A couple have told of their anguish after their miracle twin babies were mowed down in their stroller by an alleged drug driver and left with possible brain damage.
Dad Mariano Trench, 41, his husband Gonzalo Neris, 44, and their newborn son and daughter were knocked over “like bowling pins” in the horror smash.
The tragedy unfolded in Miami, Florida less than a month after babies Francisca and Nikolas Neris-Trench were born on January 10 via a surrogate.
Mariano, a lawyer, and Gonzalo, a compliance officer, had flown to the US from Buenos Aires, Argentina, to start their dream family as the surrogate mother lives in Miami.
On February 4, the new dads were out for a walk and pushing the twins in their stroller when a black Mercedes mounted the pavement and plowed into them.
Police say the accused driver Matthew Miller, 29, had taken a painkiller before getting behind the wheel.
Little Francisca and Nikolas both suffered fractured skulls and bleeding on the brain and were admitted to the ICU at Holtz Children’s Hospital in Miami.
Doctors fought to reduce the swelling but the long-term impact of the injuries remains unclear and the tots may be left permanently brain damaged.
While Gonzalo was not seriously hurt, Mariano had to undergo emergency surgery to repair lacerations to his liver, intestine and colon.
His mom Ofelia Colla, 78, who was also hit and suffered a serious concussion.
The family were scheduled to return home but must now remain in Miami because although the twins have now been discharged, they are not well enough to make the 10-hour trip.
Heartbroken Mariano said: “Having the twins was the best experience ever.
“We were together holding our surrogate’s hands in the delivery room and it was a very emotional moment for all of us to finally get, to see the babies after waiting for so long.
“It was the happiest moment of our lives.
“The accident day, we were celebrating getting the news that the babies’ passports were going to be ready to go home to Argentina on Friday.
“That day I went for a walk with my mom, my husband Gonzalo and the two babies so they could get fresh air.
“We didn’t see it coming at all.
“From one moment to the next one I was flying in the air and fell to the ground really hard.
“When I tried to get up, I couldn’t, but I saw a black car coming to a stop right in front of me.
“My 78-year-old mom was lying next to me, the baby stroller was knocked down and I could see Gonzalo rise from behind a parked car with his face covered in blood.
“We had all been thrown on our backs like bowling pins.”
Suspected drug driver Matthew Miller, 29, of Daytona Beach, Florida, was arrested following the horror smash in South Beach, Miami last month.
Miami Beach Police Department said his behavior was consistent with “that of a person who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs”, according to a report.
Although the report states that Miller refused to provide a sample of blood for testing, the driver confessed that he had taken Percocet, a powerful opiate pain reliever.
He was charged with reckless driving with serious bodily injury and driving with a suspended license on February 5 and Judge Mindy Glazer set his bond at $250,000.
Miller remains in custody Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center in Miami, Florida.
Mariano said: “Our one-month-old babies didn’t deserve to have gone through this terrible experience.
“It’s just so unfair to them and to us. We took so much care of them and then someone else comes and hits them so hard.
“We can’t help but feel so much anger but things could have gone much worse. Any of us could have died there, if not all of us.
“We are going to circle our life around them and do all that takes to heal them.”
Francisca and Nikolas were discharged from hospital two and a half weeks after the crash but require ongoing care and are unable to return to Argentina to have it there.
Though the family had travel insurance, they have hit the coverage limit already.
Mariano said they “wanted to take care of everything” themselves but are struggling because to cover the costs as they are not permitted to work in the US.
They have set up a GoFundMe account to help fund vital medical care for the twins as they continue their recovery.
“It’s going to be a long run while they develop and grow in the years to come and I’m afraid many years of doctors and therapy await us,” Mariano said.
“We’re determined to give them the happy life we always intended for them, even before they were born.”
To donate to the fund, visit: https://www.gofundme.com/nicholas-amp-francisca-neristrench