there and stuff and they take really good care of her during the day,” Josie said. “They do treat babies really good and do an excellent job. I’m very happy they are there to help.”

On Friday, Josie and a friend of the family, Michelle Desbiens, put on a garage sale with proceeds going towards the family.

Not only are they planning to put on a potluck in memory of Litwin and Lepine on July 14 at the Wesley United Church at 2 p.m., but it will also be Aurora’s first birthday.

“All friends and family are welcome to come.”

The driver of the other car is scheduled to go on trial for impaired driving mid-July.

Organizations: Wesley United Church

Geographic location: Aurora, Saskatoon, 28th Street East 12th Avenue East

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