SAN DIEGO, CA — The widow of a fallen firefighter is opening up about giving birth without the love of her life by her side.
Cal Fire Firefighter Engineer Cory Iverson died battling the Thomas Fire in Ventura County in December.
His wife, Ashley, was pregnant with their second daughter at the time. Taylor Ivy Frances Iverson was born just a few weeks ago.
“She looks just like this little twin, especially right after she came out it was a big relief to have her out and to see him again and feel like I was looking into his eyes again,” said Ashley.
It’s been five months since Cory died, but Ashley said it still doesn’t seem real. “People will say to me, I can’t possibly imagine going through that, and my response is neither can I, cause it really doesn’t feel like it’s me going through all of this,” said Ashley.
She was surrounded by family and friends in the hospital the day Taylor was born, but it was the voicemail she played from her late husband while in the delivery room that helped her get through labor.
“All the doctors were crying, but it just flipped right then and there. It’s the most special voice mail I have from him basically talking about how special our relationship is and how grateful he is for us,” said Ashley.
Ashley wants to honor Cory’s memory by starting a foundation to help first responders deal with the trauma they see on the job.
“The things that they see and experience are things that the human brain can’t just push out, it needs to be worked through,” said Ashley.
As heartbroken as she is, she’s always thinking about the men and women who were on the fire lines with Cory the day he died.
“Through trust and communication, these men and women can heal,” said Ashley. Even in her darkest moments, she is overwhelmed with gratitude.
“My hope is that people out there hold on to whatever faith that they have because through any struggle with your faith and gratitude, it will get you through.”